Social Return on Investment and what it means to this project

SROI, or Social Return on Investment, is a framework which seeks to analyze the total value of a social purpose enterprise — an enterprise which pursues both the business goal of generating profits and the social mission goal of its parent organization.

For investors it can mean up to a 3X return on your current hiring costs, with a reduced cost for pre-training that may be supplemented by the California Employment Training Panel.

The SROI framework considers the value created by the social purpose enterprise in its pursuit of each of these two goals, then combines these values to arrive at a complete understanding of the social purpose enterprise’s entire impact on society.

It then compares the value created for society to the value invested by society, from both private and public sources, arriving at a Social Return on Investment.

CityLab measures return on investment from three distinct perspectives.

1. First, it examines the financial value created (or cash generated) by the social purpose enterprise.
2. This model also examines social savings resulting from the increased tax revenues and the reduction in the use of public assistance programs by target employees.
3. These savings are compared to the total investment in the social purpose enterprise to determine the return on investment.


CityLab is a workforce development program offering a variety of services to eligible job seekers through regional Makerspaces (i.e. HackerLab, We Work, etc’ across the United States.

A hands-on, culturally relevant variation of the CISCO Academy IT Essentials coursework, CityLab is accredited by various local education agencies.

The program consists of project-based learning with a California state-certified apprenticeship program for select students who show success during the coursework.

CityLab is the only CISCO Academy provider in California coupled with a certified apprenticeship to help its students immediately apply their new skills to a paying employer.

By design, CityLab moves previously unskilled learners of all ages through both the conceptual and hands-on learning path of the IT Essentials coursework and into a paying job.

Because it is held in the “maker” focused environment of The TechShop, students of CityLab are introduced to many different applications of the coursework.

CityLab serves as a veritable laboratory of design, art, manufacturing, music, and entrepreneurship: hence the name, CityLab.  If you would like to know more, please complete the details below and we will be happy to connect with you.

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