An update about New Door's social enterprises

New Door Community,

We hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. As we watch the world recalibrate during this difficult time, we need to share an update about changes at New Door Ventures. Acknowledging that this was a deeply challenging decision, we are announcing that New Door will not reopen our social enterprises, Ashbury Images and Pedal Revolution, after shelter-in-place is lifted. The official closing date for both businesses is June 1. We will continue to provide employment and education programs for low-income, transition-age youth and continue to fight and work toward opportunity and economic mobility for all Bay Area youth.

New Door’s work for the last 20 years has always involved providing access to employment to low-income and disconnected young people, with Pedal Revolution and Ashbury Images operating as a means to that end. Job-creating social enterprises commonly operate at a loss and have a limited ability to grow to support larger numbers of employed clients.

COVID-19 has both forced and allowed us to take a step back and assess our organizational strengths and challenges to reopening and being able to serve more young people who will need support connecting to employment. The populations that New Door serves are being hit especially hard by this pandemic. In the coming weeks and months, we will see an increase in youth who need our programs to connect to employment and education and to earn wages to meet essential needs. As we considered how to maintain our strong program outcomes with a more scalable program model, we came to the difficult conclusion that owning and supporting these businesses is no longer a financially viable option.

We did not come to this decision lightly. Our social enterprises are an integral part of the New Door origin story. The opening of Ashbury Images in 1990 as a place for our clients to have meaningful work experiences clarified New Door’s mission and the belief that one job can change a life. Acquiring Pedal Revolution in 2001 marked our pivot to providing meaningful employment opportunities to disconnected youth with additional holistic services. As bittersweet as this news is, we are filled with gratitude for what these incredible social enterprises have allowed us to become, and for their role in paving the way for New Door’s critical future work:

  • Continuing to grow our Employment Program and partnering with local businesses and organizations to provide a wide range of job experiences for interns.
  • Continuing to grow our successful program in the East Bay, where are three times as many disconnected 16-24-year-olds as in San Francisco.
  • Providing a longer runway of services for our youth and supporting them in connecting to next jobs and financial security.

We are forever grateful for your support and are energized by the possibilities this transition will afford young people in our community. Please reach out with any questions and check our FAQ for additional context around our decision.

With Gratitude,

Omar Butler