About the Collaborative for Enterprise Development
Following the 2005 storms, 18,000 businesses in Orleans Parish were destroyed, dislocated or disrupted affecting nearly 250,000 jobs. These businesses, both for-profit and not-for-profit, suffered due to physical property damage, market disruptions and subsequent losses of employees, customers, clients and revenues. On July 6th, 2006, the Foundation for Louisiana (formerly known as the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation - LDRF) and the City of New Orleans invited six organizations to an initial meeting to discuss challenges and opportunities in the assisting of small/medium-sized enterprises in the New Orleans market after Katrina. The organizations had been identified based on feedback Foundation for Louisiana staff had received in conversations with public officials, foundation / corporate staff, and community leaders. After a facilitated discussion, the Foundation for Louisiana staff expressed a preference for a single proposal and offered the six organizations the option to participate in a process of exploring the formation of a collaborative. All present chose to participate in the collaborative exploration process.
After working together for a year, CED has assisted nearly 300 small businesses and nonprofit organizations -- most of which are minority owned or led with fewer than five employees. Each CED member brings a unique set of tools to the collaborative to offer entrepreneurs comprehensive assistance. The tools include business planning assistance, credit counseling, marketing assistance, accounting / cash flow system development, working capital loans and equity investment opportunities.
Moving forward the model represents a significant opportunity to leverage resources to build the city's entrepreneurial culture to meet the needs of recovering small businesses and those beyond.
After one year of working together, the collective efforts of the CED members resulted in the following outputs/outcomes:
- 275 small businesses and nonprofit organizations were connected to financial and technical assistance
- 67% of all the businesses/nonprofits assisted were minority owned or led
- 52% of the businesses / nonprofits assisted were women owned or led
- CED assisted businesses generated $65 million in gross revenues
- 1,477 jobs were created or retained
- CED members procured wage data on 1,363 jobs
- Of those that reported wages, 44% reported self-sufficiency wages of $13.10 an hour
- 133 loans / grants were leveraged totaling $2.3 million
- 4,015 hours of technical assistance were provided to New Orleans entrepreneurs
The vast majority of businesses/nonprofit organizations assisted was very small and met the definition of microenterprise. Two hundred of the 275 businesses assisted had 5 or fewer employees. Likewise, 234 had annual revenues of less than $1 million.