Creating Meaningful Jobs in Inland Southern California
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“When I started my business in 2009 I had zero knowledge of starting a business. I attended a workshop and participated in monthly business consulting offered by the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center. Now SocializeLA has helped over 1,000 companies through our services, workshops, events, and online courses. Over the past 12 years, we have created about 20 jobs and I’m proud to share that two of my six team members have been with me for almost 5 years.”
Micro-Businesses Create Jobs
In 2019, the 103 microenterprises responding to the survey created 197 full-time jobs and
117 part-time jobs.
The average wage for full-time jobs was about $18 per hour, while the average wage for part-time jobs was almost $13 an hour.
The full-time wages are in line with pay scales for other small businesses in California. The average wage for small firms across California in 2017 was $19. 38 per hour. 5
It appears that many micro-business owners would like to hire more employees, but do not have the
sales to support additional staff. (Figure 1)
Most employees of the businesses surveyed fell into the 55- 65 age bracket. This is slightly older than the average for small businesses across the state, where workers ages 25-54 account for about two-thirds of the workforce. (Figure 2)
Micro-businesses create jobs – good jobs – in the U.S.
economy. According to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the national association of micro-business development organizations, micro-businesses1 in the United States employed almost 35 million people or about 22% of private sector employment2. The field of micro-business development is devoted to providing business services such as training, counseling, and microloans to help these businesses launch and grow. The nonprofits and government agencies providing these services had been focused on helping the business owners, often low or moderate-income women or people of color, increase income and build assets. Recently, business development programs are exploring how to help these business owners take the leap to become employers and create quality jobs for the economy.
The work done by the Aspen Institute with the Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs initiative3 looks deeper into the quality of those jobs created by microenterprises. This study is modeled on that work and takes a closer look at the jobs created by micro-businesses in the Inland Southern California region AND at the quality of those jobs. This information informed the development of special programs that focused on helping business owners gain skills to become employers and grow businesses to create jobs while expanding income and contributing to the local economy.
Surveys were sent to 1,238 clients of the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center and Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center. Responses were received from 103 micro-business owners. This research report looks at the quality of jobs created by micro-businesses and the barriers that may prevent a business owner from becoming an employer. The economic value of business to business transactions with local contractors who are micro-business owners themselves is also noted here.
This study has another point of interest. Responses were collected just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February of 2020, before the mandated business shutdowns that followed. This data can serve as a baseline for employer needs and behavior of micro-businesses in Inland Southern California and could be used as a comparative dataset to see how micro-businesses recover to pre- COVID-19 levels. This information also guides the business services development that supports the re-tooling of business models so employers can operate successfully within a changed environment and hire or re-hire to aid with the economic recovery.
This project was brought together by the Microenterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California and the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center.
Download the report to learn more about the value of micro-businesses in Inland Southern California.