Starbucks Unveils New Job Creation Fund

Starbucks Corporation on Monday unveiled a new nationwide fund aimed at stimulating job creation in the US. Partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network, a group of private financial institutions that specialize in offering loans to low-income borrowers, Starbucks launched the “Create Jobs for USA” fund, saying a lack of leadership in Washington has forced the private sector to take action to make a dent in the nation’s high unemployment rate and affect a more robust recovery in the overall economy.

The coffee chain’s CEO, Howard Schultz, said that small business should be an engine for job growth and that entrepreneurs must have access to credit so they can begin hiring. “Businesses and business politics or political office. I’m just doing this as a private citizen trying to make a difference,” Schultz said. The Starbucks Foundation, the chain’s philanthropic arm, will provide $5 million in seed money to get the fund off the ground, then organizers will ask citizens to donate to the cause.

Schultz says that every $5 donated by companies or individuals will create $35 in financing for local businesses. Mark Zandi, the chief economist over at Moody’s Analytics, said that the fund should be extremely helpful to small businesses having difficulty securing financing in today’s tough economy.

Beginning November 1st, the Create Jobs for USA fund will begin accepting donations online and at 6,800 Starbucks locations across the US. Donors will be given wristbands inscribed with the word “Indivisible” for their contributions. Starbucks has agreed to cover Opportunity Finance Network’s administrative costs for the program, and will also supply the wristbands.