As an economic development organization, LAEDA looks a various avenues to live out its mission of economic opportunity. One such avenue is Social Entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurship is the application of for-profit business principles to the social issues with the end result being measured not in profits and losses, but the advancement of a social issue or creation of opportunities for disadvantaged individuals through the creation of a social enterprise.
The purpose of a social enterprise may vary from business to business. The profit from a business could be used to support a social aim, such as funding the programming of a non-profit organization. Moreover, a business could accomplish its social aim through its operation by employing individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or lending to micro-businesses that have difficulty in securing investment from mainstream lenders.
LAEDA's Twist on Social Entrepreneurship
Holding true to LAEDA's mission of personal empowerment, LAEDA looks for industries and related business models that lend themselves to offering individuals the opportunity of business ownership.
LAEDA identifies these industries, identifies obstacles to entry, devises a business model designed to mitigate these obstacles and develops the appropriate training program to easy access into the market place for disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
One such industry is the commercial cleaning industry. The commercial cleaning industry is made up of large and small firms, franchises and independents. Breaking into this industry can be quite difficult for an owner operator. Marketing, sales, quality control and administration of a janitorial firm on top of completing the work required of contracts can be a daunting task.
LAEDA created the Community Janitorial Venture, Inc. (CJV)
to act as a broker of cleaning contracts for sub-contract to CJV Affiliate Contractors. The affiliate contractors completed the work of the contracts while CJV handled the marketing, sales, quality control and administration of the cleaning contracts. Each firm is paid a percentage of the contract, while CJV retains a portion for its efforts.