oakland workforce development

Oakland Workforce Investment Board – a city organization helping employees and employers get matched up in Oakland. On the surface it sounds like a lot of dysfunctional city bureaucracy, but maybe there is something here. Need to look into it further.

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same idea, different clientele

TWO ROOMS – A work space for freelance moms. Or at least it used to be. Their website is still working but it looks like their physical space is closed for the time being. I wonder what happened?

The main idea (from their website): “Parents work and children play at a facility designed to meet the needs of the growing population of freelance workers who are parents – a group that requires flexibility, professional resources and childcare. Our mission is to provide a comfortable and complete work environment for parents, with quality childcare on site, to give parents and children the room they need to be creative and productive.”

Childcare + Office Space – their tagline “You work, they play.”

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brothers with money

Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge

My brother found this. They have ALOT of money and very open guidelines. But their deadline is December 31!

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thinking WAY ahead

PacificCare Foundation – I heard an underwriting message about these guys on KQED. They are a health care provider that gives grants to various organizations… not exactly useful at the moment but worth filing away.

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help from politicians?

While it looks like Aimee Allison is not going to defeat Pat Kernighan in the District 2 City Council race, she still might be a helpful ally in developing a small business in Oakland.

From her campaign website:

Support Small and Local Businesses
• Adopt a plan to attract retail that will include development of key neighborhood business districts like the Grand Lake, Eastlake, Chinatown, and 23rd Avenue
• Encourage Oaklanders to develop independent businesses
• Provide marketing and promotions grant and loans to merchant associations
• Encourage successful, well run small businesses to open a second or third site in Oakland (e.g. coffee shops/restaurants)

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how could I forget

The Grotto – home of Po Bronson and other freelance superstars. It’s an amazing organization with one major problem – it’s exclusive to folks who are already relatively established in the freelance world.

Here’s an article by Po Bronson about writer communities.

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this one is fun – nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo – These guys sponsor National Novel Writing Month, challenging folks to write a 175-page novel between November 1 and November 30. But more than that, they are trying to create a community of writers who would otherwise be alone in their rooms/offices/local cafes. The founder, Chris Baty, is an Oakland-based freelance writer.

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other resources and possible supporters

Craigslist Foundation – the non-profit branch of craigslist which provides resources and workshops for other non-profits. My friend Wendy knows the Executive Director, Darian Heyman. They do a non-profit boot camp every year in SF and NYC. I missed it this year, but I might make it a goal to attend the SF camp next summer.

Incubator.com is not exactly the kind of support I’m looking for, but who knows… maybe we can draw these hi-tech/startup-focused investors over to the non-for-profit side. Plus, this organization is based in Rensselaer, NY, so maybe they’d be willing to make an exception for a hometown girl. (Or maybe we can skip the whole non-profit thing and go for the big bucks!)

Here’s google search for “bay area incubator.” I haven’t had time to look through these carefully yet.

And here’s a google search for “east bay incubator.” Some good stuff in here about local businesses.

EastBay Works is primarily a career search organization, but there’s some good stuff here about starting your own business.

Oakland Chamber of Commerce – I don’t think my idea will be as appealing to Mayor Jerry Brown as, say, a shiny new big box store, but he’s on his way out anyway… This site includes a Small Business Resource Directory.

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money, money, money

I know there are a lot of places that give money to non-profits – the trick will be finding a good match. Here’s the beginning of a list of possibilities:

  1. Saratoga Foundation (for women)
  2. Charity Navigator – matching givers with getters
  3. National Endowment for the Arts (long shot)
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possible locations

My favorite space is at 23 Grand at Broadway. It’s next to Front Gallery, down the street from Luka’s TapRoom, and right across from a soon-to-be completed apartment/retail space currently called Broadway Grand. It’s 2000 square feet and costs $3500/month. I have no idea how reasonable that is for the size. Need to do more research here.

There’s another space on the corner of Broadway and Grand that’s 5000 square feet and $9000/month, but I think that’s a little too big/expensive. 🙂

The leasee for both of these spaces is Shahla Davoudi, owner of Elite Reprographics which is on the same block. We exchanged messages a few times and I’m sure I could set up a meeting with her if it came to that. (p. 415.957.1234)

There’s also a space available at 3237 Grand, right near the Grand Lake Theater. It’s $1200/month and it’s quite small (don’t know the square feet) – right next to a discount mattress place. I went to talk to someone there and they were pretty sketchy. But I won’t rule it out – especially for that price. (p. 510-432-0500)

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