Working Toward College

Working Toward College

Juma Ventures, one of the country’s largest youth-run social enterprises and the first to provide financial literacy and matched savings accounts to teens, creates hundreds of jobs for low-income students each year and provides an array of supports to ensure that those students succeed in college and in their careers.


Juma’s core insight is that the world’s greatest social service program is a job. A job is about more than a paycheck. At a job, you learn to show up on time, take personal responsibility, and become a leader. There’s dignity in work, and evidence shows that early employment correlates with better paying careers later in life.
Founded in 1993, Juma Ventures began with a single Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream franchise in San Francisco that provided jobs to 25 homeless youth. Today, Juma is a strategic youth development organization and social enterprise promoting the work readiness, asset development, and educational attainment of 700 low-income youth annually.


“Juma Ventures is much more than a support program, Juma Ventures is a family,” said Bryan V., a Juma student and the Correspondence Coordinator for the Juma Junior Leadership Council. “Growing up without either of my parents and being in ‘temporary households’ I’ve never had an adequate amount of support. Before Juma I was failing classes, did not have college eligibility, and lacked drive. Receiving the academic, emotional, and professional support from Juma has enabled me to excel in leadership positions, become college eligible, and earn a merit from the City Heights City Council which acknowledges my efforts to improve the community. My various leadership and peer-ship roles are a result of the drive that Juma has instilled in me, so that I can become a voice of my community and pillar of support for others. With Juma, I’ve learned to work with my circumstances and become the best version of myself that I can be.”


Juma Ventures joined Social Enterprise Alliance in 2006 to share with others in the social enterprise field and help expand opportunities to all involved. At a time when youth employment is at an historic low and debt from student loans is at an all-time high, Juma believes in the potential for social enterprise to impact low-income youth and alleviate poverty through job creation.


To learn more about Juma Ventures, click here to view their member directory profile.

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