ICA.Fund

We accelerate great businesses.

aka ICA   |   Oakland, CA   |  https://www.ica.fund/

Mission

ICA accelerates great businesses through mentoring and investments to close the racial and gender wealth gaps, toward our vision of an economy that works for all.

Ruling year info

2003

CEO

Allison Kelly

Main address

1714 Franklin St. #100-174

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Inner City Advisors

EIN

47-0898054

NTEE code info

Urban, Community (S31)

Management & Technical Assistance (J02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wealth, and the opportunity to build it, is key to economic mobility - yet many people face barriers to building wealth. Inequitable practices in education, employment, and financial systems have created significant racial and gender wealth gaps. Here in the SF Bay Area, our booming economy is simultaneously creating vast wealth for some while making it harder for even middle-wage workers to make ends meet. Small businesses can drive wealth-building opportunities for employees and owners, especially for women and people of color who may face barriers to employment. Too many small business owners lack access to the capital, coaching, and connections they need to grow, build wealth, and create good jobs in their communities. Access to growth capital is a key driver of business success, but people of color, in particular, are often turned down for financing because they have insufficient assets - a legacy of structural inequities resulting in the well-documented racial wealth gap.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Lab at ICA

The Lab is a business accelerator program for local small businesses that are no longer start-ups, but have not yet built sufficient revenue or internal capacity to strategically grow. The Lab is a six week, cohort-based, learning-intensive program that focuses on giving participants the tools and resources they need to create a robust Growth Road Map. The program will culminate with a virtual Open House, where businesses can share what they have learned, how they will apply new learning to their business, and their road map and timeline for implementation. The Lab serves approximately 10 companies per cohort. Through group education and access to micro-debt and equity (up to $50K in seed equity), The Lab helps these promising businesses expand from 1-2 employees, build the foundation for financial sustainability, develop a plan for investing in their business, and cultivate an overall growth mindset. The Lab also prepares entrepreneurs to participate in ICA's Accelerator Program.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people

The Accelerator is a tailored, holistic business-advising program designed for high-potential, good job-creating companies looking to scale. Over a 3-month period, Accelerator cohorts of approximately 10 businesses engage in group learning and 1:1 advising sessions with high-caliber advisors to develop a growth and sustainability strategy, build a people strategy, articulate a good jobs vision, identify a sophisticated capital access strategy, and connect with like-minded peers and mentors. The Accelerator culminates in a Pitch Event to showcase their businesses and get connected to investors, strategic advisors, and mission-aligned capital providers. Companies that complete The Accelerator at ICA will be poised to raise capital within 12 months after culmination, either from ICA's Growth Fund or external sources, to further their strategic growth.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people

ICA’s Growth Fund provides access to equity investments up to $1MM, in combination with hands-on investing support, with a focus on serving entrepreneurs of color and women. The fund provides patient, flexible capital for seed and growth investment through two tailored investment products: Growth Equity ($100k - $1M) and Seed Equity (up to $50k). These investments enable entrepreneurs to grow the value of their businesses over time - creating new wealth for themselves and their employees through good wages, robust benefits, career ladder pathways, profit sharing, and employee ownership programs. Our investment strategy intentionally focuses on racial and gender equity, and supports companies that are committed to our shared mission of wealth creation and distribution to a diverse workforce.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people

Where we work

Accreditations

CDFI 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average wage of clients served (in dollars)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

ICA conducts an annual Impact Survey, administered 12 months after participants finish programming. Our historic dataset is not longitudinal in nature due to variation in survey respondents over time.

Number of jobs created and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

ICA conducts an annual Impact Survey, administered 12 months after participants finish programming. Our historic dataset is not longitudinal in nature due to variation in survey respondents over time.

Number of businesses developed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

ICA conducts an annual Impact Survey, administered 12 months after participants finish programming. Our historic dataset is not longitudinal in nature due to variation in survey respondents over time.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ICA accelerates great businesses through mentoring and investments to close the racial and gender wealth gaps, toward our vision of an economy that works for all. We support small businesses by connecting underestimated entrepreneurs to our unrivaled network of advisors and investors, who provide mentoring and capital for the long-haul. ICA is unique because we work with entrepreneurs along their full growth journey - from just getting traction to focusing strategically on growing a valuable and sustainable business.

Over the next three years, ICA will:
• Help 300 entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses through capital and mentoring
• Provide intensive coaching to 120 early-stage businesses through ICA's business accelerator programs to provide entrepreneurs with hands-on, cohort-based business advising and the tools and resources to develop and implement a growth and capital-raising strategy.
• Deploy 3,000+ hours of expert advice through our network of pro-bono advisors
• Invest $10 million in seed and growth equity in ICA Portfolio companies with a dedicated interest in filling the “friends and family” equity financing gap faced by many entrepreneurs of color and women founders.

By 2026, ICA will demonstrate how our integrated ecosystem of coaching, capital, and connections can help close the gender and racial wealth gaps for entrepreneurs and their employees. Through a uniquely responsive and inclusive approach that centers the needs and dreams of entrepreneurs, we will guide our diverse entrepreneurs on their journey to grow the value of their business - creating a strategic growth roadmap, building capacity, executing on growth plans, overcoming obstacles to growth, and creating wealth for themselves and their employees. At the same time, ICA will leverage our on-the-ground experience and partnerships to support and influence efforts to redefine small business risk through a flexible underwriting approach, further expand access to capital and professional networks, and increase inclusivity in the financial system more broadly.

ICA knows that a quality job - one that pays a living wage, provides benefits, supports employee advancement, and provides opportunities to build wealth - is critical to financial stability and economic mobility. We will focus on serving entrepreneurs of color and women, building out from our roots in Oakland to serve more entrepreneurs across the Bay Area. Along the way, ICA will help our entrepreneurs offer their employees robust benefits, career ladder pathways, and wealth-building opportunities through profit sharing and employee ownership programs.

ICA’s interconnected accelerator programs and investment products combine tailored, expert advising and access to right-sized financing to help entrepreneurs who are positioned for growth, but need advising and capital to do it. Companies in the Accelerator at ICA and the Lab at ICA receive one-on-one advising and mentoring from experts in a variety of business growth areas – ranging from marketing, to investment advice, to operations and hiring strategy. ICA advisors play a pivotal role in our work and, over 25+ years, have provided more than $25 million in pro bono advising services.

ICA’s investments tends to be catalytic capital with a multiplier effect, allowing the companies to raise additional third-party capital through the ICA funding ecosystem. In total, companies in ICA’s programs have raised more than $358M, and 93% met their capital needs in 2020.

In 2022, we launched the ICA Impact Note, an investment vehicle that includes built-in incentives for companies to achieve social impact milestones and create good quality jobs. This product is a convertible note that helps entrepreneurs prioritize social impacts as they grow their businesses; as they reach more of their impact targets, they are able to retain more equity at conversion.

By providing expert guidance and encouragement to prioritize the development of high quality jobs, we ensure that when ICA companies grow, their employees prosper. ICA is a trusted partner and resource for these underestimated entrepreneurs on their journey to build successful, sustainable businesses.

ICA is a learning organization that has evolved over time, expanding and deepening our activities to better address the needs of local underestimated entrepreneurs, while keeping our core mission at the forefront. Established in 1996, originally as Oakland Advisors, the organization was launched to provide direct business advising to local growth-stage entrepreneurs. We became Inner City Advisors to reflect a focus on urban entrepreneurs. Recognizing that advising was only part of the solution, we launched Fund Good Jobs in 2013 to invest in entrepreneurs who lacked access to traditional financing.

In early 2020, we streamlined our two-part organization, ICA Fund Good Jobs, to a single entity - ICA - that reflects our cohesive and interconnected approach to coaching and capital, and creates an integrated ecosystem of small business support. We continue to review, update, and improve our advisory and investment programming to ensure that it is responsive to the key needs of our entrepreneur clients.

Over the past twenty-six years, ICA has built an ecosystem that integrates access to coaching and capital for growth-oriented entrepreneurs. Our objective has evolved from focusing on job creation to focusing on creating good jobs and, now, to supporting wealth creation more broadly by providing a full continuum of support with good job growth as a central pillar. Ultimately, we seek to help high-potential small businesses create good jobs and wealth-building opportunities for the entrepreneur, their employees, and their communities.

We are committed to creating responsive, relevant, and actionable business accelerator programs and investment opportunities that help entrepreneurs of color grow the value of their businesses to create wealth for themselves and their employees in our most inequitable Bay Area communities. Building this intentionally equitable way of doing business includes removing the pressure of short-term results. Creating and sustaining value in small businesses is a journey. In an economy that has been overly fixated on extracting returns for investors, ICA focuses on entrepreneurs and their employees. We select and underwrite companies based on their proven market traction, economics, growth potential, the resilience of their leaders, and commitment to their workers.

ICA has a well established track record of impact in economic development. Since our establishment in 1996, ICA has grown from a business advising organization to one that provides a full ecosystem of advising, capital, and support to invest in high-potential small businesses that create good jobs and wealth-building opportunities for entrepreneurs, their employees, and their communities.

To date, ICA has supported more than 800 diverse, local entrepreneurs to help them get the capital and expert advice they need to grow their businesses, create good jobs, and drive economic activity in their communities. ICA's community of companies has secured more than $350 million in investments, created 6,000 jobs, and paid more than $530M in wages to employees in the Bay Area. Among the companies we work with, 87% are owned by women or people of color, and 75% are led by low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. ICA is committed to creating responsive, relevant, and actionable business accelerator programs and investment opportunities that help entrepreneurs of color grow the value of their businesses to create wealth for themselves and their employees in our most inequitable Bay Area communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    ICA targets early-stage, high-potential local small businesses that have at least $100K in annual revenue, can demonstrate product/market fit and traction, and seek to grow quickly. We focus on entrepreneurs of color and women who are often shut out of conventional sources of capital and advising. ICA’s mission is to close the racial and gender wealth gaps; our network of companies reflects our commitment to it and our requirements to participate in each accelerator program reflect the realistic milestones (i.e. revenue, employees) our entrepreneurs can reach at each business stage. Historically, ICA companies have been a majority (>60%) people of color or women-owned.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In March 2020, we convened with our clients and stakeholders to determine what resources would be most useful to them in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. After listening to their feedback, we developed the Rapid Response Loan Fund to address our companies’ immediate–and dire–need for cash as a result of the COVID pandemic. ICA’s Rapid Response product provides 0% interest loans of up to $100k with deferred payments for one year, with average loan size around $40k. These relief funds are helping businesses stabilize their operations, preserve local jobs, and make investments to adapt and pivot their businesses. To date, ICA has deployed $1.5MM to 32 companies through our Rapid Response Loan Fund, with 91% of dollars going to entrepreneurs of color and women founders.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

ICA.Fund
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ICA.Fund

Board of directors
as of 3/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Jack Russi

Deloitte

Term: 1996 -


Board co-chair

Mr. Jim Harris

OluKai

Justina Lai

Wetherby Asset Management

Wil Hobbs

Community Bank of the Bay

Alberto De Almeida

The Body Time

Dennis Green

Green & Associates

Jim King

J.P. King Advisors

Sean Murphy

Former CEO of ICA

Donald Reinke

Reed Smith

Penina Goodman

Brand Marketing at CDC Small Business Finance: SVP

Sahra Halpern

Capital Impact Partners

Mona Masri

Summit Co Lab: Co- Founder & Principal Advisor

Nicole Auyang

City National Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/11/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.