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 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 October 16 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Market Research
Date: October 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 234 E. Gish Rd. Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | (408) 453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45

Join this workshop on the basics of market research and learn how to develop the knowledge and skills to find the information you need for your small business through developing a prepared question set and modeling. This class addresses primary and secondary research: the questions to ask, who to ask, and what to do with the answers. Key topics and learning outcomes include:

  • Your market: How large is it? Is it growing or shrinking?
  • Your customers: Who are they? What are they looking for?
  • Your competitors: What are the segments they’re targeting? How can you compete?
  • Your data:  What are the sources of primary and secondary market data? How do you get them?
  • Your markets: How do you model markets where you can’t find data?

Click here to register for this event.

2018 West Contra Costa Economic Summit
Date: October 24, 2018 | 10:30 am PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: The Craneway Pavilion
1414 Harbour Wy. Richmond, CA 94804 (map it)
Contact: staff@rcoc.com | (510) 234-3512
Organization: Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $20 for Richmond Chamber of Commerce members | $30 for non-members

Join the West Contra Costa Economic Summit and learn about the West Contra Costa business climate and resources for local businesses. Enjoy a business expo and networking plus a panel discussion with West Contra Costa County mayors from El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo. Lunch will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.

Women of Color: Scale Your Business and Succeed
Date: October 30, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Federal Reserve Bank
101 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: (415) 333-2130
Organization: National Association of Women Business Owners
Fee: $35 for NAWBO members | $45 for non-members

Inc. magazine reports that every year corporations in the United States spend more than $2 trillion buying services and products from small businesses. The Women’s Business Economic Council reports that typical women entrepreneurs see revenue increases of 266% within a two-year period of winning their first corporate client.  

Women like you make dynamic business leaders, but many female entrepreneurs are unaware of opportunities that can help them scale their business, increase their revenue and grow their business. Winning contracts with large corporations can be key to overcoming barriers in entrepreneurship—we’ll show you how at this event.

Join us to meet local business women just like you who have transformed their businesses, industries, and communities by securing lucrative contracts with large corporations and government agencies.

Enjoy lunch, networking opportunities, and a presentation and panel discussion on how to make key connections for your small business.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

How to Use Video to Elevate your Business and Message Online
Date: October 22, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

It’s essential to use video to engage your online audience, especially on mobile and social media. Once you have a game plan, video production can be a fun and creative endeavor in your business journey. Join this this free workshop to learn the steps of your video strategy and production.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Aspects of Business
Date: October 24, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: The Big House
180 E. 35th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284 ext. 242
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Join PACE Business Development Center for this free workshop on the legal aspects of business. Meet one-on-one with business experts to discuss specific questions and legal issues relating to the creation and running of a small business including the following topics:

  • Choice of entity
  • Contracts and leases
  • Intellectual property
  • Employment

Click here to register for this event.

Accounting for Non-Accountants
Date: October 26, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 1:00 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: Free

Are you earning money and paying bills, but don’t know how to make sense of your numbers? Do you want to understand your finances so that you can feel confident and in charge, making strategic decisions that will benefit your business and your future? Join us to make sense of your numbers and create a greater impact in your business and life.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Ten Best Free/Affordable Social Media Management Tools
Date: October 18, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

There are way too many things to do on social media for small businesses to deal with. Let’s talk about the best options for businesses to eliminate hassles that won’t break the bank.

Click here to register for this event.

Midterm Election Alert: How to Deal with Political Discussions in the Workplace
Date: October 23, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@nw-njsbdc.com | (908) 269-8475
Organization: NJSBDC of Northwest Jersey
Fee: Free

As midterm elections near, the political debates taking place across the country are likely to spill over into the workplace. As a result, employers may encounter heated discussions around the water cooler about the candidates and issues, or explicit statements about employees’ political stances.

This places employers in a tricky situation. You want your workers to be comfortable expressing themselves, but you also have a right to a peaceful, productive work environment. To complicate matters further, some of the topics being debated can lead to claims of harassment.

Attend our free webinar to learn:

  • How office politics can lead to a harassment lawsuit
  • The definition of a hostile environment, based on real-life scenarios
  • What you can and can’t do about employee use of social media
  • Tips to legally limit on-the-clock political discussions
  • Practical approaches to keeping the peace and restoring productivity

Click here to register for this event.

Simple Social Media Graphics: Make Your Posts Visual
Date: October 30, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: help@score.org | (800) 634-0245
Organization: SCORE Association
Fee: Free

A visual content campaign or infographics to promote your products and services can be time-consuming and overwhelming for small businesses, especially if you don’t have graphic design experience.

Bite-sized infographics and images used through social media can be just as compelling as long scrolling infographics. Your customers are busy too, and more likely to consume and engage with visual content they can quickly process, digest, and share with their networks.

Join this free webinar and learn:

  • Start with design—even for beginners
  • Ten types of images you can create and share through social media
  • Branding your visuals on social media

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

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 1 through 15.

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 October 1 through 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women’s Lunch & Learn: Life Work Balance
Date: October 4, 2018 | 11:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Foothill Event Center
400 Idaho Maryland Rd. Grass Valley, CA 95945 (map it)
Contact: Gilda Perez | gilda.perez@sba.gov | (916) 735-1704
Organization: California Capital Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Everyone wants a happy and productive life. A balanced life is essential to happiness, but it’s not one size fits all. As we try to juggle everything in our lives and find a balance, we can feel overwhelmed. This presentation will help you learn key skills for establishing a life work balance:

  • How to track where your time goes now and complete a goal sheet for focusing your time
  • How to find your personal balance for your needs today
  • How to define what’s important for your life today
  • How to balance your work and personal life on your terms

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Series: Reduce Your Business Taxes
Date: October 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—SJPL Works 3rd Floor
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works: Career & Business
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn how to structure your small business taxes correctly. You can ensure tax time is a little less burdensome for your business by learning the differences between business structures.

Registration is encouraged. Parking validation for 4th St. garage will be provided at the program.

Click here to register for this event.

Creating Business Success: Mastering the Art of Scaling Your Business
Date: October 13 or 14, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 7543 N. Ingram Ave. #106 Fresno, CA 93711 (map it)
Contact: hello@herspacefresno.com | (559) 776-2004
Organization: Her Space Fresno
Fee: $50

Join Her Space Fresno for this interactive event. A dozen expert speakers will coach you on how to scale your business. The program is offered on two days over one weekend and includes:

  • Live speaker interviews
  • Panel discussion with Q&A time
  • Speed networking
  • Vendors
  • Swag bags
  • Valuable raffle prizes
  • Lunch

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Social Media Club
Date: October 2, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Facebook Live is one of the most powerful tools for a small business owner. Join this free workshop to learn how to use Facebook Live, feel comfortable on camera, and look amazing while building your brand and business.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Avoid a Loan Shark
Date: October 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Phuong Le | ple@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Join us for this free workshop where PACE Business Development Center’s Phuong Le will discuss the basics of loan programs offered through PACE Finance Corporation and how to avoid loan sharks. The workshop will begin with a brief overview of SBA programs and services:

  • Counseling
  • Access to capital
  • Contracting
  • Disaster assistance

Click here to register for this event.

Annual Asian Small Business Expo
Date: October 6, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Quiet Cannon
901 Via San Clemente Montebello, CA 90640 (map it)
Contact: smallbiz@apisbp.org
Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program
Fee: Free

Join APISBP for Growing Your Business Online: Standing Out in the Digital World—a free small business expo!

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.

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

Everything is free:

  • Admission
  • Workshops
  • Parking
  • Networking
  • Business advice

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Credit Reports & Scores Explained
Date: October 4, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | Kimberly.Donahue@sba.gov
Organization: U.S. SBA 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. This webinar covers the factors that influence credit scores, how to dispute errors, and more.

Click here to register for this event.

An Insider’s Guide to Business and Franchise Ownership
Date: October 4, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Mary Takavorian | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Many aspiring business owners give up on their dream before getting started as they feel overwhelmed by the idea of building a business from the ground up.

Franchise ownership can help you realize those dreams by going into business for yourself but not by yourself. Attend this free webinar to get answers to these questions about franchising as the right opportunity to achieve your business dreams:

  • What is franchising?
  • What are some of the benefits and responsibilities of franchise ownership?
  • What kind of franchise opportunities are out there?
  • What factors should I consider when selecting a franchise?
  • How can I evaluate my potential to become a successful franchisee?
  • How do I investigate different franchise opportunities?
  • Can I afford it?

Click here to register for this event.

Website & Social Media Strategies Webinar
Date: October 4, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.com | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

Social media is essential to grow your business and brand. The same goes for your website. Position yourself online with a strong internet presence that reassures and strengthens the consumers trust in your business and motivates them to engage more with your business. This free webinar will help you get started with tools and actionable strategies to optimize your website and online infrastructures through social media. Start promoting and growing 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

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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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

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

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

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

Northern California/Sacramento

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Family is Everything

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

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

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

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

Going Places

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

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

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

Doc's Q'in Pit Stop

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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

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

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

Northern California/Sacramento

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

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

The following organizations are scheduled to present:

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

Topics include:

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

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

Southern California/San Diego

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The Taste of Success

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

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

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

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

African Soul Market

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

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

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

Starting Off Right

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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