The public image of corporations has soured during the financial crisis. The boom of the 1990s created a national climate in which corporate brands were held up as national icons. But once the bubble burst, and executives were seen as breaching the public trust in the interest of their companies' bottom line, their brands suffered as a result. Of late, that rage has taken the form of the Occupy movement, which is seeing citizens swell urban spaces to blame corporations for inequality and lack of employment in America, among other grievances.
While most American corporations have long promoted volunteer efforts, coffee giant Starbucks has just announced a project specifically aimed at creating jobs. The Seattle-based company will be donating $5 million to the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) in a bid to boost employment through microfinancing, according to a report on mediabistro.com.