This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in California. Here are the best upcoming events from December 1 through 16.

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

Here are the best upcoming events from December 1 through 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Coffee with a Business Adviser
Date: December 3, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 4:00 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

Come and meet with expert business advisers with real world experience who help local businesses. These advisers are here to answer any questions and to provide guidance and feedback. Attendees will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Click here to register for this event.

Before You Sign That Lease
Date: December 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 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: Free

An experienced business and real estate attorney will help you learn how to make well-informed commercial tenant decisions and prepare for landlord negotiations. Please note: this class does not constitute legal advice.

Click here to register for this event.

Ideas to Assets—A Practical Guide to Patents and Trademarks
Date: December 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 1887 Monterey Rd.—2nd Floor San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: Emily Navarra | emily.navarra@sba.gov | (415) 744-6805
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration San Francisco District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn legal principles and considerations for converting ideas into assets. Topics include:

  • Understanding requirements and procedures associated with protecting an invention (patent) and a brand (trademark)
  • Securing intellectual property rights (acquiring or conveying ownership or use rights by assignment or license)
  • Working with others in the process, such as manufacturers and distributors
  • Enforcing (or defending against) claims of possible infringement

Please note: this class does not constitute legal advice.

Click here to register for this event. Registration is required.

Southern California/San Diego

Are You an Entrepreneur?
Date: December 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moreno Valley Employment Resource Center
12625 Frederick St. Suite K3 Moreno Valley, CA 92553 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? It’s more than business savvy—it also takes time, commitment, and the willingness to take risks. Join this free workshop to discuss all of the above and help you determine if you’re ready to start a business.

Click here to register for this event.

Women in Business Leadership Series: Making Your Voices Heard by Policymakers
Date: December 6, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: San Diego SBDC
880 National City Blvd. National City, CA 91950 (map it)
Contact: Claudia Moreno
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Have you ever wanted to engage in local or statewide policy as a small business owner? Are there issues you’re interested in speaking out about as a small business or community advocate?

The San Diego’s Women Business Center and Small Business Majority invite you to join us for a free presentation on how to become a small business advocate and how entrepreneurs can use their voices to impact local and statewide change.

Learn about ways small business owners have partnered with Small Business Majority and other business groups to move the needle on important legislation. Topics include:

  • Best practices for reaching out to policymakers and legislators
  • Media engagement
  • Tips on tying in your small business story/perspective
  • Current legislation and issues to get involved with, including healthcare, retirement, and access to capital
  • And more

Click here to register for this event.

Taxes
Date: December 13, 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 us for this free session will cover a wide range of state and federal tax issues that confront small businesses. Learn how different types of business entities are taxed (sole proprietorship, partnership, C Corporation, or S Corporation), and the tax consequences of classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. The presentation will also review specific tax and filing requirements imposed by California and the federal government, and how small businesses can comply.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

What’s Next for Digital Marketing
Date: December 4, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Donna Botti | donna.botti@scorevolunteer.org | (215) 391-1305
Organization: Montgomery County (Penn.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to discuss digital marketing trends of the past year and take a look ahead to 2019. Learn strategies and tactics to include in your new year marketing plans. Start the new year off right by understanding the the hottest trends to take advantage of to grow your business or nonprofit.

Topics include:

  • Mobile
  • Social media
  • Live video
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Personalization
  • Automation
  • And more

Click here to register for this event.

Nine Key Elements of Success
Date: December 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Cindy Doyl | cdoyl@wsu.edu | (509) 358-7890
Organization: Washington Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Join us for this interactive talk where we’ll discuss the nine crucial elements of creating success and how to do it a smart manner. Apply specific concepts from the webinar into your business world and draw connections between the modifications in your current actions and increased future success in business.

Click here to register for this event.

What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business
Date: December 6, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Xiomara Peña
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

This webinar will focus on what the Affordable Care Act means for small businesses and the federal provisions available to help small business owners understand how the law will affect your business. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

Topics include:

  • Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  • Marketplace updates
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law

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 $700 million and helped thousands of 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

Teresa used her experience as a cosmetologist to open her own beauty supply business in Anaheim. Two small business loans from Opportunity Fund are helping her expand her inventory and meet her business goals.

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

Teresa used her experience as a cosmetologist to open her own beauty supply business in Anaheim. Two small business loans from Opportunity Fund are helping her expand her inventory and meet her business goals.

All the Right Pieces for Success

Teresa started Tere’s Nail & Beauty Supply in the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace in 2010. She used her expertise as a licensed cosmetologist to break out on her own and start a business.

“About 80 percent of my clients are Hispanic,” Teresa said. “From my time working in the beauty industry, I know women are always looking for the latest beauty products. I saw the opportunity in the industry and the location in Anaheim, so I went for it.”

Teresa’s shop at the gigantic Anaheim Marketplace may be small, but it’s packed with a wide selection of beauty supply needs: acrylic nails, makeup, hair extensions and wigs, and more. Teresa’s work goes beyond just selling what a client needs to look good. She also specializes in beauty technique instruction.

“As a cosmetologist, I can educate to my clients how to apply nail products in a professional way,” she said. “I show my clients how do their own beauty treatments so they can save money.”

Teresa did everything right as a small business owner, from capitalizing on her talents to finding the perfect location. Still, she had trouble finding the right business lending solution to help her grow her business.

The Right Business Funding Connection

Teresa needed a small business loan to purchase more inventory. “I wanted to expand the variety of what I sell,” she said. “I saw how that could boost my sales.”

Tere's Nail Supply

Our small business loans helped Teresa keep the latest products in stock and boost her sales (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)

In her search for small business loans, Teresa found nothing but high interest rates and lackluster customer service. When she met Opportunity Fund loan consultant Osbaldo Velazquez at an access to capital seminar in Orange County, she saw the opportunity she’d been waiting for.

Osbaldo was able to approve a $5,000 loan in September 2016 for Tere’s Nail & Beauty Supply. The working capital helped Teresa grow her business right away with increased purchasing power for inventory. She returned for a second $5,000 loan in February 2018 to help with boosting inventory again.

“The process was very fast,” she said. “Osbaldo indicated the documents and I needed when we talked so I knew what I would need to have. With the first loan, the funds were deposited within two days. The second loan was even faster because the information already was there, so we did the whole process was taken care of over the phone.”

Now that Teresa has the inventory she needs to make more sales, she’s focused on the future of her business. Her goal is to expand her sales to wholesale vendors, and she hopes to return to work with us again for working capital when she needs it.

We’re excited to watch Tere’s Nail & Beauty Supply grow and we’re proud to support hardworking Latina entrepreneurs like Teresa.

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 California. Here are the best upcoming events from November 15 through 30.

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

Here are the best upcoming events from November 15 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Social Media Marketing 101 for Black & Latino Small Businesses
Date: November 17, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
1887 Monterey Rd. Ste 2105 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@hccsv.org | (408) 248-4800
Organization: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Fee: $97

Newspapers, print flyers, and billboards are so 1990! Everyone is on their phones scrolling on Facebook and Instagram. 2018 is calling!

Black and Latino small business owners: join us for this half day workshop on how to strategically market a business and how to attract the right customers through social media. Learn how strategic posting, paid ads, and video marketing can help you get eyes on your product or service. It’s time to get in the game and reach people where they spent their time—on social media.

Click here to register for this event.

Boots To Business: Reboot
Date: November 19, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: Veterans Home of California, Fresno
2811 West California Ave. Fresno, CA 93706 (map it)
Contact: events@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center—Region IX
Fee: Free

Join the Veteran Business Outreach Center in Fresno for a one day introduction to entrepreneurship workshop. This free seminar will help veterans understand the steps, stages, and activities related to launching and growing a business as a post-military career.

Get started with ideas and resources in training modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the entrepreneurial experience
  • Module 2: Basics of opportunity recognition
  • Module 3: Markets & your competitive space
  • Module 4: The economics of small business start-up
  • Module 5: Picking the correct legal entity for your business
  • Module 6: Financing your venture
  • Module 7: Moving forward—Business planning
  • Module 8: Moving forward—Resources to support you

Click here to register for this event.

Intellectual Property—Protecting your Ideas, Brand, and Designs
Date: November 28, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1325-b Evans Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124 (map it)
Contact: bayview@rencenter.org | (415) 647-3728
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

This workshop will introduce you to different types of intellectual property—focused primarily on copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets—and will provide you with self-help resource information to start building a simple but solid foundation of protection through rights searches, NDA’s, registrations, licenses, and other tools.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Insurance—How to Protect You and Your Business
Date: November 16, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 8825 Aero Dr. Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92123 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (858) 283-1100
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: Free

Every business has certain risks related to its operation. Insurance coverage is critical to protect your business and personal assets. Join this free workshop to learn all about insurance for your business:

  • The types of insurance you’ll need
  • The level and amount of insurance you’ll need
  • Ways to get the insurance coverage you’ll need

San Diego SCORE’s expert insurance seminar leader will address key issues:

  • How do I get the most out of my insurance dollar?
  • What insurance is an absolute must to avoid great risk to my business?
  • How do I value my buildings and personal property?
  • How will damage to my property affect my revenue and profit?
  • What about using my own car or employees’ cars in business?
  • What are the issues if I use subcontractors?
  • How do I evaluate the insurance indemnity provisions of contracts?
  • Should I use an insurance agent or broker? How do I find one?
  • Which employee benefits (life, health, 401k) should I consider?
  • Should I consider disability insurance? Buy/Sell? HSAs?

Click here to register for this event.

Stress-Free Business Taxes
Date: November 17, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 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

Take the stress out of preparing for your business taxes! We’ll cover the basics, from business tax requirements through working from home to deductions, credits, and record keeping to get you ready for a stress-free tax day.

Click here to register for this event.

Start Up Workshop
Date: November 20, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 2900 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Learn how to properly launch your business to ensure success in this free workshop. Topics include:

  • Legal forms of ownership
  • Licensing and tax requirements
  • Capital and labor costs
  • Lease versus purchase
  • Insurance options
  • And more business start-up issues

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Differences and Similarities of Nonprofits and For-Profits Entities
Date: November 26, 2018 | 6:30 am PDT – 7:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (804) 771-2400
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn the similarities and differences of nonprofit and for-profit entities. The course will demonstrate how the two entities are similar and the major differences that distinguish them apart. Participants will learn about the governance structure and important factors that distinguish the two under legal requirements.

Click here to register for this event.

Let’s Talk Business! Top 20 Online Tools for Small Business Owners
Date: November 28, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ryan Norskog | rnorskog@thurstonedc.com | (360) 464-6060
Organization: Washington Center for Women in Business
Fee: Free

Join the Washington Center for Women in Business for this free webinar that will help you find the best online tools to grow your small business.

Click here to register for this event.

How the Tax Reform Affects Your Small Business
Date: November 29, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 ext. 3
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

Join ACE SBA Women’s Center for their latest Lunch & Learn webinar and learn how the tax reform affects your small business:

  • What key business tax revisions are included in the bill?
  • How do I apply changes in the new bill to my business?
  • How does the tax reform impact my income tax return?
  • What can I do before the end of the year to save on income taxes?

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 $700 million and helped thousands of 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 November 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re promoting 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 November 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Basics of Starting a Business
Date: November 7, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Sierra SBDC
10183 Truckee Airport Rd. Suite 202 Truckee, CA 96161 (map it)
Contact: nnvclassesscore@gmail.com | (844) 232-7227
Organization: SCORE Northern Nevada
Fee: Free

This free workshop will introduce you to the basic issues to address before you venture into the world of business. Begin the process with success with these topics:

  • Critical success factors
  • Your idea: Evaluate, test, and protect
  • Legal structures
  • Marketing
  • Finances
  • Launch your business

Click here to register for this event.

Celebrate Veterans Small Business Week: Turning Contacts into Contracts
Date: November 8, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA  94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6777
Organization: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
Fee: Free

You are invited to a very special National Veterans Small Business Week event celebrating Veteran Entrepreneurs. Come learn how to do business with the government (state and federal) and how to fund your business venture through different term loan programs.

Agenda:

  • 10 am – Registration and Networking
  • 10:15 am – Opening statement and Brief introductions
  • 10:30-11:30 am – Contracting with the Federal Government and the State of California
  • 11:30-12:00 pm – Financing Your Business

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Empowerment Night
Date: November 12, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moseley’s Hilltop Tasting Room
2158 Hilltop Dr. Redding, CA 96002 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

AWE Redding California, WE Thrive Women’s Business Center at JEDI Group, and Women of Vision Movement invites you to an evening of networking, wine, and fun at Escape Redding.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Small Business Legal Academy
Date: November 3, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 3:00 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

Bet Tzedek’s Small Business Legal Academy, sponsored in conjunction with the VEDC’s Women’s Business Center, is a free workshop bringing the top lawyers from various law firms to help guide and counsel the Los Angeles small business community. In addition to receiving critical legal information via a presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one legal consulting—all free of charge.

Presentation topics include:

  • Entity formation
  • Small business tax considerations
  • Intellectual property
  • Employment law basics
  • Contracts basics
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Time Management: Secrets to Boosting Productivity & Managing Stress
Date: November 6, 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: Free

Does it seem like you never have enough time? Are you frustrated by not finishing tasks and seeing more progress in your life and in your business? You don’t need more time, you need great time management! Learn to define your non-negotiables to set priorities that truly reflect what’s important to you and your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Start Up Workshop
Date: November 8, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 5450 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230 (map it)
Contact: Nate Nguon | nnguon@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Learn how to properly launch your business to ensure success in this free workshop. Topics include:

  • Legal forms of ownership
  • Licensing and tax requirements
  • Capital and labor costs
  • Lease versus purchase
  • Insurance options
  • And more business start-up issues

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Finding New Business Opportunities
Date: November 6, 2018 | 7:00 am PDT – 7:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (304) 623-5631
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Spotting new market opportunities is key for business growth. We’ll cover ways to stay on top of business trends, whether it’s growing your current business or starting a new one.

Click here to register for this event.

Create A YouTube Account for Small Business
Date: November 6, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Video marketing is the best way to promote your business online. This workshop is designed to give business owners an advantage over their competitors by learning how to setup a YouTube account, how to upload videos, and how to use YouTube to promote their company.

Key points that will be covered:

  • Create an account 
  • Choose the right thumbnail
  • Write effective titles and descriptions
  • Utilize keywords and taglines to promote videos

The workshop will consist of a step by step walk-through of all of the topics, written step by step instructions, and access to the workshop replay for 48 hours for registered participants.

Click here to register for this event.

The Science Behind Sales
Date: November 14, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 ext. 120
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

Tap into the world of neuroscience to explain the science of trust to improve your ability to make a sale in this free webinar. Learn strategies for how to better communicate with your customers.

Topics include:

  • Interacting with the three layers of the brain
  • Creating connections
  • Establishing credibility
  • Handling customer objections

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

Frank started The Point Coffee Shop after retiring from a long career working for the City of Jacksonville. His coffee shop gives a lot to the community: down home cooking, employment opportunities, and a meeting space for local organizations. Our partnership with Lending Club connected Frank with the working capital loan he needed to keep his business strong, so he can focus on helping his hometown thrive.

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

Frank started The Point Coffee Shop after retiring from a long career working for the City of Jacksonville. His coffee shop gives a lot to the community: down home cooking, employment opportunities, and a meeting space for local organizations. Our partnership with Lending Club connected Frank with the working capital loan he needed to keep his business strong, so he can focus on helping his hometown thrive.

Changing Careers While Staying Focused on Community

Frank Lyons started The Point Coffee Shop in Jacksonville, Fla. in 2014. The Point is more than just a friendly neighborhood diner. Aside from serving unique crab patty breakfasts, Frank also serves his community through local advocacy and job creation.

Frank helped shape local policy and create job opportunities for minority workers over a career that spanned four decades working for the City of Jacksonville with local government officials in roles like Fire Chief and executive for Jacksonville Electric Authority. “I was privileged to help change some things in Jacksonville,” Frank said. “I’m still trying to.”

After retirement, Frank saw a chance to keep working in the community by opening his restaurant. In addition to the neighborhood seniors who come in for a hot, home cooked breakfast, local organizations seek out The Point as a neighborhood hub.

The Point Coffee Shop

Frank turned his coffee shop into a neighborhood fixture with good food and good company (photo courtesy of Jack Edwards)

“I host meetings here at my business,” Frank said. “Neighborhood pastors, people from the Teacher’s Association, and the Community Association come here. We took an area that wasn’t as active and available to the community, and now people love it.”

Frank needed working capital to help purchase equipment. Like many small business owners, Frank had to dig deep to start his business and keep it going. “I started this business on a shoestring,” he said. “I had to do it out of pocket after a business partner bowed out. I was determined to make this business work, so I stayed with it.”

Growing the Business Within the Neighborhood

Despite running a successful business for years, Frank had few options for business lending. “We heard a lot of promises, but nothing real,” he said.

Opportunity Fund business loan advisor Rexie Dumagan helped close a $14,000 loan in November 2017.  “Nobody else would help us,” Frank said. “Opportunity Fund got us to where we needed to be and where we are today.”

The Point’s impact as a hyper-local small business extends to all aspects of the community. Frank’s five employees all live in the neighborhood, close enough to walk to work every day. His unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit and local pride are driving forces behind The Point’s upcoming expansion. “I acquired a building down the street that holds 60 people,” Frank said. “Right now, my shop has a capacity of about 22. We get to stay in the neighborhood while expanding our business.”

We’re proud to support locally-oriented business owners like Frank, and we’re honored to watch our small business loans drive positive change in communities in Florida and beyond.

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 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

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

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

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

Starting Over Together

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

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

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

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

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

Rebuilding For the Future

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

Nana Nif's Serving it Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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