Youth Business America
The Althea Foundation was the founding donor and investor of Youth Business America, Inc. (YBA), a hybrid micro-finance venture fund with a banking license. The organisation, which employed an incubator model to cultivate exceptional start-up companies in the Bay Area, also held a banking license to facilitate measured investment intended to scale successful ideas. YBA was the U.S. affiliate of Youth Business International, a network providing financing and mentorship to young people.
YBA's three-year pilot program, with support from the Arthur Guinness Fund, Barclays Capital and The Kaufman Foundation provided financing and mentorship to local startups, many of which would not have obtained funds from other lenders or investors in 2009 during the financial crisis. In addition to funding,the Althea Foundation provided in-kind support and technical advice.
YBA merged with the Oakland Business Development Corporation in 2013, renamed Main Street in 2017.