Jen and Deb rebuilt their lives together after rough financial times and a move to a new state. Their entrepreneurial dreams are helping support a new dream: make a living for their family. We partnered with One Fat Frog to help Jen and Deb purchase their food trailer with our small business loans.

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

Jen and Deb rebuilt their lives together after rough financial times and a move to a new state. Their entrepreneurial dreams are helping support a new dream: make a living for their family. We partnered with One Fat Frog to help Jen and Deb purchase their food trailer with our small business loans.

Starting Over Together

Jen Blake and Deb Richard started Nana Nif’s Home Cooking in Bradenton, Fla. in January 2018. They restarted their life together in Florida after Deb’s job was transferred from Massachusetts and Jen took an early retirement due to a physical disability. Family connections steered them down the Atlantic coast.

Jen had to leave her job as a high school biology teacher when she became disabled. “We lost my income,” she said. “It was substantial financial loss. My parents live in Bradenton and they were needing more and more physical help.”

Jen needed a way to help support her family—four generations all living in the same house, including Jen and Deb’s daughter and their two young grandchildren.

“I can only work for two or three hours at a time, and then I have to rest,” Jen said. “I’ve always been a good cook. At holidays and parties, everybody asks me to cook. It was a hobby before I became disabled.”

All the signs pointed to starting a food-based business, but their dreams of entrepreneurship almost never happened. The family faced financial difficulties before they left New England, which resulted in Deb filing for bankruptcy and them selling their house on a short sale. In their new hometown, they had a shot at something better with Deb working full time again and some assets they could put toward starting their own business.

Rebuilding For the Future

Jen and Deb reached out to Florida-based mobile food vehicle manufacturer One Fat Frog in January 2018. “As the trailer build went on, the project got bigger while our funds ran low,” Deb said. “We pulled money from other sources, like my retirement fund. In the end we were short $16,000. We didn’t know what to do. Because of my bankruptcy, no banks would give us a loan.”

Nana Nif's Serving it Up

Nana Nif’s brings a taste of New England to Florida through Jen’s home cooking (photo courtesy of Jack Edwards)

As one of our key mobile food vehicle manufacturing partners, One Fat Frog connected Jen and Deb to us. Our loan consultant Gerardo Campos worked with them to understand what Jen and Deb had to offer beyond just their financial capabilities.

“We completed our commitment to Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Jen said. “We repaid what we could afford.”

“Gerardo was clear with us on what we needed to do to get the loan,” Deb said. “He worked with what we could do.”

Gerardo approved a $16,000 loan in April 2018 to help complete the food trailer purchase. Now that Nana Nif’s Home Cooking is officially on the road, Bradenton folks are falling in love with the unique New England comfort food like lobster macaroni and cheese, deep fried pizza rolls, and roast beef sandwiches.

Jen and Deb’s new business is for family and by family. The income makes a major difference in their household, and the whole family pitches in to work on the trailer. They’re working to pay off their loan and then invest in a brick and mortar restaurant location as a commissary location for an eventual fleet of food trucks.

We’re proud to support hard working women entrepreneurs like Jen and Deb, and we’re honored that we can help them make a better life for their family through entrepreneurship.

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.


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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Anthony started his business to reach out to his community through fitness and martial arts training. Two small business loans from Opportunity Fund are helping Antdawg’s MMA grow and reach more people in Gilroy.

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

Anthony Figueroa started his business to reach out to his community through fitness and martial arts training. Two small business loans from Opportunity Fund are helping Antdawg’s MMA grow and reach more people in Gilroy.

Founded on Family Values

Anthony Figueroa started Antdawg’s MMA Training Center in Gilroy in 2009. Anthony’s business is very personal to him. He founded his mixed martial arts fitness center after a career as a mixed martial arts fighter with the goal to provide a positive, safe place for the youth in his hometown.

“Growing up was tough for me,” Anthony said. “The kids around here needed somewhere to go. I never had a place like that.”

Antdawg’s MMA provides martial arts training for kids and adults. The programs emphasize physical fitness for the whole family, with a focus on helping kids reach their goals through training.

Anthony built his business to help families get in shape and grow stronger together. His work ethic is shaped by a lifelong passion for training and martial arts, and his business model is based on the strong bonds within his own family.

“My whole family helps me run the gym,” he said. “My sons teach here. They’re 18 and 14. It’s taught them a lot about being responsible, respectful, and becoming good leaders by example. My business is making a full circle for us. It’s a blessing.”

Anthony had everything he needed for success: support from his family, a hardworking staff, and a 2,000 square foot facility. As the business grew, he needed a small business loan to keep up.

A Winning Combination

Antdawg’s MMA had to move to larger buildings in Gilroy twice in the last nine years to accommodate their growing list of customers. Anthony needed to purchase gym equipment to flesh out the new spaces. He chose Opportunity Fund over other lending options.

“Opportunity Fund made the most sense,” he said. “Other lenders require a lot of business owners that don’t have the best credit. They make it tougher. Opportunity Fund made it easy.”

Our loan consultant Laly Velazquez closed a $17,000 loan for Antdawg’s MMA in July 2015. The working capital helped Anthony get the equipment he needed. He liked working with us so much that he returned for a second loan of $22,000 one year later.

“The loans helped me add new programs,” he said. “Now I can add more value for our customers. In return, it helps me grow my business.”

Anthony Figueroa - MMA Antdawgs

Anthony helps kids in his community grow through discipline and exercise (photo courtesy of Christian Peacock)

Anthony always has his eye on the next step for Antdawg’s MMA. His plans include adding a mixture of activities for kids like birthday parties on the weekends plus adult activities like cardio programs and parents night out.

We’re proud to support positive forces in the community like Anthony and we’re happy to watch his family-owned and operated business flourish.

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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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