This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 1 through 13.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better.

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 1 through 13.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Mean Business
Date: September 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Erin Morris | emorris@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Join us for our monthly Women Mean Business series. This month, meet Renaissance client and success story Judi Henderson, the founder and owner of Mannequin Madness in Oakland. She will share her unconventional entrepreneurial journey and her tips for success to aspiring business owners. Enjoy networking and a light dinner catered by Love and Hummus—another Renaissance program graduate!

Click here to register for this event.

Minority Women’s Business Conference
Date: September 6, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Forager Tasting Room & Eatery
420 S. 1st St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: (916) 446-7883
Organization: CalAsian Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $35

Did you know: 70% of Women-Owned Businesses have annual receipts of less than $25,000 and only 10% have employees – and minority women-owned businesses only account for 14% of the revenue.

Join the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce and National ACE as we bring together professional women throughout the State of California for interactive panel discussions from successful entrepreneurial women of color.

Participate in our discussion on methods and strategies towards strengthening leadership skills in business, career, and life from an entrepreneurial perspective. Network with a group of minority women business owners, political figures, and community and non-profit leaders all empowering one another.

Industry titans are joining us to create change for minority women business owners:

  • Political leaders including California State Controller Betty Yee
  • Business leaders including Walmart U.S. eCommerce Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jamie Chung
  • Tech leaders including Google TDM Program Manager Lucy Tice

Click here to register for this event.

Exploring Business Ownership: What Does it Take to Start a Business?
Date: September 12, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Starting a business can be scary. Like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are the higher chance of a positive outcome. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever wondered what makes a successful business owner?
  • Are entrepreneurs born with special skills or are they something you can learn?
  • Are you thinking about starting a business or turning a hobby into an income?
  • Do you wonder if you have what it takes or if your idea or service would sell?

Next, join this free course to prepare your roadmap for business start-ups. Together we’ll achieve:

  • Understanding the mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • Exploring the different types of businesses as well as legal structures
  • Comprehending common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Discovering why conducting a feasibility study is like packing the right supplies for a trip

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Restaurant Resource Council: Winning Restaurant Marketing Plans
Date: September 4, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn how to establish a restaurant marketing plan through email advertising campaigns and Facebook advertising.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: September 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

The legal structure of your business impacts the time and the cost to launch, as well as ongoing compliance requirements. Learn from an attorney about which form of organization your business could take and the tax consequences and benefits of each type of structure.

Click here to register for this event.

Access to Capital
Date: September 12, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: The Big House
180 E. 35th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284 ext 242
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

If you’re confused by the options for where to get capital for your new business and looking for answers join PACE Business Development Center for this free workshop. Entrepreneurs, startups, and growing small businesses are welcome to join us as we navigate the complex world of access to capital.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using Census Data to *SizeUp* Your New or Existing Business
Date: September 4, 2018 | 10:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: 404-331-0100
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Office
Fee: Free

Census data is an essential tool for entrepreneurs at any stage to get started or grow their business. Join this free webinar and learn: 

  • Use industry trends to successfully plan, jump start, and run your business
  • Use NAICS codes to locate and zoom in on business opportunities
  • Use verifiable industry analysis and census data to accelerate your business
  • Use census data to learn your industry, measure your business, and find growth opportunities

Click here to register for this event.

Establish Your Business Brand Online and In the Community—Part 1
Date: September 6, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

“I didn’t know you existed!” If you have ever heard this—or never want to hear this—from your customers, this free webinar is for you. Join us to discuss:

  • Branding: What it means and how to create an effective brand for your business
  • Marketing: How to promote your brand using a marketing plan
  • Promotion: How to find affordable methods to establish your business brand online and in your community

Click here to register for this event. To register for part 2 all about content marketing, click here.

Grow Smart: Wealth Building Tactics for Small Business Owners
Date: September 11, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Mary Overbey
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Entrepreneurship can be a path to wealth and prosperity. However, it’s important to remember that wealth is not just income—it also includes financial assets like stocks or bank accounts and non-financial assets like cars and property.

Small Business Majority invites you to a free interactive webinar to help you navigate your retirement options and discover wealth building tactics for your small business.

In this presentation, we will discuss topics to help build wealth as a small business owner:

  • Growing your business’s cash reserves
  • Setting up a small business retirement plan
  • Fostering a culture of savings at your business
  • Identifying financial planning tools
  • Building wealth as a small business owner using key tactics
  • Addressing the U.S. retirement savings gap and how small business can be part of the solution
  • Utilizing guides to workplace-based retirement plans for small business owners and the self-employed
  • Locating helpful tools and resources
  • And more

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Food trucks have never been hotter, but when it comes to starting a mobile-based business, you have options outside of a grill on wheels. Keep reading to discover ideas and learn how your small business can get rolling.

Food trucks have never been hotter, but when it comes to starting a mobile-based business, you have options outside of a grill on wheels. Keep reading to discover ideas and learn how your small business can get rolling.

 

Why Consider a Mobile Business?

You’ve probably heard about the food truck boom in America and for good reason: there are estimated three million food trucks in the United States. From taco trucks and hot dogs on wheels to gourmet fusion cuisine, mobile food has only grown in popularity. Why? It is cheaper to start a food truck than to open a physical restaurant, especially in expensive metropolitan areas.

Your brick-and-mortar business can only reach so many customers in your area and even less if you’re an ecommerce business. With so much competition in the market, your small business can stand out if it expands to the mobile business world. Imagine taking your clothing boutique to a flea market,

10 Mobile Ideas For Your Small Business That Isn’t a Food Truck

Food isn’t the only industry that can be put inside a truck. Many years ago, Lava Mae ignited a mobile hospitality trend through their Radical Hospitality™ idea. Lava Mae repurposed old transportation trucks into showers and restrooms for the homeless in San Francisco. This nonprofit saw a need that wasn’t being met and filled it.

Foxy Roxy saw a need for mobile pet grooming and started  their business despite not knowing anything about pet grooming. Now with the help of Opportunity Fund loans, they are rapidly growing and running to keep up with demand for their services.

Here are some ideas for a mobile business that will inspire you to expand your business:

  1. Arts and crafts. Run an art school or art supply store? Take your business to festivals and fairs where you can teach children to make small crafts in your truck. Not every mobile business needs to be an exact copy of your main business.
  2. Florist. Farmer’s markets and street fairs are the perfect opportunity to reach customers who might not otherwise consider buying flowers. Not to mention universities where students are looking for convenient flowers for Valentine’s Day.
  3. Personal Grooming. Nail salons, barber shops, eyelash extensions, makeup, and many other salon services could be great ideas for a traveling business.
  4. Car Wash or Oil Change. We’re sure that some of your clients would love having their car detailed while they’re at work.
  5. Pet grooming. Like Foxy Roxy, your mobile pet business could be very successful. Think of how much demand there is outside pet stores and dog parks.
  6. Clothing boutique. From vintage to haute couture, if you sell clothes you can put them in a truck.
  7. Photo booth. Are you a photographer, party planner, or prop maker? People love selfies, but they love photo booths and Instagrammable scenes even more.
  8. Packaged food. Recently, Vega Protein opened a truck that offered samples and sold full sized products are skateboarding competitions and other fitness opportunities. Just because your small business doesn’t cook, doesn’t mean you can’t still sell your products on-the-go.
  9. Body art. Tattoos, facepaint, and henna are all possible ideas for mobile business.
  10. Book store. Do you own a independent bookstore, zine stand or a publishing business? Fight back against big book chains and take reading on the road.

Get Your Mobile Business Rolling

Check out our blog post on starting a food truck. Even if you aren’t going the food route, the same advice applies.

Need to finance your expansion? Opportunity Fund offers affordable food truck and commercial vehicle loans – take a look today.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Doc’s business grew thanks to the support of his family every step of the way. When he needed a small business loan to build a food truck, Opportunity Fund was there with fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business financing. Now with two trucks and a new restaurant opening soon, Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop is bigger than ever.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Doc’s business grew thanks to the support of his family every step of the way. When he needed a small business loan to build a food truck, Opportunity Fund was there with fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business financing. Now with two trucks and a new restaurant opening soon, Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop is bigger than ever.

Family is Everything

Derek “Doc” Taylor started Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop in Modesto in 2006. He started by cooking out at family reunions for years, then took his can’t-miss barbecue out to a gas station parking lot on Highway 132. His barbecue tent on the main thoroughfare through town attracted so much attention over the Labor Day weekend that people were lining up for food before the end of the week.

“The gas station owners wanted to sell hot food,” he said. “I’d just finished doing a family reunion, so I had all my stuff: the tents, refrigerators, and the fixings.”

Doc’s claim to fame is “great Q on 132,” but his business has outgrown its humble beginnings. Doc has since moved to a brick and mortar location in a building he bought–”my former competition” he said with a laugh–and has two food trucks on the road. His restaurant is a staple among the tourist crowds traveling to Yosemite. He works alongside his family every day, including his wife, children, and nephew. His grandson’s baby picture is even featured in the restaurant logo.

Doc bases his business on family and community, but even as Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop was thriving, it wasn’t easy for him to find financing to expand his business.

Going Places

Doc needed a small business loan to build a food truck for Super Bowl weekend in 2016. Almost 90 miles away from the game site in Santa Clara, Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop was ground zero for Central Valley football fans. “I learned that Opportunity Fund finances food trucks,” Doc said. “I got in contact with you and got approved.”

Opportunity Fund loan consultant Madieu Shyllon helped close a loan of $4,000 in November 2015 for Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop. The loan gave him a trustworthy lending resource to help grow his business.

“I needed cash flow to keep the business going,” Doc said. “I made improvements around the restaurant. Without the loan, I would have walked away from the business. I didn’t know where I could get the cash.”

Doc's Q'in Pit Stop

We helped Doc get his food trucks on the road with our small business loans (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

Doc chose us for the fast financing, personal service, and easy repayment terms. He made the trip to our San Jose office to pick up his check for his second loan of $17,000 in January 2016. “I needed the money right away,” he said. “I never worry about how to pay it back. I pay directly from my bank account.”

Doc took out his third loan with us in February 2018 for $25,000. The working capital is helping Doc’s Q’in Pit Stop expand again, this time to a shopping center in nearby Patterson. Doc has an advantage even before the shopping center breaks ground. “I’ve worked the Patterson farmer’s market for 10 years, so I’m bringing my restaurant to my customer base out there,” he said.

We’re proud to support hard working entrepreneurs like Doc and we’re honored to watch his family-owned and operated business thrive.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

For Immediate Release

OPPORTUNITY FUND, THE NATION’S LEADING NONPROFIT SMALL BUSINESS LENDER, LAUNCHES DISCOUNT LOAN CAMPAIGN FOR WOMEN SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

San Francisco, CA – Opportunity Fund, the largest nonprofit lender to small businesses in California and national leader for the microfinance movement, announced today a campaign to identify, educate, mentor, and provide access to capital for women-owned small businesses. 

The campaign, Opportunity Fund Empowering Women (OFEW), ofew.org, offers an affordable and responsible working capital loan that rewards borrowers with 2% off the annual interest rate when they apply for free mentoring*, which is shown to have a significant long-term impact on business revenue.  Borrowers who still want a loan but decline mentoring receive 1% off the annual interest rate. 

OFEW loan review is holistic and considers the borrower’s personal experience and business knowledge, and no prior credit history is required. Small women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs with as little as one year in business can receive funding in two to five days, once approved. Loan amounts range from $ 5,000 up to $ 100,000. 

“By ensuring that women have equal opportunity to succeed as business founders and owners we help strengthen communities, families and local economies. Our mission is to address inequities in access to transparent, affordable credit that limit opportunities for women.” said Luz Urrutia, CEO, Opportunity Fund. 

OFEW borrowers who apply for mentoring can select from one of the campaign’s preferred community partners: Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and Downtown Business Hub serving the San Joaquin Valley; Women’s Business Center at Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) serving Siskiyou, Shasta, Trinity and Humboldt Counties; and Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) serving Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties. For borrowers in these and other areas of the state, BusinessAdvising.org will provide mentoring support. 

“Though our Community Partners program we identified like-minded nonprofits who have earned trust and established expertise helping small businesses in their communities throughout the state,” said Daniel Fernandez, Director of Microlending. “They provide technical assistance and business mentoring to ensure small business owners borrow responsibly and have a strong support system.”

Women-owned Small Business Snapshot:

  • Women-owned businesses account for 39% of all U.S. firms, but receive only 16% of all traditional business loans.
  • Women of color lead four out of ten small businesses. 
  • Latina-owned businesses have grown 137% since 2006. 

“Access to responsible capital is the lifeblood of a business, and the barriers to affordable credit for women must be honestly addressed and confronted,” added Gwendy Donaker Brown, Vice President of Research and Policy.  “Opportunity Fund has a long history of seeking policy change that supports equity and economic opportunity. We see this campaign as a complement to our mission.”

OFEW is part of a broad initiative by Opportunity Fund to build a community and develop resources to support women’s economic empowerment. Currently in development, Opportunity Fund’s CEO Luz Urrutia is building a group of advisors to assess the landscape on what Opportunity Fund can do to deepen its support for women entrepreneurs by developing our own financial products and services and identifying partners in the community to provide complimentary support services.

For more information about Opportunity Fund Empowering Women, visit ofew.org. 

*All loan applications are subject to credit review.  2% discount applies when applicants sign up for technical assistance through OFEW partners. Opportunity Fund is an Equal Opportunity Lender and is a California licensed lender #6050609.  Offer good until grant funds are depleted.

Opportunity Fund believes that small amounts of money and financial advice can help people make permanent and lasting change in their own lives, driving economic mobility and building stronger communities. Since 1994, Opportunity Fund has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. As the nation’s largest nonprofit CDFI supporting small businesses, Opportunity Fund provided more than 2,000 loans to underserved small businesses owners last year, totaling $65 million in investments that created and sustained 6,300 jobs. www.OpportunityFundLoan.org.

Download the Press Release

Pay-per-click options like Yelp and Google Adwords may seem cheap up front, but it’s best to understand what you’re getting into before you hand over your credit card information to buy ad views. Read how much affordable advertising really costs and how to maximise your marketing budget.

Pay-per-click options like Yelp and Google Adwords may seem cheap up front, but it’s best to understand what you’re getting into before you hand over your credit card information to buy ad views. Read how much affordable advertising really costs and how to maximise your marketing budget.

 

How Much Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Actually Costs

How does PPC work? You create an ad online and pay a small amount each time someone clicks on it. Depending on how large of an audience you want to reach and how popular your business’ category is, you could pay more or less for each click. Other companies bid on this ad space, so set bid limits on your ads and resist the urge to keep increasing your limit because a competitor bumped your ad.

Paying for clicks through services like Google Adwords or Yelp is actually complicated to determine your return on investment (ROI). You can pour hundreds of dollars into an ad campaign – paying for dozens of visits to your website – and only convert a handful of sales. Unless you have a stellar website and attractive products, you might be disappointed to find that PPC ads aren’t very effective for your business. And even if you do, some sites like Yelp make it especially difficult to track the ROI of your Yelp ads.

This method can be even less effective for small businesses that aren’t ecommerce-based. It is nearly impossible to track how many customers eat at your restaurant because they saw your ad. You’ll need to get creative. For example, many restaurants offer free products or a coupon for checking in on Yelp.

More Advertising Alternatives

Whether you’re ready to invest the money and test PPC ads or you’ve decided it isn’t the best option for your small business, here are some alternatives to popular PPC ad campaigns. See which options are manageable for you, try them out, and analyze the most effective advertising strategy for your unique business.

  • Local community boards: Tacking up flyers in local coffee shops, cafes, and libraries are an easy way to advertise your business for little to no money. Use this space to promote events, contests, sales, and coupons your small business is offering.
  • Micro influencers: We’ve written before about how you can utilize social influencers to promote your small business, and this method is only getting more popular. Read our blog post for more information, but the main idea is that you can pay people who have influence over others to promote your business for a small fee or free products.
  • Business Directories: While not strictly considered ads, getting your business listed in online and local directories is an effective way to increase brand awareness and attract customers. Popular sites such as Yelp are good places to start, and consider looking into chambers of commerce and local business directories.
  • Guerilla marketing: Using covert methods of advertising is gaining in popularity and notoriety. While we do not recommend following big brands’ in illegal and ethically ambiguous stunts, there are still effective and inexpensive ways your business can use guerilla marketing. Try sidewalk chalk, wall murals (with permission from the property owner),  creative decals, paying for someone’s coffee and handing them a business card, etc. Always consult your legal advisor before executing any guerilla marketing campaigns.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from August 16 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California.

Here are the best upcoming events from August 16 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

San Joaquin Small Business Resource Workshop
Date: August 21, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 21991 Colorado Ave. San Joaquin, CA 93660 (map it)
Contact: Eduardo Gonzalez | edgonzalez@csufresno.edu | (559) 278-0542
Organization: San Joaquin Rural Development Center
Fee: Free

Join Opportunity Fund and other Fresno area small business organizations at San Joaquin Small Business Resource Workshop presented by Fresno State Small Business University. Together with these organizations, we will share information on small business resources and technical assistance to help you get on the path to business ownership, improve your existing business, or help your business grow!

The following organizations are scheduled to present:

  • Opportunity Fund
  • City of San Joaquin
  • San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce
  • Mexican Consulate
  • Access+Capital
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • BlueTech Valley
  • Economic Development Agency (EDA)
  • Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera Fresno

Click here to register for this event.

Start-Up Basics
Date: August 22, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 10183 Truckee Airport Rd. Truckee, CA 96161 (map it)
Contact: scorennv@gmail.com | (844) 232-7227
Organization: SCORE Northern Nevada
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn the basics of starting a business. Start with confidence and success with these topics:

  • Critical success factors
  • Your idea: evaluate, test, and protect
  • Legal structures
  • Marketing
  • Financial management
  • Your business launch

Click here to register for this event.

Take the “Work” Out of Networking: A Business Networking Workshop
Date: August 22, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—SJPL Works 3rd Floor
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works
Fee: Free

Walking into a room filled with people you don’t know and creating a relationship out of thin air can be exciting. On the other hand, few activities in the business world create as much apprehension as networking does. Networking can be a very powerful tool when approached with preparation and the right goals in mind.

This workshop presented by Jerome Dees, Director of Sales and Operations of Le Boulanger, will help you get started with effective networking.

Topics include:

  • Identifying the types of events to attend
  • Crafting your elevator pitch
  • Sharing creative ways to introduce yourself to others
  • Expressing your value to others

Click here to register for this event. Parking validation for 4th St. garage will be provided at the program.

Southern California/San Diego

Hands on Website Design
Date: August 21, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn hands-on skills for creating your own website. No previous web design skills are necessary. Together we’ll learn the skills to build a fully functional website for your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Federal & State Basic Payroll Tax Seminar
Date: August 28, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org |(213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

This workshop will cover both federal and California state payroll tax reporting requirements. Topics will include:

  • Reporting forms
  • Employer obligations
  • Payment requirements
  • Independent contractor reporting requirements

Click here to register for this event.

The Six Key Components to Business Success
Date: August 29, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Are you running your business or it is running you? Join us for the Six Key Components™ of a successful business: a set of simple, practical, and proven tools to help you focus on priorities, crystallize your vision, get clear on issues, and gain traction for your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Discover Tools for Success at your Public Library
Date: August 22, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Traci Hansen | thansen@thurstonedc.com | (360) 754-6320
Organization: Washington Center for Women in Business
Fee: Free

Let’s Talk Business is a free weekly webinar series occurring every Wednesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm Pacific hosted by the Washington Center for Women in Business.

LTB features presenters with a wide range of business backgrounds to present or answer questions on a variety of business topics. This week’s theme is how to use free tools at the public library to grow your business.

The secret to business success may already be in your wallet: your public library card. At every stage of your business, your local public library can save you time and money. Learn about the transformative free resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs available in your own neighborhood and online.

You will learn how to use common public library resources to:

  • Conduct market and customer research
  • Learn about essential small business topics like marketing, finance, technology, law, and planning
  • Connect with mentoring and networking opportunities

Click here to register for this event. For a complete listing of past and upcoming LTB webinars, click here.

Digital Fluency: Online Tools and Technology for Business Success
Date: August 22, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Changes in technology are difficult to keep up with, especially for business owners already focused on  required tasks to run a company. Join this webinar and learn how to navigate the online world to utilize technology resources to support your business. Topics include:

  • Find and access free tools on the internet: templates, images, education, media, and more
  • Spot legal and ethical sources for repurposing content
  • Tell the difference between fake and trustworthy sources
  • Understand best practices in using and sharing online content
  • Develop a technology mindset
  • Research with Google, YouTube, and other online resources
  • Use social media for promotion and marketing
  • Explore free productivity tools and templates
  • Compare paid and free software resource options

Click here to register for this event.

Where’s the Money? 10 Small Business Loan Types & How to Qualify
Date: August 23, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Did you know: There are over 44 different types of small business financing. Business owners often get frustrated and overwhelmed when looking for financing. It’s easy to chase the financing that’s marketed to you. This webinar will help you recognize the offers that are best for your business and the those you can actually get.

Join Gerri Detweiler, Nav education director, and learn how to identify the financing that’s right for you based on your current qualifications.

You’ll learn about the top 10 types of small business financing, including:

  • Typical lender requirements for each type of financing
  • Preparations for financing
  • Ways to increase your odds for approval
  • Strategies for avoiding costly surprises
  • Financing options for those without good credit or just starting out
  • Common credit obstacles and ways to overcome them

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Women are more likely to start a small business than men, but they are more likely to struggle obtaining financing. Our content partner Nav.com explains why women-owned businesses hit a financial glass ceiling and how you can break it.

 

A new report released by SCORE reveals some interesting data regarding small businesses, particularly women-owned small businesses. Of the 28 million small businesses in the United States, 39% are owned by women, which increased by 45% from 2007 to 2016 and continues to rise. Women are more likely to start a business than men, enjoy equal success as measured by business starts, revenue growth, job creation, and time in business. And while men are more likely to operate in the construction and manufacturing industries, women are more likely to open businesses in healthcare or education. Women-owned businesses employ almost 9 million people and bring in over $1.6 trillion in revenue. While these figures are impressive, there are some concerns found in the data.

Despite the growth in the number of women-owned businesses, these entities have remained static in revenue shares at only 4% of the nation’s business revenues, a point which hasn’t seen much growth if any over the last 20 years. In contrast, businesses owned by men have declined in their share of U.S. enterprises since the early 2000s, but their revenue shares have stayed consistent in relation to the changing number of entities. Of the businesses that responded to the survey, 34% of men-owned businesses have been in business for more than 10 years, compared to only 28% of women-owned businesses.

These numbers certainly raise concerns about the longevity and sustainability of women-owned businesses. Could this be a product of a lack of mentorship or other barriers to success?

The Glass Ceiling of Financing

In addition to revenue and years in business, the study highlighted several key indicators to determine how successful a business is, including hiring rates and access to financing. Over the last year, a larger proportion of men-owned businesses (30%) saw an increase in hiring compared to women-owned businesses (27%). Some of the women entrepreneurs responded that they would like to hire more full-time employees, but have to stick with interns, contractors, or part-time employees because funds are low in their business.

When asked why they sought out financing, a nearly equal proportion of men and women responded that they needed financing to hire a new employee. The statistics show that 34% of men compared to 25% of women search out financing, and that 38% of men versus 31% of women who apply for financing actually obtain it.

Women-owned businesses are slightly more likely to depend on credit cards or non-SBA loans for financing as opposed to men-owned businesses, whereas men are more likely to use equity raised from investors to fund their business. While experience and networking can help find better financing options, it’s always important to make sure your business credit profile is in tip-top shape. You can check your business and personal credit score for free with Nav before you seek better financing options.

Some of the differences between men and women business owners may boil down to mentoring, a topic the study addressed. The numbers clearly suggest that small business owners who work with a mentor or are under a mentorship program enjoy more success than those who don’t. While the numbers pertaining to revenue, hiring, and access to financing show that women-owned businesses are at a disadvantage, there are indeed resources available to help them take the next step forward.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

 

We look forward to helping your business succeed. Right now, if you sign up for free mentoring assistance, you’ll receive up to a 2% discount on your loan’s annual interest rate. If you have questions about this loan offer or other small-business loans for women, visit ofew.org, or contact us at ofew@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Food trucks may be a more accessible way to get your food into hungry people’s stomachs, but information about how to run a successful one isn’t as easy to find. Stay ahead of the curve with the latest news in food trucks and the mobile food business with these free blogs.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. Here are five free food truck blogs.

Food trucks may be a more accessible way to get your food into hungry people’s stomachs, but information about how to run a successful one isn’t as easy to find. Stay ahead of the curve with the latest news in food trucks and the mobile food business with these free blogs.

National Food Trucks

What it does: Although National Food Trucks doesn’t update their blog very frequently, what they do produce are great pieces that inspire, inform, and celebrate food trucks. From location-specific success stories, to adrenaline pumping pieces about greedy event bookers – you’ll find something useful and interesting to read here.

Food Truck Operator

What it does: Food Truck Operator should be your go-to source for food truck news. They update several times a month whenever something new comes out that would be beneficial to you as a mobile food entrepreneur. There’s a little bit of everything on this helpful blog: inspiring success stories, latest news and legislation, helpful business tips, and more.

Food Truck Empire

What it does: Another frequent poster, Food Truck Empire offers interesting articles about unique food trucks, new market trends, out-of-the-box business tips, and more. Keep updated with this food truck blog for a well-rounded knowledge about what’s changing in the mobile food industry.

Roaming Hunger

What it does: Roaming Hunger boasts several topics of articles from “experiential marketing” and “recipes” to “weddings” and “the office.” Why are wedding blog posts interesting to food truck owners? This blog not only offers insightful pieces that are helpful for you to read, but they also have lots of pro-food truck articles for your own business to share on your social media to help spread the word and attract big gigs.

Foodtruckr

What it does: Foodtruckr’s blog is full of motivation, inspiration, tips and tricks. This is definitely an amazing resource for you to grow your mobile food business, written by food truck experts for other entrepreneurs.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans including Mobile Food Truck loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Anthony and Cynthia started their business to share a taste of home with their new community in Orlando. They converted their West African restaurant into a food truck with the help of a loan from Opportunity Fund. Now with two food trucks in Orlando, African Soul Market is thriving as they share more of the food they love.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Anthony and Cynthia started their business to share a taste of home with their new community in Orlando. They converted their West African restaurant into a food truck with the help of a loan from Opportunity Fund. Now with two food trucks in Orlando, African Soul Market is thriving as they share more of the food they love.

The Taste of Success

Anthony and Cynthia Imana started African Soul Market in 2013 in Orlando. After they moved to Florida from the Bronx in New York, they wanted to start an African market to share Anthony’s taste of home.

“We moved to Florida for a better life for the kids and when we got here, we realized there weren’t many African options for my husband to eat,” Cynthia said. “I thought that he can’t be the only one who wants that food, so let’s do something about it.”

They started out in a brick and mortar location selling dry African goods. They changed their focus to prepared food on the weekends, which quickly sold out each day. “Then we started selling our prepared foods every day,” Cynthia said.

Their food was a huge hit, but the increasing rent for their restaurant space made it hard to stay in business. After two years as a restaurant, African Soul Market started over as a food truck.

African Soul Market

Anthony and Cynthia built their business together and watch it grow every day (photo courtesy of Jack Edwards)

They needed a small business loan to help finance their truck, so they reached out to One Fat Frog, a food truck manufacturer located in their hometown of Orlando. As one of Opportunity Fund’s key mobile food vehicle manufacturer and dealer partners, One Fat Frog connected the Imanas to us.

“One Fat Frog told us that Opportunity Fund does food truck loans,” Cynthia said. “We didn’t have the total amount to pay for the truck. We were relieved to know that funding was available.”

Starting Off Right

Opportunity Fund loan consultant Gerardo Campos helped close a $30,000 loan for the Imanas to complete the purchase of their truck. They were set up for immediate success.

“We’re the first food truck in the state of Florida serving authentic West African cuisine,” Cynthia said. They set up their truck in Pointe Orlando, a prime spot with a constant flow of foot traffic. Business grew so quickly that they returned to One Fat Frog for a second truck in March 2018. Gerardo was there again to help secure the $71,000 loan for the new truck.

Gerardo’s quick and personalized service helped the Imanas get their second truck going without missing a beat. “Gerardo was amazing,” Cynthia said. “He was straightforward and told us what we needed to provide for the loan. Everyone we worked with at Opportunity Fund is great and professional.”

The second African Soul Market truck travels to events around the Orlando area, as well as private catering engagements. Cynthia and Anthony go to work every day with their family members and cook their favorites while providing for the family’s needs.

We’re proud to watch African Soul Market expand and we’re thankful for our mobile food vehicle partners like One Fat Frog for helping us reach new clients outside of California!

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org