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Community Investments Vol 25, Issue 2
You Have to Scale Down Before You Can Scale Up: A Micro-Enterprise Story
Surrounded by wealth and economically successful communities in California’s Huntington Beach area, the Oak View neighborhood has struggled with persistent problems with crime, unemployment, substandard housing, and poverty. Nonetheless, the neighborhood remains resilient and has drawn on the strength of its community ties to support the Oak View Renewal Partnership (OVRP), a place-based nonprofit focused on building and supporting the neighborhood from the inside out. Based on the need for improved employment conditions and more stable incomes in the neighborhood, OVRP has concentrated its efforts on workforce development activities, including job training and placement and small business development. This article discusses the design and operation of OVRP’s Micro-Enterprise Development Program model, and presents best practices learned in the incubation and launch of the first neighborhood-based small business developed through this program.
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