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Center for Service & Social Action

Several John Carroll University schools and centers of excellence are rallying around the challenge of how to end multigenerational poverty in Cleveland, where childhood poverty rates are some of the highest in the nation (48.7 percent of children under age 18 in Cleveland lived in poverty in 2017).

The Boler School of Leadership and Social Innovation and the JCU Center for Service and Social Action look to go beyond episodic service projects to sustained, microenterprise investments and business start-ups. The initial focus is within Cleveland’s St. Clair Superior Neighborhood.

Read more about the Center for Service and Social Action’s JCU in the City initiative. The goal is to deepen engagement between faculty, students and community partners, and to explore new place-based opportunities.

The Donnelly School of Leadership and Social Innovation sees the value of microbusinesses which provide, on average, 38% of their owners’ household incomes, according to a study from the Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning, and Dissemination (FIELD) at the Aspen Institute. Though the dollar amounts may be small, these additional incomes provide pathways by which families can exit poverty. Microbusinesses also create jobs that foster skill development, and often employ local residents who are disadvantaged or excluded from traditional labor markets, the same FIELD study showed.

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