Believing that many low-income individuals have the ideas, skills and motivation to succeed, self-employment is a viable strategy for many of those served by Community Action Agencies. For would-be entrepreneurs, the Job and Business Development (JBD) program provides a variety of services and access to financial resources.
Services provided by the Job and Business Development program include:
- feasibility studies;
- creating business plans;
- development of marketing strategies;
- enhancement of business skills;
- learning business skills;
- locating possible financial resources;
- credit problem resolution; and
- on-going business assistance
With funding from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Department of Health Services, eleven (11) of the state’s Community Action Agencies and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council offer JBD programs. In 2011, thirty-four (34) new businesses were launched and another sixteen (16) received assistance in sustaining a business or for expansion. In all, fifty-three (53) new jobs were created and sixteen (16) others were preserved.
Since its inception in 1989, the JBD program has given birth to more than 1,900 new businesses and created 5,610 new jobs.
As a result of JBD program efforts, many participants no longer rely on social service programs, instead having found an avenue out of low-wage, dead-end jobs and onto a path as productive small business owners.