Youth Impact Hub Oakland is a program at United Roots in partnership with Impact Hub Oakland and Youth SEED, the first “youth” Impact Hub in the world. Having launched in early 2015 with a Young Entrepreneurs Fellowship, the Youth Hub provides a collaborative workspace for young social innovators, offering programming and community networking while engaging businesses, agencies and organizations to support community led change. Youth participants receive professional mentorship from community volunteers, seed funding for their enterprises and are trained in job readiness through the creation of their own small business projects.
As is the case in many U.S. cities today, it often appears the deck is stacked against youth living in low-income areas of Oakland, California.
The city’s high school dropout rate is nearly 25 percent, while youth poverty has been rising, and youth employment decreasing, in recent years. The city’s youth are also at a heightened risk of violence, as Alameda County is home to one of California’s highest youth homicide rates.
Kamani Holmes, The Re-Entry Guide, Oakland, CA. Kamani Holmes provides incarcerated people with a publication that addresses issues such as gentrification, unemployment and education with the guidance and support required for an intentional re-entry process. Kamani Holmes believes that in order to decrease recidivism, we must first increase awareness. The project will use various art mediums, including photography, poetry and storytelling.
The stakes were high: a $1,000 investment in their Oakland businesses, and they only had an allotted amount of time to convince the judges their plans were feasible, well developed and socially responsible.
Eight entrepreneurs, all younger than 25, made their cases earlier this month at the Impact Hub’s Pitch Day. Some would receive the seed funding, others would have to go back to the drawing board…
Anyone can become an entrepreneur. But some have less access to the education, mentors and resources that can be a huge help in starting a business.
That’s why Youth Impact HUB Oakland aims to help the youth in low income areas of Oakland, California. Part of the Impact HUB network of co-working spaces around the country, Oakland’s Youth Impact program is the first of its kind in the network’s more than 60 locations. The program provides guidance and training regarding things like continuing education, job seeking and entrepreneurship.