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The Enterprise Center just made its first equity investment

The Enterprise Center. April 6, 2016 Category: FeaturedFundingShort
The business community has called for more support for minority and women-owned businesses in the city. The Enterprise Center CDC is actually doing something about it.

The business accelerator and consulting service just closed its first equity investment for an undisclosed amount in Jidan Cleaning, a minority and woman-owned cleaning service that employs low-income and formerly incarcerated persons.

Jidan is based out of Medford, N.J., but has offices in the Navy Yard.

The funds were sourced from a grant awarded to the Enterprise Center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‘ Community Economic Development division. The capital was deployed from the Center’s Capital Corporation division and Performance Fund, which focuses on bridging funding gaps for high-performing businesses with lower growth potential.

According to Enterprise Center President Della Clark, the investment in Jidan is “the first of many” for the Center.

“It is important for minority businesses to understand the difference between financing your businesses through loans vs. investment through equity. One’s company cannot grow and scale on debt alone,” Clark said in a release. “The Enterprise Center is redefining the capital structure for minority enterprises by creating a sustainable pathway for equity inclusion and changing the perception of business growth.”

With the three-year equity investment, Jidan will look to grow its full-time staff by 14 and its part-time staff by 17 — 92 percent of which will be low-income individuals. According to founder Patricia Claybrook, Jidan currently employs five formerly incarcerated persons.

“Our mission or goal is to use Jidan Cleaning to help individuals change their lives by having gainful employment,” Claybrook said.

Claybrook said some of the investment will be used to generate more revenue for the decade-old business and elevate its brand awareness.

“We purchased our first commercial vehicle,” she said. “That alone we think is going to increase our brand awareness. We’re also using some of the investment to hire our first business development associate. Their main responsibility is to get us more business.”

From our Partners

Jidan has been working with the Enterprise Center for nearly three years, receiving business coaching and consultation. About a year ago, Claybrook said she was approached about the investment.

“This was a good opportunity for any small business,” she said. “That’s the number one challenge we all have — having the funds to do what we need to do to grow business.”

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