This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from October 17 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 October 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

CPUC/PacifiCorp Redding Small/Diverse Business Expo
Date: October 19, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center
1900 Hilltop Dr. Redding, CA 96002 (map it)
Contact: smallbiz@cpuc.ca.gov | (800) 253-0500
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

California and its utility companies: PacifiCorp, PG&E, Southern California Edison, Sempra Utilities, AT&T, Comcast, Frontier, T-Mobile, California Water Association, and more want your business.

Join us to learn of opportunities and how to get contracts. Start networking with public agencies, utility companies, prime contractors, and business resource centers at this all-day event.

This event will include:

  • One-on-one business matchmaking (pre-scheduled basis only)
  • Buyer meetings
  • Vendor and resource fair
  • Educational workshops
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Developing Powerful Presentation Skills—What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Know
Date: October 25, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:45 pm PDT
Location: James Irvine Center—A Room
353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organizations: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

This seminar will teach the core principles of highly effective business presentations for women entrepreneurs. This skill is critical for all women business owners to help secure funding, to attract customer and business partners, and to share their products and services in a community forum.

Skills covered will include:

  • Effective body language and visual attributes that engage the audience
  • Effective presentation development including visual, vocal and verbal skills
  • Presentation content development
  • Incorporation of the authentic self into presentations
  • Common pitfalls women encounter when presenting

Click here to register for this event.

Livermore Small Business Fair
Date: October 26, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Livermore Public Library —Civic Center
1188 S. Livermore Ave. Livermore, CA 94550 (map it)
Contact: Ellen Dean | eedean@livermore.lib.ca.us | (925) 373-5500
Organization: City of Livermore
Fee: Free

Join the Livermore Small Business Fair to get information and resources you need to help grow your business, like:

  • A business resource exhibit
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Workshop sessions including Financing Your Business, Growing Your Business Online, and Overview of SCORE services for small business

This training event is presented by local small business organizations and supporters: Livermore Public Library, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, East Bay SCORE, Alameda County SBDC, and UNCLE Credit Union.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: October 17, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 3780 Market St. Riverside, CA 92501 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Join this workshop to learn about the forms of business organization. Get the word straight from a lawyer to clarify your key questions:

  • What is the most beneficial business structure for my business?
  • What are the the tax consequences and benefits of each business structure?
  • How can I protect my personal assets and property from lawsuits?
  • How do I prevent piercing the “corporate veil” of protection?
  • What do I have to know about business law from start up to success?

Click here to register for this event.

MyVetBiz: 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Conference & Awards
Date: October 25, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
3777 La Jolla Village Dr. San Diego, CA 92122 (map it)
Contact: Audrey Marlow | amarlow@sdbj.com | (858) 277-6359
Organization: San Diego Business Journal
Fee: $65—$150 (free for Veterans, Active Duty and Military Spouses with valid military identification)

With its proud military history and presence, San Diego boasts one of the most robust markets for veteran or military spouse-owned businesses in the United States. Join the San Diego Business Journal, in partnership with The Rosie Network, to celebrate and support local veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses with this new awards program and educational conference. Winners and finalists will be honored in a special San Diego Business Journal supplement.

Conference and Lunch
10:00 – 10:30 am Registration
10:30 am – 10:45 am Welcome: Stephanie Brown, The Rosie Network & Huntley Paton, San Diego Business Journal
10:45 – 11:15 am Keynote from Jerry Sanders, President and CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
11:30 am – 12:15 pm Breakout Session #1
12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch with the Experts
1:30 – 2:15 pm Breakout Session #2
2:30 – 3:30 pm Breakout Session #3

Special Awards Reception and Dinner
4:00 – 5:00 pm Networking
5:00 – 6:30 pm Dinner and Awards Program
6:30 – 7:30 pm Networking

General Admission tickets for the 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Conference are $65.00 per person. The conference is free for Veterans, Active Duty, and Military Spouses (present valid military identification at registration check in). General Admission tickets for the 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Awards are $150.00 per person.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Resource Expo
Date: October 27, 2017 | 10:30 am PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: 501 S. Bixel St. Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: info@laccnp.org | (213) 482-8618
Organization: Central City Neighborhood Partners
Fee: Free

The Los Angeles Alliance for Economic Inclusion is hosting a Small Business Resource Expo that will offer small business workshops on the basics of financing in English and Spanish. Join Opportunity Fund at the resource expo featuring nonprofits, CDFIs, and government agencies that offer lending and technical assistance resources.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Ask SCORE: Business Plans
Date: October 17, 2017 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) Score
Fee: Free

Did you know: You are twice as likely to grow your business or get funding if you have a business plan. In this live Q&A session, SCORE mentor and business plan expert Hal Shelton will devote the entire hour to answering attendees’ questions about the business plan. Attendees can submit questions in the registration form and during the live webinar.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Have the Best Holiday Season Ever
Date: October 18, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: $15

It’s no secret that holiday spending is higher than any other time of year. Don’t miss out on your piece of the holiday pie! Let us show you how to influence your potential customers’ purchases by making an offer they can’t resist.

During this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Select the right offer for your ideal audience
  • Create a quick and effective promotional plan
  • Design an offer that stands out, especially on mobile
  • Reach new customers and spread the word using social media

If you’re hoping to make this your best holiday season yet, you won’t want to miss this event. Join us to find out exactly how to achieve and exceed your holiday goals.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Steer Clear of Accidental Discrimination When Hiring
Date: October 19, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (800) 634-0245
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

With every new hire, your objective is to select the most qualified person for the job. You’re also responsible for supporting a fair and diverse workforce – and for upholding anti-discrimination laws by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Whether intentional or not, hiring practices that discriminate against protected applicants could lead to serious legal trouble.

Are you aware of the various federal and state laws that prevent discrimination? Just as important, are you confident your hiring process treats every job seeker equally and fairly?

Attend this webinar for a discussion of the oversights that can hurt your hiring efforts – and what you can say, do and ask each step of the way to avoid accidental discrimination.

You will learn:

  • Major anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Language to avoid when advertising and recruiting
  • Checklist of right and wrong interview questions
  • Precautions with background/criminal checks
  • Dos and don’ts of accessing social media accounts

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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

Javier Rodriguez needed a small business loan to improve his Colombian restaurant in San Diego. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, Javier was able to buy inventory from Colombia and new equipment for Antojitos Colombianos.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  Read about Javier Rodriguez of Antojitos Colombianos in San Diego. Opportunity Fund helped Javier get the loan he needed to buy inventory from Colombia and new equipment for his Colombian restaurant.

Serving Up Success

Javier Rodriguez opened the first Colombian restaurant in San Diego in 2011. Six years later, Antojitos Colombianos has grown into an essential neighborhood spot for authentic Colombian food and good times with friends.

Javier came to the United States from Colombia to study business. After studying at San Diego City College, he worked in the hospitality and restaurant management industry for over two decades. Before long, he followed through with his dream to start his own business.

“I didn’t want to work for someone else,” he said. “I wanted time for my family and to set my own schedule.”

Family is a big part of Javier’s life, both at home and the restaurant. Antojitos Colombianos staff is mostly family members, from Javier’s wife and kids to cousins and nephews. “I’m thankful for my business,” he said. “We can pay the bills and rent, and we can put some money aside to travel to Colombia.”

With 20 years of success in the industry and two Small Business of the Year awards from California State Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, Javier is no stranger to success. He found he needed a little help to keep Antojitos Colombianos on top for his customers. “I needed to buy merchandise from Colombia, which is very expensive,” he said. “I needed new equipment too.”

Helping Entrepreneurs Engage Their Communities

Javier followed a tip from a friend and fellow business owner about Opportunity Fund. When Javier met loan officer Byron Escobar, he knew it was the right connection.

“Byron came to my house to help me get started with the loan process,” Javier said. “The money was in my bank account 72 hours after I signed the application.”

Javier and Byron - Antojitos Colombianos

Javier works with Byron to improve his business and to reach out to entrepreneurs in his neighborhood (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)


Byron helped close the $10,000 loan in September 2016. The fast, easy-to-get, and affordable capital made a difference in Javier’s business right away. The regulars from the Imperial Avenue neighborhood mix with customers from the nearby military base to create a fun atmosphere with live music and delicious food.

Javier is grateful for the connection to Opportunity Fund, not just for the working capital but also to build a relationship with a lender that understands his needs.

“I tried other lenders,” he said. “There were so many requirements. Unfortunately I didn’t meet some of them.”

See how we’re helping Javier grow his business in this video:


Javier gives back to the small business community by hosting meetings at his restaurant for local entrepreneurs to meet Byron and get answers to their questions about financing.

We’re proud to support outstanding small business owners like Javier and we’re glad to assist him with building a network for local entrepreneurs.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Here’s your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California from October 2 through 16.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 October 2 through 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Business Basics Series: Finance and Legal
Date: October 3, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—IVC Building 27 Room 112
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA 94949 (map it)
Contact: Miriam Karell | miriam@marinsbdc.org | (415) 755-1100
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25

Learn what it takes to start a business and succeed! This series of 3 classes is perfect for those exploring business ownership and want more information about what it takes to run a business. This workshop series is also helpful for new business owners who want to brush up on strategic planning, finances and marketing.

Business planning gives you the basic information on business start-up, business planning, and different types of business plans. Explore planning tools to help you define your unique business vision and develop a strategy that works.

Each class can be taken individually or as a series. You save $15 if you register for all 3 workshops.

Click here to register for this event.

Intellectual Property Strategies for Your Business
Date: October 10, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Fremont Public Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organizations: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Intellectual property (IP) is a critical asset of almost every company. A good IP strategy must include practical defensive and offensive tools and remain flexible to address issues as they arise. It is never too early to create an IP-conscious plan for exploiting your company’s IP assets and resources to gain and maintain your competitive advantage.

This program will provide an overview of the various forms of IP, how to identify potential pitfalls, and practical Dos and Don’ts that you, the entrepreneur, has control over.

We will cover patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing, and branding. Topics include:

  • Why not every invention is qualified for a provisional application
  • Why showing your product design at tradeshows may be harmful
  • How to mitigate having your app taken down from app stores
  • Why using unlicensed images can cost you thousands of dollars
  • Why that magic “work for hire” clause in your contractor agreements may not work to protect your rights
  • Whether that licensing contract really protects your long term business interests

Click here to register for this event.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center Presents: Business Basics Seminar
Date: October 12, 2017 | 2:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free for VBOC Clients | $49 for non-VBOC clients

This training is designed for individuals interested in starting a business or currently in business for less than two years. The course includes information on:

  • Business evaluation
  • Market research
  • Licensing and permit requirements
  • Start-up costs
  • Financing sources
  • Insurance
  • Cash flow analysis and cash management
  • Legal structure
  • Self-employment analysis
  • Customer profile
  • Protecting your business idea
  • The reality of operating a business

Click here to register for this event. If you can’t make it to the in-person event, attend the webinar! Click here for more information.

Southern California/San Diego

The Bottom Line: Introduction to Business Financials
Date: October 5, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr.  Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: Nicole Kinney | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Understanding financial statements and knowing how those numbers affect your bottom line is the key to starting or growing your business. Get an overview of financial statements and take the mystery out of creating or expanding the financial portion of your business plan with this interactive, straightforward guide to your bottom line.

We’ll cover:

  • Financial statements: What do they mean and why are they important?
  • Cost structures: What do I need to know?
  • Guide to the financial portion of your business plan: How do I get started?

Click here to register for this event.

10th Annual Anniversary Summit Connecting Faith and Business
Date: October 12, 2017 | 3:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Riverside Convention Center
3637 5th St. Riverside, CA 92501 (map it)
Contact: info@ampac.com | (909) 915-1706
Organization: AmPac Tri-State CDC
Fee: $65

The 10th Annual Connecting Faith and Business Summit will be like none other. Join us for workshops on winning in business and inspirational messages on winning for life, along with information and resource-rich vendors:

  • Get Inspired to Be Courageous in Business
  • Learn Tools for Making Their Business an Instrument for God’s Glory
  • Hear Testimonies from Businesses who Thrive with God as Their CEO
  • And more!

Following the speakers, the Summit will feature a networking reception and a celebratory dinner reflecting on the winners of the past Connecting Faith & Business Awards and the announcement of the 2017 winners.

AmPac Tri-State CDC, the SBA’s only faith-based, mission-based fixed asset lender in the country, has teamed up with the U.S. Small Business Administration and SBA partners to bring like-minded business leaders together to learn together, encourage each other, and network.

Click here to register for this event.

18th Annual Asian Small Business Expo
Date: October 14, 2017 | 9:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Almansor Court Conference Center
700 S. Almansor St. Alhambra, CA 91801 (map it)
Contact: smallbiz@apisbp.org
Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program
Fee: Free

The Asian Small Business Expo is the only business-to-business expo that engages the Asian business community and brings this growing economic force into the mainstream to connect and utilize your company and its services. Join Opportunity Fund at this free event!

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, franchises and governmental and legislative representatives.

Event highlights:

  • Network with hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-ups
  • Catch displays from over 40 exhibitors
  • Establish valuable new contacts
  • Learn about new start-up opportunities
  • Discover new and useful business services and methods
  • Get free business advice

Join our guest speakers on this year’s theme “Ingredients for Growth”

  • Jonny Hwang, Founder, 626 Night Market (featured guest speaker)
  • Judy Han, Owner—EkoEats (women entrepreneurs panel guest)
  • Noree Pla, Owner and Chef—Luv2Eat Thai Bistro (women entrepreneurs panel guest)
  • Kristine de la Cruz, Owner—Creme Caramel (women entrepreneurs panel guest)

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Form I-9 & E-Verify Training
Date: October 3, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
Fee: Free

This free virtual workshop, hosted by the San Francisco SBA Office and conducted by officers with the Verifications Division of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will teach business owners, employers, HR professionals, and others how to use Form I-9 and E-Verify to ensure they only hire employees who can legally work in the United States.

Together we’ll review the Form I-9 process, including step by step instructions on how to complete each section, form retention and information storage. You’ll learn how E-Verify Program works through a demonstration of functions like:

  • Key features
  • Enrollment
  • Employer responsibilities

The webinar will conclude with a question and answer period with information on how to get additional information and assistance.

Click here to register for this event.

Cracking the Credit Code: Credit Reports and Scores Explained
Date: October 5, 2017 | 8:30 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Your credit score can impact everything from where you live to how much you pay for insurance. Join this free webinar to learn how credit reports and scores really work.

John Jackson of Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the Mid Ohio Valley will explain factors that influence credit scores, how to dispute errors, and more.

Click here to register for this event.

Have You Prepared for the Holidays?
Date: October 12, 2017 | 11:30 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (206) 553-7310
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

Marketing is the critical factor to your business success. Discover powerful, cost-effective techniques to build your business. In this workshop, you’ll get an intro to planning an integrated communications campaign across all of your communication channels to effectively promote your products or services as the perfect holiday gift.

The SBA Seattle District Office offers free workshops the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Here’s an upcoming slate of free October events:

Live webinar | October 12 | 9:00 am— 10 am | Make the World’s Biggest Buyer Your Customer Through Government Contracts
Live webinar | October 12 | 10:15 am — 11:15 am | How to Get Money for Your Small Business
Live webinar | October 12| 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm | Beyond Google: Free Market Research at Your Library
Seattle (in-person event) | October 26 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am | Maximize Sales on Small Business Saturday
Seattle (in-person event) | October 26 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Nurture Your Network—Creating Social Media that Sells!
Seattle (in-person event)  | October 26 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am | How to Buy or Sell a Business

Click here to register for this event and to get more information on upcoming seminars from the SBA Seattle District office.


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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 18 through 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 18 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Finance Your Business
Date: September 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Business Assistance Center
270 Frank Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Diana Chavez | diana@workingsolutions.org | (415) 590-0155
Organization: Working Solutions
Fee: Free

Join this panel discussion with Working Solutions, U.S. Bank, Kiva, and Opportunity Fund to learn about key resources for lending for small businesses:

  • Financing options
  • What lenders are looking for
  • Credit requirements
  • Importance of a relationship with a financial institution
  • Eligibility guidelines and loan application procedures

Click here to register for this event.

Business Basics Series
Date: September 26, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—IVC Building 27 Room 112
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA 94949 (map it)
Contact: Miriam Karell | miriam@marinsbdc.org | (415) 755-1100
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25

Learn what it takes to start a business and succeed! This series of 3 classes is perfect for those exploring business ownership and want more information about what it takes to run a business. This workshop series is also helpful for new business owners who want to brush up on strategic planning, finances and marketing.

Business Planning gives you the basic information on business start-up, business planning, and different types of business plans. Explore planning tools to help you define your unique business vision and develop a strategy that works.

Each class can be taken individually or as a series. You save $15 by registering for all 3 workshops.

Click here to register for this event.

Meetup: Escape the Bootstrap Trap with Jenny Kassan
Date: September 27, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 1500 MacDonald Ave. Richmond, CA 94801 (map it)
Contact: Bret Sweet | bsweet@rencenter.org | (510) 221-2002
Organizations: Renaissance Richmond
Fee: Free

Join business coach Jenny Kassan for Escape the Bootstrap Trap: How to Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business Without Maxing Out Your Credit Cards or Putting Your Personal Assets at Risk.

Are you:

  • Tired of not having the resources you need to do what you want with your business?
  • Wearing a million hats in your business instead of getting the right help?
  • Worried about how much of your personal assets you’re investing in your business?

This talk will teach you:

  • Three keys to get clear on your path for bringing the resources you need into your business
  • Ways to find the right investors that allow you to grow your business on your terms
  • Strategies to create a sustainable business that fits with your chosen lifestyle, goals, and values

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

San Diego Small Business Expo
Date: September 21, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego Convention Center—Hall H
111 W. Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101 (map it)
Contact: clientservices@theshowproducers.com | (212) 404-2345
Organization: Small Business Expo
Fee: Free (upgraded services are available starting at $20)

Small Business Expo is America’s biggest and most anticipated business-to-business networking event, trade show, and conference for business owners, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and decision-makers.

Why you should attend:

  • Network with thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Access to 25+ Business Critical workshops and seminars to help your business grow
  • Join speed networking sessions to make new contacts quickly
  • Learn about new cutting-edge products and services
  • Establish hundreds of new and valuable contacts
  • Interact with the movers and shakers of your industry
  • Leave the show with hundreds of qualified sales leads

Your free admission badge gives you access to the following areas of the Expo:

  • Exhibitor Hall
  • Workshops and seminars
  • ‘Get Dotted’ Business Networking Areas
  • Speed Networking Sessions
  • Business Card Showcase and Exchange
  • #smallbizselfie Contest
  • eLounge
  • Inspiration2020 Theatre Business Presentations, including Bill Walsh – The 7 Keys to Build a 7-Figure Business Presentation from 4:30 PM-6PM, Google’s Main Stage Presentations, the Free Bonus Small Business Workshop presented by our Titanium Sponsor, Powerteam International

Upgraded services are available for additional fees starting at $20. For more information about these services, click here.

Click here to register for this event.

Veteran-Owned Small Business Risk Education Workshop
Date: September 26, 2017 | 8:30 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 (map it)
Contact: info@wbc-la.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

DID YOU KNOW you could be held liable for the auto accident of an employee? WHAT WOULD YOU DO if your supplier couldn’t deliver an item you use in your end product? COULD YOUR BUSINESS STAY OPEN if there was a natural disaster or if you had major surgery?

VEDC has partnered with Travelers to bring you this Small Business Risk Education workshop. Join us and learn how to better protect your small business. If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran entrepreneur, we will teach you safety and loss prevention strategies, and develop a plan to address your business risks.

Topics covered in this workshop:

  • Managing business relationship risk
  • Keeping your business up and running
  • Establishing driver and vehicle safety

Minorities and women-owned businesses are encouraged to participate. Complimentary breakfast and networking begin at 8:30 am with the class following at 9:00 am.

Click here to register for this event.

SCORE’s 5th Annual Women Business Owners Conference
Date: September 28, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: The Great Wolf Lodge
12681 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840 (map it)
Contact: Debbie Molino | Debbie.Molino@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $79

Dare to Stand Out! Join SCORE for the annual Women Business Owners Conference: an interactive event for the savvy entrepreneur. Learn marketing strategies from women entrepreneurs scheduled to speak:

  • Keynote speaker Nellie Akalp, CorpNet CEO: How to Embrace the “Small” in Small Business
  • Liz Goodgold, REDFire Branding
  • Lisa T.D. Nguyen, Senhoa Jewelry Founder
  • Roni Ramos: Harmony 3 Productions, Founder

Your $79 admission fee includes breakfast, lunch, and parking. Please register before the Sept. 26 deadline.  

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

50 Ways to Get More Customers
Date: September 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: score.fairfieldcounty@gmail.com | (203) 831-0065
Organization: Fairfield County (Conn.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn simple techniques and discover tools to increase your customer base in the age of the Internet. Together we’ll cover how to develop your presence and showcase your expertise to bring customers to you using a pre-sales nurturing campaign, social media, and email marketing. Get started with free tools and techniques plus get basic templates and then hit the ground running to boost your business.

Topics will include:

  • Learn how sales has changed with the Internet
  • Create to create credibility, authority and trust
  • Set up your device (laptop, tablet, or Chromebook) with the Chrome browser and a Gmail account
  • Get started with Google Analytics for a WordPress website and other website building apps
  • Create nurturing email campaigns with tracking in a Google Sheet with canned emails
  • Understand how to repurpose and plan content for use on social media sites and in email marketing campaigns
  • Discover tools to help research potential clients

Click here to register for this event.

Targets of Opportunity: Recent Study Reveals Best Potentials for Economic Growth in our Region
Date: September 20, 2017 | 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

What could you and your business do if you knew:

  • Which industries show strong economic growth?
  • What occupations will be growing in the future?
  • What entrepreneurial activity will look like in our region?

Start using data to make your business decisions. Join this webinar to learn how the far mountains region of Northern California (specifically Siskiyou, Shasta, Trinity, and Humboldt Counties) fared in the last national recession and which industry areas defied the recession and saw growth. We’ll uncover the industry groups which showed a combination of business growth, job growth, wage growth, and job opportunities. We’ll understand the trends in our region’s entrepreneurial growth and how that growth ties into the region’s industries.

Targets of Opportunity Study:

  • Which industries in your area show economic strength and competitive advantage
  • Which areas of the economy provide growing entrepreneurial opportunities, emerging businesses, increasing employment and rising wages
  • How your local economy links with the larger regional economy
  • Which businesses are economically interdependent yet have common supply chains, labor needs, technologies, and markets

This webinar will be useful for potential entrepreneurs, business owners, and economic development or workforce professionals.

All who register will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the webinar, plus a recording of the live event.

Click here to register for this event.

Improve Your Online Presence to Attract More Customers
Date: September 28, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Can customers easily find your small business online? Is all the information on your website, business listings, reviews, and social media correct and current? Inaccuracy can be costly and detrimental to your business and reputation.

Join this webinar to get started with immediate steps to building an accurate online presence.

You’ll learn:

  • What is an online presence, and why is it important to manage?
  • How to check your online data across the web (website, listing, reviews, social media)
  • How incorrect data can have a negative impact on your business
  • How to correct online business data immediately

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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

Roan wanted to grow her art studio into a hub for local artists. Thanks to three small business loans from Opportunity Fund, The Arsenal is opening a new studio and gallery in San Jose’s Japantown.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. Get to know Roan Victor of The Arsenal in San Jose. Roan wanted to grow her art studio into a hub for local artists. Thanks to three small business loans from Opportunity Fund, The Arsenal is opening a new studio and gallery in San Jose’s Japantown.

Creating Connections in the San Jose Art Community

Roan Victor started The Arsenal in the summer of 2011. Roan and her husband Sean Boyles, both artists based in San Jose, chose to open an art studio and gallery in their hometown.

The Arsenal offers art classes and workshops to artists in the community of all ages and skill levels. “We work with all kinds of people,” Roan said. “Seniors would come in to buy oil paints, and at the same time, younger guys would come in to buy spray paint. They would all interact with each other. It was fun to bring different cultures and ages together.”

Roan’s vision for her business included a move to their dream location in San Jose’s Japantown, for the community art connections, walkable neighborhood, and strong small business network. First, she needed a small business loan to help The Arsenal grow.

Her business banker at Bank of America was focused more on the financial success of The Arsenal, which didn’t meet her needs as a small business owner. “Our goal is to have a significant contribution to the art community in San Jose,” she said.

Opportunity Fund Helps The Arsenal Stay in the Picture

Bank of America connected Roan to Opportunity Fund loan consultant Laly Velazquez, who was able to close a $4,000 loan in September 2014 for The Arsenal. The funds helped Roan set up a new classroom space with proper lighting. Roan paid off the loan in less than a year and applied for a second loan of $8,000 in June 2015, which helped replace and maintain equipment like their silk screen machine.

Roan came back for a third loan this January for $8,000 to help move The Arsenal to Japantown. Roan and Sean are working with Roan’s sister Regine to prepare their new space for a grand re-opening this summer. With their new space, The Arsenal can offer studio space to local artists, plus more classes and workshops featuring artists from the area and a brand new art gallery.

Roan Victor - The Arsenal

Roan is a teacher, a business leader, and an advocate for her community arts scene (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

Laly’s help through the loan process made a difference for Roan. “Sean and I both went to school for art so we don’t have a business background,” Roan said. “Working with Laly is like talking to a friend. She shows me what to do and how Opportunity Fund can help.”

Roan sees The Arsenal as a part of Japantown’s thriving arts scene and business community. “Our goal is to have a great studio with everything artists need, like what I had when I was studying painting at San Jose State,” she said. “I want to build a hub where artists with different experiences can work together.”

We’re proud to support Roan’s dreams to build The Arsenal into a community hub for artists and creators.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Deago Williams started his life over by starting his own business. He worked hard to build his business but couldn’t get financing through his bank. Deago is improving his business thanks to two small business loans from Opportunity Fund.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. Get to know Deago Williams of Williams Auto Detailing in Sacramento. Deago started his life over with hard work but couldn’t get a bank loan to grow his business. Read how we’re helping Deago improve his business and better serve his customers with our small business loans.

A Second Chance for a First Time Business Owner

Deago Williams took an unconventional path to entrepreneurship. After serving 16 years in prison in the Midwest, he came to Sacramento, California looking for a chance to rebuild his life.

Deago has 13 years of auto detailing experience, so he got back into the industry when he landed in California. “I had to teach myself all over again,” he said. “I got tired of working for somebody else. I wanted to see what it was like to have my own business.”

He founded Williams Auto Detailing in 2014 to fulfill those ambitions. Deago and his staff of his wife Denise and a new hire from the shop’s neighborhood work primarily with auto dealers in need of professional cleaning for their car inventories.

Soon Deago found the hard truth for most small business owners: it’s impossible to do everything on your own. He was working in the business every day, plus handling the finances, marketing, and other business functions.

He needed a small business loan to help purchase new equipment. “I go through a lot of money,” he said. “I’ve been able to stay in business this long because I put majority of my money back into my business.”

Deago’s bank couldn’t help, but a connection to Opportunity Fund made a huge difference for Williams Auto Detailing.

A Bright Future with Clean Cars

When I started my business I had no credit,” Deago said. His business banker at Wells Fargo was supportive of Deago’s business goals, but couldn’t get him the loan he needed. They introduced Deago to Opportunity Fund loan consultant Madieu Shyllon.

“Madieu visited me at my business,” Deago said. “He saw where I was coming from. He understood me and gave me confidence.”

Madieu got Deago started with a $3,500 loan in November 2015. Deago was able to pay the loan off and get a second loan of $8,000 in May 2016.

The working capital helps pay for backups for equipment that breaks down, which allows three Williams Auto Detailing employees to keep up with demand from seven auto dealers.

Deago Williams - Williams Auto Detailing

Deago counts on our small business loans to help him buy new equipment (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

Deago values Opportunity Fund’s commitment to open communication. “If I need to talk to someone, they lead me in the right direction with the right people. It’s taken care of,” he said.

Deago is focused on improving his business every day, with an upcoming move to a bigger workspace in the neighborhood. We’re focused on helping hardworking entrepreneurs like Deago make their dreams come true with our easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 17 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

SimpleSTEPS for Starting Your Business
Date: August 17, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: Edward Fordyce | efordyce@santacruzscore.org | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $35

This SCORE workshop will help you understand what it takes to successfully start and grow a small business. If you’re a new or early-stage business owner, this workshop is designed for your needs. We’ll present an overview of issues that can impact success or failure for small businesses, drawn directly from real experiences of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders:

  • Start-up Myths
  • Business Opportunities
  • Marketing
  • Structure, DBA, Licenses, Insurance
  • Record Keeping & Taxes
  • Cash Needs & Sources
  • Business Plans
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Cash Flow Projections: How to Use Microsoft Excel to Plan Ahead for Your Business
Date: August 23, 2017 | 8:00 pm PDT – 5:00 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 (JEDI)
Fee: $10

Join the Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) for an intensive one-day session to set your business up for financial success. Together we’ll complete a cash flow spreadsheet and learn some basics of Microsoft Excel.

Get answers to your key questions such as:

  • What is a cash flow projection? Learn what the future may hold by creating the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Is it all pie in the sky? Learn how to make sales projections based on research, comparison and solid assumptions.
  • When do I need a cash flow? Learn the different uses of a cash flow so you can make better decisions in your business planning.

Click here or call (503) 926-6670 to register for this event.

Marketing For Your Small Business
Date: August 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 550 E Shaw Ave. Fresno, CA 93710 (map it)
Contact: David Vazquez | davazquez@csufresno.edu | (559) 278-3712
Organization: Fresno State SBDC Fresno/Madera
Fee: $75

Learn about the fundamentals of branding during this two hour intensive workshop. Whether you’re having trouble generating new business or have marketing brand in place, work with us to define and optimize your small business marketing focus.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

How To Get A Business Loan
Date: August 17, 2017 | 9:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: University of La Verne Campus Center Third Floor
2000 2nd St. La Verne, CA 91750 (map it)
Contact: Fidel Gomez | fgomez@laverne.edu | (909) 448-1573
Organization: University of La Verne SBDC
Fee: Free

Join us at the SBDC for a free seminar on how to prepare your best application for a small business loan. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • SBA loans and loan qualifications
  • Criteria lenders look for
  • Loan package process
  • And more!

Opportunity Fund loan consultant Osbaldo Velazquez is scheduled to attend the event. He will be available to answer your questions about small business loans including how to get started.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: August 21, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 3780 Market St. Riverside, CA 92501 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organizations: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Join this workshop featuring an attorney who will educate you about the different forms of business organization and which is most beneficial for your business, including tax consequences and benefits of each type of information.

We’ll also discuss how to protect your personal assets and property from lawsuits plus how to prevent piercing of the corporate veil of protection.

The workshop will close with an overview of legal issues facing a small business from startup to success.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media Sells: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
Date: August 22, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce—Upstairs Conference Room
29737 New Hub Dr. #102 Menifee, CA 92586 (map it)
Contact: Mary Takavorian | mtakavorian@iesmallbusiness.com | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Social Media is a moving target with constant changes happening every day. Join this free workshop to get the up-to-date information on how you can use social media to grow your business.

Topics include:

  • Define marketing goals and strategies using free and subscription tools
  • Get started with social media analytics from gathering data to interpreting results
  • Set marketing goals based on analytics to optimize impact
  • Identify the latest trends with social media tools including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter
  • Analyze the demographics of who uses different social media platforms
  • Understand how and why Pinterest and Instagram choose to purchase products or services directly from a post
  • Discover how to use social media for non-profit and business to business marketing

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Essential Elements of Every Small Business Website
Date: August 17, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (New Jersey) SCORE
Fee: Free

Your website is the hub of your entire online presence and must function as a marketing asset. In this webinar, Duct Tape Marketing founder John Jantsch will cover the key features every small business website must have in the world of marketing-activated websites.

Topics include:

  • Draw visitors in with a compelling promise
  • Include key trust-building elements prospects look for
  • Create a “Call to Action” that gets clicks
  • Develop content to attract search engines
  • Build a homepage journey for your ideal client

Move your business beyond brochures and make the leap to digital!

Click here to register for this event.

Smart Borrowing Practices
Date: August 30, 2017 | 10:00 pm PDT – 11:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: workshops@sba.gov | (206) 553-7310
Organization: SBA Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

If you’re considering a major financial decision like purchasing a car or house, or looking to borrow money, this free webinar is your starting point on the journey.

Topics include:

  • Smart borrowing tips
  • Your rights as a borrower
  • Signs of predatory lending
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

The Hidden Benefits of Going Green
Date: August 31, 2017| 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (New Jersey) SCORE
Fee: Free

You probably already know the benefits of improving the environmental sustainability of your small business. Did you know that these initiatives go beyond preserving scarce resources like water and energy to helping lower your costs and gain customers?

Get tips for retailers looking to advance their sustainability efforts in this free webinar, including:

  • Low and no cost steps to take that will result in near-term savings
  • Special tips for food service establishments
  • Ways to share your efforts and appeal to your increasingly socially and environmentally conscious customers
  • 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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

When Eric Torres landed Florida Medical Clinic as a client for his Tampa-based marketing agency Brandiversity, he wanted to add capacity by hiring additional staff to service the large healthcare company. With a loan from Opportunity Fund/Lending Club, Torres quickly ramped up by hiring 2.5 new employees, and opening a two-person office in Orlando.  

It’s all about timing. Helping small businesses gain access capital when it’s time to grow. That’s what our expanding partnership with Lending Club is now doing in states across the U.S.

As the nation’s leading nonprofit small business lender, we partnered with Lending Club, the world’s largest online credit marketplace, to serve many more small business owners looking for a responsible and responsive source of capital when it’s the right time for their businesses to grow. Through this partnership, Lending Club brings its best-in-class platform designed to attract and serve online borrowers and Opportunity Fund brings our expertise serving small business owners and entrepreneurs, offering responsible loans along with advice and support.

Responsive Lending for Business Owners

When Eric Torres, principal at Tampa-based Brandiversity – a full service advertising and marketing agency in Florida’s Tri-Counties area – landed Florida Medical Clinic as a client, he wanted to add capacity by hiring additional staff to service the large healthcare company. With a loan from Opportunity Fund/Lending Club, Torres quickly ramped up by hiring 2.5 new employees, and opening a two-person office in Orlando.

“I launched Brandiversity in 2016 because increasingly I saw that my clients here in Florida needed help reaching diverse populations with their marketing platforms. We help our clients navigate global opportunities and tailor campaigns and outreach with great results,” said Torres, who has years of experience in advertising and marketing.

With clients in the robust service industries that fuel Florida’s economy, business owners like Torres are often faced with proverbial “chicken or egg” decisions. When opportunities arise to grow their business, they need access to capital from lenders who have a track record for responsible, responsive lending.

“Working with entrepreneurs when they have an opportunity to grow their businesses is rewarding,” added Miguel Cerda, the Opportunity Fund Loan Advisor who worked with Eric Torres. “In many cases, borrowers are seeking capital to hire more employees. Our investment has a multiplier effect in local communities.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s small businesses employed 3.1 million people, or 43.2% of the private workforce in 2013. Those businesses make up 98.9 percent of all employers in the state. Opportunity Fund’s expansion in partnership with Lending Club allows us to respond to the growing needs of entrepreneurs in states like Florida, where economic opportunity directly translates to economic development.

“My experience with Opportunity Fund was very positive,” Torres added. “The application and funding process was simple and I had the capital I needed to respond quickly to a new client opportunity.”

By 2020 Opportunity Fund plans to invest $400 million in over 10,000 small businesses nationwide.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jimmy is working to expand his Mexican food franchise in Santa Clara County. Iguana’s is set to open in its fifth location in South San Jose thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  Read about Jimmy Orozco of Iguana’s Burritozilla in San Jose. Jimmy is working to expand his Mexican food franchise in Santa Clara County. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, Iguana’s is set to open in its fifth location in South San Jose.

Made in San Jose

Iguana’s Burritozilla has been a part of the San Jose business landscape since 1994. Current CEO Jimmy Orozco started working in his uncle’s restaurant, the flagship location in downtown San Jose, when he was in high school. Since the beginning, Iguana’s has been a family owned and operated business, with Jimmy’s siblings and cousins all working together as co-owners of the franchise with four locations in Santa Clara County.

The Orozco family has built Iguana’s into a famous brand, with appearances on Travel Channel and Food Network programs. They also invest in the community by hiring staff from the neighborhoods where they open new stores and funding deejays for local high school dances.

Iguana’s success has always come from within, with Jimmy and the rest of the family bringing a “do it yourself” spirit to work every day. When Jimmy started thinking about small business financing to help open a new location in South San Jose, he needed a solution that worked for his business.

“We were turned down by a bunch of lenders,” Jimmy said. “None of them really seemed to understand the growth of our business.”

Jimmy found Opportunity Fund through the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, a research program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business that explores and expands knowledge of the Latino entrepreneurship segment in California’s economy through research, knowledge dissemination, and facilitated collaboration. Opportunity Fund plus Iguana’s turned out to be the perfect recipe for success.

Big Burritos Equal Big Business

Opportunity Fund business development officer Shanna McClearn started working with Jimmy to get the funding he needed to open the new location. The $250,000 loan we closed in February 2017 made a major difference for Iguana’s.

“Without Opportunity Fund, we would probably be doing the same thing but with a little more strain on the company,” Jimmy said of their expansion. “Now we don’t have to worry so much, because the capital is there.”

Shanna’s guidance throughout the loan process was also a huge help. “Working with Shanna was refreshing and surprising, and unexpected,” Jimmy said. “She took the time to understand our business. She gets the entire picture of what we’re doing. The communication was easy and quick.”

Jimmy and Shanna - Iguana's

Jimmy and Shanna closed their deal with a handshake and an invitation to lunch (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

The new location is fast tracked for a spring grand opening, with more locations to come. Jimmy is focused on his hometown community as always, but he’s also looking to expand to locations outside Santa Clara County in the future.

“We serve college students, high school kids, local business people, locals, you name it,” Jimmy said. “Anybody who wants good food in a fun environment is welcome here.”

We’re proud to support successful local entrepreneurs like Jimmy and honored to serve family-owned small businesses. We’re especially looking forward to grabbing a taco at Iguana’s new location.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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