13654 Victory Boulevard Suite 671 Van Nuys, California - 91401
United States Phone: 818-786-4494 Website: http://IACouncil.org
The mission of Inter-Agency Council is to inspire and equip women entrepreneurs to reach financial independence through profitable self-employment and small business ownership.
WHY SOUTH LOS ANGELES?
According to the 2000 US Census, this 50-square mile area formerly known as South Central, is home to approximately 750,000 people, about 60% of whom are Latino and 35% of whom are African American. Annual household income is $20,000 or less for 40% of the households there and only 8% of residents 25 and older have 4-year degrees.
The area has historically suffered the effects of ongoing racial profiling, gang activity, high crime rates, drug use, high unemployment, and poverty and was hard hit during the turmoil of the Watts Riots in 1965 and the Los Angeles Riots in 1992. Although the crime rate has decreased in recent years, it is still among the highest in the City of Los Angeles and troubling unemployment and poverty persists. The need for intervention is great in South LA as is the opportunity for community stakeholders who want to make a great difference toward improving Los Angeles where the need is greatest.
Despite challenging circumstances, the people of South LA continue to demonstrate incredible resilience and creativity as well as many other traits which give great cause for hope. Many initiatives focus on the attainment of jobs as a means of improving financial conditions in the area, which is a very positive step. However, higher levels of education or skills are often necessary to obtain adequate employment to transcend poverty status and achieve the desired quality of life. Equipping and supporting residents toward self-sufficiency through profitable self-employment is a critically important and powerful tool to bring to bear in the effort to facilitate greater financial gains. Although it may seem that employment is a more secure and obtainable option than risky small business ownership, with the right training and support, entrepreneurs can succeed and reach greater income potential than employment might offer. Helping residents to obtain financial literacy and entrepreneurial experience promises to encourage growth of sustainable and profitable small business ownership and hiring of employees to further improve prosperity in the area. Moreover, successful entrepreneurship offers a great sense of personal accomplishment and instills self-confidence, bringing emotional healing and empowerment as well as financial prosperity to the community.
Although percentages vary across the neighborhoods of South LA, the numbers of never-married males and females are among LA County's highest. For example, in the neighborhood known as Historic South Central, the rate of families headed by single parents (the vast majority of whom are mothers) was 25%, which is high for the city of Los Angeles and high for Los Angeles County. Equipping women to achieve financial independence is a promising strategy for improving the financial future of children in South LA.
On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles erupted in riots, the smoldering desperation of poverty and injustice finally reaching the boiling point and exploding into undeniable violence and vandalism. A total of 55 people lost their lives, as many as 2,000…