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.
Community Janitorial Venture (CJV)
CJV was created to provide minority janitorial cleaning entrepreneurs with the opportunity for comprehensive janitorial training, access to the commercial cleaning market and technical assistance in establishing and growing their janitorial businesses.
Select graduates of the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program
are provided with additional hands on janitorial training to prepare them to become CJV affiliated contractors. CJV acts as a quasi-franchiser, managing the marketing of janitorial services, conducting sales calls and closing deals for assignment to CJV affiliated contractors. In addition, CJV handles all client relations, accounting functions and insurance issues.
Community Janitorial Venture trains the janitorial subcontractors in the use of cleaning supplies, managing janitorial personnel, and quality assurance. Training is complemented by a manual written by LAEDA to standardize these areas. Technical assistance is also provided in these areas to provide a consistent quality cleaning effort.
Independent janitorial businesses also need expertise in obtaining and closing contracts, sourcing supplies, managing cleaning personnel, and administration of contracts. Affiliate contractors are provided additional training in this area as well.
CJV retains a portion of each contract dollar for its services and pays the balance to the CJV Affiliate Contractor.
Since 1996, CJV has generated more than $2.5 million in sales and has created more than 30 independent janitorial companies.