Tuesday, February 9, 2010

GROWCalifornia: A Jobs Initiative That Will Work!

Over the past 18 months we've heard numerous theories about how to fix the economy and create jobs: launch a public works infrastructure initiative, heal the investment banking and commercial banking world, bail out the American auto industry, give citizens small tax refunds so they'll spend a few hundred dollars more on consumer goods. Thus far, these options haven't generated much traction.

Creating jobs is not complicated. Numerous studies over the past two decades have told us who creates the meaningful jobs in this country. It isn't the government, or big, multi-national corporations. It isn't the hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop shops that exist in every community across the country. Rather, it's a small number (3-4%) of entrepreneurial growth companies who create 70-100% of all net new jobs in the United States. Some are start-ups, others emerging growth companies, and still others existing market leaders. What is unique about entrepreneurial growth companies is their ability to innovate and to produce scalable products. Because they can tap large national or global markets, they bring new dollars into their community and state; increasing the overall economic pie rather than just redistributing it.

At Golden Capital Network (GCN), we plan to fill a leadership void and launch a jobs initiative called GROWCalifornia. We are implementing it on a region-by-region basis throughout California as we confirm local and regional partners who share our vision that entrepreneurial growth companies will create jobs. The objective of GROWCalifornia is to find the growth companies, recognize their important economic contributions, and provide them with access to the resources -- whether financial capital, industry expertise, customers and strategic partners, talent, or government programs -- they need to help them grow.

The GROWCalifornia process we have created enables us to quickly identify the companies in any community, and to capture important economic and job creation data from those companies. In January, a soft launch of GROWCalifornia tested 3 key hypotheses. First, could our system identify the growth companies. Second, would they provide us with jobs information and other relevant economic data. And, finally, would they tell us whether they have resource needs and would they like help in accessing the resources. The result was a success.

Over 60 companies signed up to participate in GROWCalifornia and provided us with information about their companies and their job projections and requirements. We learned about intriguing, and under-recognized, growth companies such as Fifth Sun, Auctiva, Mooney Farms , ProPacificFresh and Klean Kanteen. Companies that are each stamping an indelible economic signature on their community.

A majority of the companies who participated in the soft launch indicated they would be hiring new employees in the next quarter, and expected revenues to increase. We also learned that every company had at least one resource need and would welcome a warm referral by GCN to a service provider or capital source who could help them address that need. In our initial sample, over 150 referral requests were made by the companies. We are now in the process of proactively referring these companies to the initial members and sponsors of GROWCalifornia.

GCN is now ready to publicly launch GROWCalifornia to create jobs and wealth in the state by supporting the types of companies that have always been the economic "difference makers" - and the core of our mission. We will continue to do events, as bringing people together in a physical setting to network is always an important piece of the equation. But with GROWCalifornia we will assist growth companies, capital sources, service providers, and the public sector every single day of the year. A new model we are happy to bring forward.

I urge you to join GROWCalifornia and help lead the state out of our economic funk and create sustainable, meaningful jobs. The process is simple, and the value proposition is clear for each GROWCalifornia participant.

If you represent a growth company - small or large -- simply fill out our online survey twice a year. For your participation, we'll recognize your company as an elite contributor to the local and state economies, and help you get access to any key type of resource you are seeking. The data is kept strictly confidential and only presented in aggregate form. Click here to participate.

If you represent a capital resource, service provider or emerging growth company seeking to expand your visibility to other growth companies, contact me about being a Referral Network Member or GROWCalifornia sponsor. Every two weeks we'll pass on to you growth company referrals who are seeking services or capital in your area of expertise or particular sector of interest. If you become a sponsor, we'll provide heightened visibility for you to a target audience. We are limiting the number of participants per area of expertise to maximize the impact for participants.

If you represent a job creation, workforce investment, or commerce-related organization or government agency, you should consider being a local, regional or statewide partner of GROWCalifornia. If your mission is to find jobs and put people to work, we have a turnkey solution for you.

It is time for us to move beyond the rhetoric of 2009 and into action in 2010. I look forward to working with you to create jobs.

Call 530-893-8828 for more information or e-mail us at growcal@goldencapital.net

Should your growth company be a part of GROWCalifornia? Click here

Click here to see a list of Butte County companies involved