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

Northern California/Sacramento

Managing Yes: Creating the Space for What Matters Most
Date: March 20, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Shasta County Office of Education, Professional Development Center
2985 Innsbruck Dr. Redding, CA 96003 (map it)
Contact: | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Gain the confidence and the skills to set priorities and follow through with them. Too often people say yes when they want to say no, leading to stress and feeling overextended and exhausted. Health, well-being, and relationships suffer and productivity eventually declines. Learning to communicate “no” with respect is an intuitive art that comes with practice.

Participants will discover:

  • How to set priorities aligned with your values
  • What are specific techniques for saying no with poise, clarity, and respect
  • Why it is essential to create open space in your calendar for surprises and for you

Click here to register for this event.

Build a Marketing Plan to Attract and Keep Your Ideal Customers
Date: March 21, 2018 | 1:30 pm PDT – 3:00 am PDT
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: John Yost | | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz County SCORE
Fee: $20

Learn how to characterize your ideal target customer and use that knowledge to find, sell to, and build loyalty with them. In this class you will define your ideal customer, develop an elevator pitch, and develop a draft marketing plan.

Key points we’ll cover:

  • What are the characteristics of an ideal target customer?
  • Who is NOT your ideal customer?
  • What are common customer pain points?
  • What experience do you provide for your customer?
  • How do you put together your value proposition and a summary elevator pitch?
  • What do you need to establish your brand?
  • What are marketing tactics for reaching your customers?
  • How do you build customer loyalty?

Click here to register for this event.

Take the “Work” Out of Networking: A Business Networking Workshop
Date: March 29, 2018 | 6:30 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: | (408) 808-2310
Organization: San Jose Public Library Works
Fee: Free

Walking into a room filled with people you don’t know and creating a relationship out of thin air can be very 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 identify the types of events you should attend, craft your elevator pitch, share a creative way to introduce yourself to others, and ultimately help you express your value to others.

Co-Sponsored by Silicon Valley Talent Partnership and SCORE.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Building Successful Brands with
Date: March 19, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Los Angeles Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Looking to start a business? Or already have a business and looking to grow? Learn how to effectively build cash flow, gain a loyal audience, and create a killer brand so you can be that kick-butt entrepreneur you always dreamed of becoming utilizing Amazon’s seller tools and resources.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: March 21, 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

Learn from an attorney about which form of organization is most beneficial to your business plus the tax consequences and benefits of each type of formation. We’ll also discuss how to protect your personal assets and property from lawsuits and how to prevent piercing of the corporate veil of protection.

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing 101
Date: March 28, 2018 | 2:30 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Contact PACE at (213) 363-9400 for location information
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

This workshop will describe the fundamentals of the most important aspect of any business: marketing.

Learn how to simplify your marketing to generate the revenue you need to make your business a success. Packed with practical tips and realistic strategies for the small business owner, this workshop will show you how to use competition to your advantage, set pricing, and clearly communicate your company’s unique benefit or product.

There are a number of ways to market yourself and your business online, but it is only effective if you’re doing it right. Can potential customers understand why they need your product or service? A lack of clarity may already be costing you a great deal.

Topics covered generally include (but are not limited to):

  • Advertising terms and initial steps
  • Determining your target market
  • Developing your market strategy
  • Creating your brand and message
  • Utilizing social media tools

Contact PACE at (213) 363-9400 for more information or to register for this event.


Ten Tips to Get the Most Out of Facebook for Small Businesses
Date: March 20, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Virtually every small business is using Facebook in their marketing. Discover ten quick ways you can set your business ahead of the pack by using Facebook.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Legal Structures
Date: March 21, 2018 | 6:00 am PDT – 8:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: | (803) 765-5377
Organization: SBA South Carolina District Office
Fee: Free

Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides a practical introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. Developed jointly by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), this instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules.

This module, “Organizational Types” is the fifth module of the series. Participants do not need to complete previous modules to participate in future modules.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain general characteristics, pros, and cons of these five common organizational types: Sole proprietor, partnerships, limited liability company (LLC), C-corporation, and S-corporation
  • Understand how to decide your organization types
  • Identify which organization types can benefit your business

Click here to register for this event.

Land More Referrals (Without Asking for Them)
Date: March 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: | (800) 634-0245
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Are you stuck in the old way of getting customer referrals one by one? Break from this unpredictable and inconsistent method of securing your most valuable source of leads with help from this free webinar. Steve Gordon, Founder of the Unstoppable CEO, will provide a new way to get referrals—by leveraging content. You could gain 10 to 50 times more referrals by applying his blueprint.

You’ll discover:

  • Why almost everything you’ve been taught about prospecting is a lie
  • How to “home grow” clients at will, for attracting, growing and converting new clients
  • What is the secret to getting out of the “feast or famine” cycle of a full client docket today, but none tomorrow
  • What is the most common phrase nearly everyone says to their clients that is a mistake
  • When is the perfect time to ask for a referral, how you should ask, and what you should say

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

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

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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