SEED Program Community Development Pilot: First STEP

First STEP: Operation SEED Pilot Project

SEED Development Group (SDG) has created the SEED Program, comprised of undertakings known as SEED Development Projects, where SEED is an acronym for Socio-Economic Empowerment through Democracy.

These projects exist to provide private non-profit community development organizations, educational institutions, public community and economic development agencies, and others that serve disadvantaged individuals and communities with specific tools that enable their constituents to become viable, self-sufficient citizens.

SDG’s primary property within SEED Development Projects is a comprehensive, holistic socio-economic community development program called Operation SEED. Operation SEED is designed to be implemented by a licensed community development agency (CDA) and an accredited institution of higher learning.

However, to establish the system, the CDA and LEI, jointly with SDG, plan to introduce a pilot Operation SEED project. Called First STEP, where STEP is an acronym for Socio-economic Training and Employment project.

First STEP will replicate selected program elements, thus demonstrating the viability of a full Operation SEED in a specially chosen local community, wherever poverty reduction through private business activity and gainful employment is required.


First STEP Project Details


First STEP has three basic operations. Executed in two interdependent phases over 35 months; they are:

  1. a Phase I
    1. i Phase I-a (2 months)
      (a) First STEP will administer an MSA Commercial Market Survey (MSACMS). A subset of the MSACMS will be a socio-economic study of the target neighborhood. In part, the latter analysis will identify resources, income sources, supply sources, and patterns of demand by local residents. It is anticipated that LEI students and some faculty will be pivotal during the data collection of Phase I-a and the analyses stages of this,  Phase I-a, and of Phase I-b. During Phase I-a, external-funding sources will be identified and contacted.  
    2. Phase I-b (3-months):
      (a) From intermediate analysis, First STEP will identify up to 100 potential business enterprises which respond to:  (i) community-based consumer demand, as reflected in patterns of income and consumption; (ii) community and ex-community manufacturing and wholesale demand; and, (iii) ex-community consumer demand. After further analysis, 30 “most- viable” ventures will be selected.  External startup funding will be secured.
  2. Phase II (30 months):
    1. From the 30 “most viable”, First STEP. will establish a specially designed incubation facility to launch six business enterprises.
    2. The first will be established during month 6; it will be designed to create 20 jobs. During month 9, the second firm will commence operations; job creation is expected to be 12.  
    3. Enterprises three and four during project months 15 and 20; expected job creation is 30 and 18, respectively. 
    4. Finally, enterprises five and six are expected to become operational during project months 27 and 32, creating 40 and 5 jobs, respectively.

Thus, by providing 125 permanent jobs within a specially selected, target neighborhood, the feasibility of a full, race- and region-neutral Operation SEED will be demonstrated.  





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