While ordering a grande Americano with room at Starbucks the other day, I noticed a counter display. It had a stack of cards with the title “Let’s Create Jobs for USA” across the top and then below it a red, white, and blue wristband. It’s elastic and not the usual plastic you see in these things, and, it has a coupler made of metal with the word “invincible” engraved on it. They requested a $5 donation. I read the cards and bought one on the spot.
I’m proud to wear it. The answer to my question of whether a wristband can create USA jobs is an emphatic Yes. There are already innovation success stories. I’m a wristband-come-lately — this has been going on since last November.
Hats off to Starbucks for linking with the Opportunity Finance Network (see: createjobsforUSA.org) to raise awareness for job creation — and actually help fund entrepreneurs. Starbucks donated 5 Mil to kick start the effort. The idea behind the wristband is awareness AND, it’s also about funding underserved businesses (aren’t banks supposed to do this?). I see this as a very creative way to create jobs. It’s a donation you’re making, but I like the idea that it funds growth and jobs directly.
Small businesses create jobs, it’s a fact. And, it’s also a fact that many small businesses with good ideas, solid business models, and hard working people can’t get the money they need to grow. Once upon a time, banks did this work, but in many places banks have become disconnected from the communities they purport to serve. This effort by Opportunity Finance Network seeks to create a national network of more community friendly lenders to fill the gap, and, grow USA jobs.
So, head over to your local Starbucks USA readers, and buy an overpriced coffee, and, a wristband. The unemployed American you’re helping thanks you in advance.