Launched in 2023, the California Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (CA RISE) marks the nation’s first statewide capital and capacity-building investment in employment social enterprises.


What is an employment social enterprise?

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. The ESEs selected for CA RISE through a competitive grant process received a one-time grant of between $100,000 – $500,000 to support investments related to the sustainable growth of their business or increased economic mobility among their participant employees.

​CalOSBA administers the program with national advocate and leader in the employment social enterprise field, REDF. REDF provides grantees with:

  • cohort-based and one-to-one customized technical assistance;
  • cohort-based training on two learning tracks: Sustainable Growth and Economic Mobility;
  • a suite of tools and learning modules on REDFworkshop;
  • assistance enrolling in additional government programs (for example, SNAP Employment & Training)
  • relationship management from a REDF staff member; and
  • peer consulting from other local employment social enterprises.

California Office of the Small Business Advocate
1325 J Street, Suite 1800
Sacramento, CA 95814
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