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Starbucks' plan: leverage customer donations as equity, to in turn create microloans for small businesses.

Starbucks is about to turn you into a loan officer.

We’re a little short on jobs here in Amurica. Not that you need convincing, but here’s the latest report on it from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, what to do? Well, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, did some thinking and came up with the following scenario:

  • Small businesses created over 65% of the new jobs in the past 15 years.
  • Small businesses employ over half of all private sector workers.
  • More than 1 in 3 small businesses say they can’t get financing for new projects and to hire new workers.

It’s no secret that small businesses create the foundation for a strong, stable, and prosperous economy. But because banks are really reluctant to hand out money these days, it’s time to find a new way to jumpstart the core of our job-creating-machine. Here’s how Starbucks plans to make it happen:

  • Customer donates $1 to Starbucks’ Create Jobs for USA fund.
  • By using each dollar as capital, it becomes a large amount of equity that can be leveraged 7 to 1 in order to bring money to small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions, or CFDIs.
  • If you donate $5, you receive a snazzy little bracelet (shown)
  • As more people donate, the equity grows and grows…if one million people donate $1, that’s $7 million in real money that can and will be loaned to underserved communities.

The snazzy new bracelet you'll get for $5.

Starbucks has already pledged $5 million. That means $35 million in real financial investments. And it’s urging other companies to jump on board with the “indivisible” idea as well.

We have grown hopeless to the thought of our government having any answer to the current situation that we’re in, and given that we’re still being forced to sit through debate after debate between candidates for an election that’s over a year away, it’s clear that the people in control aren’t making it a priority to really light a fire under the nation to join together to figure this mess out.

Starbucks’ plan goes around that problem. It also uses a proven method of marketing–viral bracelet advertisement–for a cause that, unlike Livestrong campaigns or other health-related campaigns, is actually one hundred percent a matter of money. Unemployment is curable.

Also: their caramel apple spice is amazing.

Activism + Politics


About The Author

Jason Wire

Jason Wire graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and spent the year after writing and teaching English in Spain. He's back in the states now, but doesn't know where. Follow him @wirejr.

  • AceTracer

    I was hoping this would be something more like Lending Club, which I would be a part of if I could but I’m not eligible both do to my location and income. 

  • Kizz

    I’m confused…I thought the reason why small businesses shouldn’t have to pay taxes like I do is because they are creating jobs…now they haven’t been able to create jobs because they can’t get financing?  I have so many hands in my wallet right now…I do believe in sharing my good fortune, I have a roof over my head and food on my table (might make me a socialist but oh well) but I just don’t know about this.  I think they need to go to some other sources before they come to the people making $42k a year YET AGAIN

  • Correct

    Wait, when you say “donate” you mean give Starbucks money so they can lend it and charge interest on the money…so, donate really means help Starbucks Investment Bank get off the ground. Instead of selling stock, they are asking for donations, Brilliant!

  • Eric Haney

    This being linked from Žižek’s bit about destroying with one hand what you pretend to heal with the other is beyond Irony… Maybe they could stop preying on those businesses and just leave it at that? Or serving coffee that isn’t roasted with rocket fuel. I’d take that too.

  • StarSucks

    A company who’s strategy has always been to eliminate small local businesses and multiply themselves like cockroaches to infest towns with their bad coffee and low wages… hmmm I’d donate a dollar for them to give their employees a living wage and stop devouring local business… or to just stop trading entirely would be even better

  • shimashuhab

    Learn how to make 50 bucks every day at your home Just go here surveymoneymaker dot net

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