Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz believes in using his company’s core values as a guide to choosing where to focus social good efforts. From (Starbucks) RED, to the Ethos Water Fund, to the company’s partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network to support small business, Starbucks is known for taking a stand on issues that affect people in the Starbucks ecosystem—from employees, to customers.
The latest effort is an expansion of its “Indivisible,” initiative (which it launched last October) focused on job creation. Starbucks is selling products as the “Indivisible” collection — a coffee blend, branded bracelets/wristbands, tumblers and mugs—making a donation to its Create Jobs for USA Program every time an item is purchased. Ads are appearing in The Wall Street Journal, and across social media to promote the initiative around the 4th of July holiday.
Our commitment to being good neighbors has never been more important as our country weathers this challenging time. The United States is experiencing a jobs crisis. Most economists predict unemployment won’t drop below 8% for at least the next year—making this the longest stretch of unemployment above 8% in over 70 years. That number rises to double digits within the Hispanic and African-American communities, and it doesn’t even take into account the people who have given up looking for work. But this isn’t just about numbers. Those figures represent friends, family, and perhaps even yourself. It affects every one of us, but we can take action. We can rally together to make America the place that we all know it can be.
That’s why Starbucks has teamed up with the Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) to create and sustain jobs. We call it the Create Jobs for U.S.A. Program. It provides capital grants to select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The CDFIs then provide financing to underserved community businesses which include small business loans, community center financing, housing project financing and microfinance.
The Starbucks Foundation has seeded this project with a $5 million donation. You can join in this effort by donating. To recognize your support of the initiative, when you contribute $5 or more you’ll receive a red, white and blue wristband with the message “Indivisible”. Donations are being accepted at Starbucks company-operated stores and online at the Create Jobs for USA site.