What We Do > CA RISE
Launched in 2023, CA RISE (California Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise) marks the nation’s first statewide capital and capacity-building investment in employment social enterprises.
In partnership with the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), REDF serves as program lead for this $25 million investment and will deliver customized technical assistance to businesses across the state that employ, train, and support talented Californians overcoming barriers to employment.
Together, these capital and capacity investments will grow the sector – and accelerate economic inclusion and mobility across California.
Funded in part through a Grant with the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.
An employment social enterprise (ESE) is a for-profit or non-profit organization that earns revenue through the sale of a good or service produced by employees overcoming barriers to work. Each entity should have a stated mission that they exist specifically for the purpose of providing employment, training, and supportive services to people overcoming barriers to work. Program outcomes are just as important as business outcomes to ESEs.
CA RISE provides grant capital paired with technical assistance to support the growth of employment social enterprises in California.
ESEs selected for CA RISE through a competitive grant process will receive a one-time grant of between $100,000 – $500,000 to support investments related to the sustainable growth of their business, increased economic mobility among their participant employees, or, in some cases, both. (Grant award amounts will be determined by the ESE’s operating budget. Ranges and corresponding grant award amounts will be detailed at the time of the application release.)
In addition to grant funding, all CA RISE grantees will receive customized, in-depth capacity building in the areas of sustainable growth and economic mobility. Grantees will have access to:
In line with our commitment to advance the employment social enterprise sector at large, REDF will connect grantees with local public partners, training providers, and private sector employers. In partnership, we can significantly expand opportunities for people overcoming barriers to employment – and build an economy that works. For everyone.
Key Program Dates (subject to change):
CA RISE Program Fact Sheet
If you have additional questions about the CA RISE program, please contact our team.
Organizations interested in learning more and applying for CA RISE, must attend the CA RISE Program Webinar on Thursday, September 28, and submit the pre-application for eligibility. If you are unable to attend live, the webinar will be recorded and shared here for later viewing. Please note that attending or viewing the webinar is a required step in the application process.
Additional information about the full application and review process will be released in October.
If you have questions about the CA RISE program, please contact our team.
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Explore our other government partnerships designed to grow and strengthen the national field of employment social enterprises.
CA RISE is exactly what we need to help those who were formerly incarcerated and homeless find employment. It’s an investment in revenue-generating jobs and businesses, in developing our workforce, and ensuring that all Californians get a fair chance at economic opportunity.
Assemblymember Kevin McCartyD-Sacramento
CalOSBA’s mission is to increase economic mobility through entrepreneurship. Employment social enterprises have a proven track record of achieving that objective through employment and on-the-job training. We are confident that REDF’s deep expertise will support the work of each CA RISE participant and further the Governor’s vision of a California For All. We are excited to launch this first-in-the-nation effort in partnership with REDF and Lendistry.
Tara Lynn GrayDirector, CalOSBA
July 1, 2022
By Maria Kim on September 7, 2023
By Maria Kim on August 30, 2023