Ana had big dreams as an entrepreneur: to own her own fleet of food trucks and to run a commissary to help her fellow food truck owners get on the road to success. Three small business loans from Opportunity Fund have helped Ana grow her business as a food truck owner and as the owner of BiWise Foods in Watsonville.

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

Ana had big dreams as an entrepreneur: to own her own fleet of food trucks and to run a commissary to help her fellow food truck owners get on the road to success. Three small business loans from Opportunity Fund have helped Ana grow her business as a food truck owner and as the owner of BiWise Foods in Watsonville.

Growing from the Ground Up

Ana Jimenez climbed her way up to entrepreneurship through the mobile food service ranks, first as a cook in another business owner’s truck, then renting the truck to run herself, then finally running her own fleet of food trucks.

“While I was renting the trucks, I was working to put money together to buy my own truck,” Ana said. “I’m always thinking of how I can do more.”

When she came to work for BiWise Foods in Watsonville, her path became clear: she wanted to run the commissary while putting her own trucks on the road.

Established in the 1960s in Watsonville, BiWise Foods serves food truck owners in five Northern California counties: San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, and Alameda. It’s the only commissary between south Monterey County and San Jose. Food truck owners rely on BiWise as a one stop shop for their supplies including drinks, ice, and propane refills.

“I took over the business in January 2016,” Ana said. “Almost 40 trucks have come through my commissary to start their business. I help them complete their paperwork for the health department and counties too.”

Ana was the face of BiWise Foods even before she took over as owner of the company, thanks to her work ethic and passion for the mobile food industry. With her food trucks on the road and a commissary to run, Ana was still looking to do more.

A Connection to Business Lending

“I needed money to invest in my business,” Ana said. “I know how to run my business, so I just needed a loan.”

She reached out to Opportunity Fund loan consultant Griselda Gil-Solis, who responded with a personalized touch. “She came to my business and helped me with everything I needed for the loan,” Ana said. “In about a week and a half, I had the money I needed in my hands.”

Griselda helped close a $20,000 loan in April 2016, which allowed Ana to purchase supplies for her food truck customers. She returned to us for a second loan of $30,000 in December 2016 to acquire a neighboring warehouse. In February 2018, we provided a $40,000 loan for a food truck purchase.

Ana Jimenez - Bi Wise Foods

Ana is the go-to person for many mobile food business owners in the South Bay Area and Central California (photo courtesy of Christian Peacock)

The access to funds helped Ana build the business of her dreams. “Now I own the business and I have four food trucks,” she said with a smile.

Ana’s team of five employees help her run the food trucks in Watsonville, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. One food truck alone serves between 200 to 300 people every day. She has her eye on expanding her food trucks further around California and welcoming new mobile food business owners to work with BiWise Foods.

We’re proud to support hard working women entrepreneurs like Ana and we’re excited to watch her mobile food empire grow.

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.

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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 13 through 30.

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 13 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Business Basics: Turning Ideas into Action
Date: September 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Willits City Hall
111 E. Commercial St. Willits, CA 95490 (map it)
Contact: info@westcompany.org (707) 964-7571
Organization: West Company
Fee: Free for West Company members | $25 for non-members

Join this workshop for start-up guidance and a general overview of elements to consider when starting and owning a business. Topics Include:

  • Business licensing requirements
  • Business taxes
  • Legal forms of organization
  • Components of a business plan
  • Financial readiness
  • Business loans
  • Marketing messages
  • Target markets
  • Technology tools for business productivity

Click here to register for this event.

Networking Mixer
Date: September 19, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Caremore Health
255 N. White Road #200 San Jose, CA 95127 (map it)
Contact: info@hccsv.org | (408) 248-4800
Organization: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Fee: Free

Join the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley for a small business networking mixer hosted by CareMore Health. Enjoy light refreshments, network with other members, and meet your next great client.

Click here to register for this event.

Checklist to Opening a Restaurant—Part 1
Date: September 26, 2018 | 6:00 am PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Napa Valley College—Building 3300
2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy Napa, CA 94558 (map it)
Contact: Valerie Bible | (707) 256-7250
Organization: Napa-Sonoma SBDC
Fee: $45

Join us for this free two-part seminar led by SBDC Restaurant Specialist Louise Dawson. Together we’ll review how to prepare for your restaurant business opening. Topics include:

  • Writing a restaurant business plan—required by most landlords and investors
  • Discovering strategies and organizational techniques
  • Developing your concept
  • Creating a marketing plan
  • Understanding financial projections
  • Finding financing for restaurant projects—including a Q&A session led by finance industry leaders on SBA loans, micro-loans, investor packages to attract private funders, and more.

Click here to register for this event. To register for Part 2 on Oct. 3, click here.

Southern California/San Diego

Business Plan Boot Camp: Marketing, Organization, & Operations
Date: September 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Community Action Partnership of Riverside County
2038 Iowa Ave. Suite B-102 Riverside, CA 92507 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Shape up your business plan! Learn how to identify your best customers and craft an effective marketing plan to reach them, and how to set your marketing budget. We’ll show you how to create your organizational plan and operational flow as well.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Loan Opportunities for Everyone
Date: September 20, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 4:00 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

Join this free workshop to learn where to get capital for your young business. Make sense of the options out there for entrepreneurs, startups, and growing small businesses in the complex world of capital access.

Click here to register for this event.

Feed! Lead! Profit! Restaurant Expo
Date: September 22, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills, CA 91367 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

If you have a restaurant or food business or dream of opening one, join us for this free expo designed specifically for restaurant entrepreneurs:

  • Meet vendors that can support your success
  • Attend a series of mini workshops targeted on growing your business
  • Hear a seasoned panel of owners share their secrets to success
  • Hang out with other restaurant people
  • And more

Agenda:

  • 1:00 PM: Register and Mingle with Restaurant Owners and Restaurant Service Providers
  • 2:00 PM: Opening Introduction of the WBC/ VEDC and the Restaurant Resource Council
  • 2:15 PM: Workshop: How to Avoid The Top 5 Common Mistakes Restaurant Owners Make
  • 2:45 PM: Raffle and Food Sampling
  • 3:00 PM: Perfectly Seasoned Restaurant Owner and Operator Panel
  • 3:45 PM: Raffle and Food Sampling
  • 4:00 PM: “Ask An Expert” Speed Ask Breakout: Get all your questions answered by the experts

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Basic Bookkeeping for Entrepreneurs
Date: September 18, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Cindy Doyl | cindy.doyl@wsbdc.org | (907) 687-9928
Organization: Washington SBDC
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn the fundamentals of financial record keeping with automated software platforms like QuickBooks Online, Sage Peachtree, and Xero. Prior experience with accounting software is not required.

Topics include:

  • Accounting matters for your business
  • Types of businesses
  • Types of accounting software
  • Bookkeeping terminology
  • Accounting practices
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable & accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Chart of accounts
  • Trial balances
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Major financial statements

Click here to register for this event.

G-Suite for Business: Save Time and Money While Collaborating with Others for Success
Date: September 26, 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

Join this free webinar to learn how to leverage technology to work when and where you want to. Stay relevant in the changing economy by using technology, social media, and digital tools for your business.

This webinar focuses on how to use the G-Suite to work from wherever you are in the world–even while traveling or on vacation–from a netbook and smartphone with internet access. Learn tips and tricks of how to use Google’s online, cloud-based version of Microsoft Office to manage your workflow effectively.

Topics include:

  • The cloud vs. local storage
  • Gmail, Google docs, and Google sheets
  • File sharing
  • Google calendar
  • Social media integrations
  • Costs and other considerations
  • G-Suite best practices for organization and time management

Click here to register for this event. The webinar will be available as a recording if you are not able to attend live.

National Preparedness Month Webinar—Business Continuity for Small Businesses
Date: September 27, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Peter D. Smith | peter.smith@sba.gov | (317) 226-7272 Ext. 119
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Indiana District Office
Fee: Free

September is National Preparedness Month. Learn how to prepare, prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risks to your business.

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

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