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

Northern California/Sacramento

From Kitchen to Market
Date: May 17, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—Indian Valley Campus
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA  94949 (map it)
Contact: (415) 485-9305
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25 (includes a take-home packet with worksheets and resource guides)

Have you thought of taking that delicious family recipe and turning it into a business? Do you already own a food manufacturing business and want to expand?

Join this workshop to gain a competitive edge and learn about the rapidly growing specialty food industry. SBDC Specialty Foods Business Advisor Anni Minuzzo presents this three hour workshop. Gain insights from her 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, 20 of which were spent owning a wholesale baking company.

Topics include:

  • Planning and production process
  • Contacts to help get you started
  • Capitalization options

Click here to register for this event.

Take Better Photos for Your Business With the Camera You Already Have
Date: May 18, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Ste. 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov
Organization: SBA San Francisco District Office
Fee: Free

If you’re struggling to connect with your audience or your photography isn’t meeting the results your business needs, this free workshop can help.

Join us for a 90 minute workshop and learn how to create storytelling images that will make your brand stand out—using the equipment you already own! From cell phones to DSLRs, chances are you already own a great camera. Learn and techniques that will immediately improve the results your photos produce.

Click here to register for this event.

CCT Business Plan Workshop 2018
Date: May 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Seminary Campus—B.C. Lounge
4815 East Butler Ave. Fresno, CA 93727 (map it)
Contact: Carlos Huerta | Carlos.Huerta@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2374 or Jeanatte Jaurena | Jeanette.Jaurena@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2367
Organization: Center for Community Transformation—Fresno Pacific University
Fee: Free

Can you make a difference and make money?

Learn how to become financially sustainable and accomplish your social mission in this free Social Business Plan Workshop. Join like-minded entrepreneurs interested in Social Enterprise, a rapidly-growing category of business nationwide.

The best idea of the day will also win a $100 cash prize!

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Time Management
Date: May 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

If you’re doing more and enjoying it less, it’s time to make real choices about how and when to spend your time.

Join professional organizer Donna Buckner of Organizing Solutions and learn to analyze your day and prioritize your time based on what you really need to accomplish. Find balance, achieve your goals, and be more productive and efficient.

Click here to register for this event.

Start-Up Workshop
Date: May 24, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 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

If you are planning to start your business and you want to start on the right track, please join us at our next Small Business Start up workshop.

Topics include:

  • Start-up costs of your business
  • Your target audience
  • Your client base
  • 5 Cs of the loan application process
  • Business plans
  • Credit counseling
  • Loan packaging
  • Basic licenses and permits including business license, DBA, Seller’s Permit. EIN
  • Types of business entities

Click here to register for this event.

Basic Web Design
Date: May 24, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 7:00 pm PDT
Location: 13420 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 121 Pacoima, CA 91331 (map it)
Contact: info@bscvalley.org | (818) 834-0577
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Learn the basic elements of a high converting website and walk through two drag-and-drop platforms that make it easy and inexpensive to create a website your customers will love. Understand why SEO matters and website navigate settings to customize your site. Then learn how to source the royalty free images and write the content that you will plug into your template. Hit publish and you’re done!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Online QuickBooks for Beginners I
Date: May 18, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Shaunda Gates | shaundagates@boisestate.edu | (208) 426-3875
Organization: Idaho Small Business Development Center
Fee: $25

Join other small business owners and entrepreneurs and learn how to get started with Online QuickBooks in this webinar.

Participants in this workshop will be taught lessons on the following topics:

  • Getting Started and Setting up QuickBooks
  • Syncing Bank Accounts and Recording Transactions
  • Adding New Customers
  • Entering Sales Information (including the basics of invoicing)
  • Receiving Payments and Making Deposits

Please note: registrants will be emailed instructions on the login procedure one-day prior to the workshop. This class applies to QuickBooks for Online users only.

Click here to register for this event.

Essentials for Starting a Small Business
Date: Starts May 21, 2018
Location: Online—Webinar on demand
Contact: sbdc@sunyocc.edu | (315) 498-6070
Organization: Onondaga (N.Y.) SBDC
Fee: $35

The Essentials for Starting a Small Business is an online on demand course designed to create awareness for people who are interested in starting their own business with an emphasis on risk management.

Topics include:

  • Different types of entities
  • Legalities that go along with starting a business
  • Business plan development
  • Financials associated with starting a business

This course is a 6 week (approximately 10 hour) commitment, and uses the Blackboard management learning system for anytime, anywhere learning.

Click here to register for this event.

Inspire Innovation in Your Small Business
Date: May 31, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: contact.northeastnj@scorevolunteer.org | (201) 336-6090
Organization: SCORE Northeast New Jersey
Fee: Free

Do you know why your company struggles with innovation? What obstacles stifle your creativity? How can you develop your next product or sell your next service?

During this webinar, award-winning inventor, entrepreneur, and author Lon Safko will show you how to get creative and inspire innovative thinking to make your small business thrive.

You will learn:

  • How your brain functions (or doesn’t)
  • Why creative thinking is difficult
  • How to use random association exercises that teach your brain to generate new ideas
  • How to overcome obstacles and excel at creativity everyday
  • How to become your own innovation thought leader

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 April 3 through April 17.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from April 3 through April 17.

Northern California/Sacramento

Food Business Entrepreneur Training Academy
Date: April 3, 2017 | 6:30 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: Dublin Library—Community Room
200 Civic Plaza Dublin, CA 94568 (map it)
Contact: (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

The Alameda County SBDC and the Alameda County Community Development Agency offer a free ten-part seminar on “Running Your Own Food Business” for participants interested in launching and growing food businesses in Alameda County.

In this series, you will learn the basics to start and grow your own food business. Do you have a great idea and a burning desire to start a food product or restaurant/cafe business, but don’t know how? This series will help turn your idea into reality.

Starting with Session 1 – Defining Your Concept on April 3, we will discuss how to begin to take an idea for a new food company, and begin to explore how you can expand an idea into a business plan. We will also discuss other important factors in your business like:

  • Product – What (distribution channel options)
  • Target market – Who
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why
  • Defining Success – Bottom line, triple bottom line, environmental and community impact
  • People
  • Shareholders/Stakeholders

Click here to register for this event.

SimpleSTEPS for Starting Your Business
Date: April 13, 2017 | 6:30 pm PST – 9:0 pm PST
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: Edward Fordyce | (831) 621-3735 | efordyce@santacruzscore.org
Organization: Santa Cruz County SCORE
Fee: $35

This SCORE workshop will give attendees an appreciation of what it takes to successfully start and grow a small business.  Drawn from the actual experiences of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders, this workshop is designed to help new and early-stage businesses by presenting a broad overview of the issues that may impact their success or failure, such as:

  • Start-up Myths
  • Critical Factors to Success
  • Business Opportunities
  • Marketing
  • Structure, DBA, Licenses, Insurance
  • Record Keeping & Taxes
  • The Goal
  • Cash Needs & Sources
  • Business Plans
  • Next Steps

To register for this event, click here.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center Presents: Business Basics Seminar
Date: April 13, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: Veterans Business Outreach Center
4608 Duckhorn Dr Sacramento, CA, 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veteran Business Outreach Program
Fee: Free for veterans and military | $49 for non-VBOC clients

This training is designed for individuals interested in starting a business or currently in business for two or less years. Course includes business evaluation, market research, licensing and permit requirements, start-up cost, financing sources, insurance, cash flow analysis, legal structure, self-employment analysis, cash management, customer profile, protecting your business idea, and the reality of operating a business.

Click here to register for this event (non-VBOC members).

Southern California/San Diego

Keeping the Books: Business Accounting Basics
Date: April 4, 2017 | 12:00 pm PST – 2:00 pm PST
Location: LA Law Library
301 W. 1st St Los Angeles, CA 90012 (map it)
Contact: 213-785-2516
Organization: LA Law Library
Fee: Free

Every business decision must be made with an eye toward the bottom line. Learn to accurately assess your business’ financial outlook and plan for the future by understanding the basics of business accounting and finance.

This class covers:

  • How to apply the fundamentals of financial modeling to set realistic, achievable goals
  • How to apply basic accounting concepts to ensure an accurate financial snapshot of your business
  • How to use key financial statements like income, balance sheet, and cash flow

Click here to register for this event.

QuickBooks Boot Camp
Date: April 7, 2017 | 9:30 am PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd Santa Clarita, CA 91355 (map it)
Contact: Lora Nelson | lora.nelson@canyons.edu | (661) 362-5900
Organization: SBDC hosted by College of the Canyons
Fee: $139

In this day long, fast-paced, and all inclusive workshop, participants will get a running start with QuickBooks 2016. You’ll learn many valuable skills, such as:

  • How to set up their company file from scratch
  • How to create a quality chart of accounts
  • How to create new vendors, customer, items, and accounts
  • How to pay bills, invoice customers, receive payments, make deposits and reconcile bank accounts

An introduction to the report center will be covered, including how to create a Profit & Loss Statement and a Balance Sheet.

This course is Ideal for business owners, office managers, and bookkeepers who are brand new to QuickBooks, as well as, existing users who would like some formal education in one of these QuickBooks features. Training held in a computer lab with limited seating. Please note that there will be a half an hour break lunch break. Lunch is not provided.

Click here to register for this event.

Retirement Planning For Small Business Owners
Date: April 12, 2017 | 5:30 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: La Habra Community Center—El Camino Room
101 W La Habra Blvd La Habra, CA 90631 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

Small businesses have generally not been very successful in terms of providing opportunities for their employees to save for retirement. Only 44% of small businesses offer retirement plans. Lots of business owners are so busy working in their businesses they haven’t even taken time to plan for their own retirement, let alone keep up with the constant tax law changes which affect retirement planning in general.

This workshop will help you understand which retirement plans you should use for the best results.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Profitable Growth Through Smarter Business Choices
Date: April 5, 2017 | 11:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: njsbdcnb@business.rutgers.edu | (848) 445-8790 or (848) 445-8796
Organization: NJSBDC at Rutgers-New Brunswick
Fee: Free

This free webinar from SBDC-Rutgers New Brunswick will teach you best practices for expense reduction and optimum cash flow management through better business decision making. You’ll learn how to lead your staff to key success outcomes like:

  • Make your business leaner and hyper efficient while improving quality of service
  • Negotiate bigger discounts and better terms with suppliers
  • Improve your cash flow
  • Help your business support staff focus on other more critical revenue generating business functions.

Click here to register for this event.

Your Plan for Your Business Plan
Date: April 5, 2017| 4:00 pm PST -5:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Barry Black | midflorida@scorevolunteer.org | (352) 399-0050
Organization: Mid-Florida SCORE
Fee: Free

Nothing is more crucial to business success than planning. Learn how you can best develop your plan for your business.  A small business is like a gemstone – all the facets have to work together to make it brilliant.

Click here to register for this event.

Three Easy Steps to Being A Better Boss
Date: April 6, 2017 | 10:30 am PST – 11:30 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Larry Batten | larry.batten@sba.gov | (304) 623-7447
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Times are changing. Retaining employees has become more difficult, customers have become more selective, and change seems to have become the only constant in business. Developing our leadership skills can dramatically improve our odds at not just managing business and its uncertainties, but feeling empowered around it all. Come learn three effective, yet easy to learn strategies to becoming a better boss.

Click here to register for this event.

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

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


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

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

Cynthia started her first restaurant at age 17. Now at age 24, she owns multiple restaurants around the Bay Area. A working capital loan from Opportunity Fund is helping power her success in a tough industry.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  This week, read about Cynthia Vo of Phonomenal in San Jose. Cynthia started her first restaurant at age 17. Now at age 24, she owns multiple restaurants around the Bay Area. A working capital loan from Opportunity Fund is helping power her success in a tough industry.

Against the Odds

Cynthia Vo broke all the rules on her path to entrepreneurship. She started her first restaurant at age 17. She managed multiple eateries and a nightclub while attending college on a tennis scholarship. She went against her parents’ wishes to attend law school in favor of living the small business life. It’s that can-do spirit that fuels Cynthia’s success in a tough industry.

Now 24 years old, Cynthia owns five successful restaurants around the Bay Area. She started her first in San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose: a Vietnamese spot named On a Roll. Two years later, she started a noodle stand in the same downtown market, Phonomenal. Another two years after that, she opened a hamburger stand in the SoFA Market a few blocks away from San Pedro Square called On the Flipside. Add a nightclub and two new spots soon to open in Santa Cruz and Oakland respectively, and you can see how busy Cynthia is.

Cynthia Vo - Phonomenal

Cynthia takes time out for a bite at On the Flipside, one of her San Jose-based restaurants (Photo courtesy of Christian Peacock)

She had no trouble running the business while attending school and playing varsity tennis, but she ran into some issues with financing her growing business dreams. “Funding is so hard to get,” Cynthia said. “Nobody wanted to give me a loan because I was turning 18 at the time and I had no credit. Some lenders told me to come back in a few years.”

Building on Success

Cynthia never backs down from a challenge, so she called Opportunity Fund and got in touch with business development officer, Shanna McClearn. Shanna saw Cynthia’s excellent business acumen right away and was able to get her a $20,000 loan to help with cash flow. Since she started working with us in 2014, Cynthia has become a loyal business borrower.

“When I first reached out to you I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “Shanna took the time to sit down with me and figure out what we could do. She worked with what I had and helped me get the paperwork I needed.”

Cynthia is opening restaurants to build toward her ultimate dream: opening a country club in San Jose, with a golf course, tennis courts, and a banquet hall. She wants to raise her own capital and do it without investors, so she’s investing in the success of her restaurants to make it happen.

Opportunity Fund is happy to support hardworking entrepreneurs like Cynthia and to give them the runway they need to launch their wildest business dreams. We’ll be there to help Cynthia when she needs to boost one of her exciting new Bay Area eateries.

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


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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez built a food service empire from the ground up. Thanks to two small business loans from Opportunity Fund, she was able to start her own business and later expand into a successful food truck enterprise in Los Angeles with 15 employees.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. This week, read about Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez of Tony’s Tacos in Los Angeles. Marisol built a food service empire from the ground up. Thanks to two small business loans from Opportunity Fund, she was able to start her own business and later expand into a successful restaurant and food truck enterprise in Los Angeles with 15 employees.

Hard Work and Good Food

Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez has worked in the food industry since 2008. After two years of working for someone else, she wanted to go into business for herself. She started out with a hot dog cart then worked up to her current venture: Tony’s Tacos.

Marisol named Tony’s Tacos, a lunch truck in Los Angeles, after her youngest son. She runs the lunch truck and prepares all the food at her restaurant Guadalajara City on Florence Avenue in Los Angeles.

Aside from slinging tacos for hungry customers lined up around the block at her food truck, she had to work hard to finance her successful business. The search for business financing is an uphill battle, especially for immigrant entrepreneurs like Marisol.

“I tried to get financing, but it’s too expensive at most places,” she said. “The interest rates are so high. Plus, not every financial institution or lender believes in new businesses and food trucks. it’s very hard for people like me to get funded.”

A Personal Loan Connection

Over the last three years of preparing and selling her food around the city, Marisol has worked with Opportunity Fund to finance her entrepreneurial dreams. Her loan consultant Miguel Garcia has been with her since the start of her enterprises, first offering a $12,000 loan.

“When I started my hot dog trailer, I only had ten thousand dollars,” she said. “Miguel helped me get the money I needed to start my business.”

Marisol’s first food truck business was a success and allowed her to pay off her loan quickly. She took out a second loan of $75,000 to finance her new food truck. Tony’s Tacos is following the same success she had with her hot dog cart, and she’s inspired to do even more with Opportunity Fund financing.

“I have 15 people working for me,” she said. “From here, the sky’s the limit. I want to open my own restaurant and call it Tony’s Tacos.”

Tony's Tacos

Marisol and her crew work hard to make delicious food for the people in their Los Angeles neighborhood (Photo courtesy of ROF Industries)

Marisol is thankful for the connection to Opportunity Fund and Miguel in particular. “It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and my business,” she said of working with Opportunity Fund. “Miguel believes in me. He encouraged me to start my own business and expand.”

Opportunity Fund makes a difference in the lives of our borrowers every day. Our loan consultants are committed to working with borrowers to ensure their long term success through our loan programs. We’re especially proud to serve the Hispanic business community and support entrepreneurs like Marisol.

See how we helped Marisol start her business with a hot dog cart and then expand with a taco truck in this video:

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


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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in January.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting the free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in January.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Entrepreneurs – How to Successfully Build Your Business
Date: January 5, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: James Irvine Foundation Conference Center, Plaza A Room
353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | 510-208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Join Alameda County SBDC for a thought provoking and entertaining afternoon. Francesca Kuglen will share how she grew her business from an idea and a $250 investment into a multimillion dollar leader in the hair accessory industry. This is a must attend for any female business owner who wants a down-to-earth perspective on turning passion, perseverance, and products into profits.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Managing difficulties when introducing revolutionary ideas to the marketplace
  • Balancing the pros and cons of licensing

Click here to register for this event.

PR for Food Businesses
Date: January 10, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: Food Craft Institute
478 25th Street Suite D Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Shannon Gomes
Organization: Good Food PR
Fee: $20

Do you need a press release for your new product? Will “cold calling” media outlets get you results?

This two-hour workshop led by Good Food PR founder Shannon Gomes will introduce food business owners to public relations (“PR”) and how it can help their businesses. A wide range of topics will be covered, but the main purpose is to take the mystery out of PR in these three ways:

  • Discuss what PR is and who (really) needs it
  • Cover various PR Strategies for small and/or new food businesses
  • Outline PR best practices

To register for this event, click here.

Drive New Business with Social Media
Date: January 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: San Francisco SBA Center
455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfscore@sfscore.org | 415-744-6827
Organization: SBA and San Francisco SCORE
Fee: $15

This seminar will teach you effective social media marketing for your small business or nonprofit organization.

The SBA and San Francisco SCORE will help you:

  • Determine the platform that’s right for you and your organization
  • Announce your presence and build your network
  • Create and share content that encourages action
  • Understand social media advertising and learn your options
  • Convert social media leads into potential customers by growing your email list

Make social media easy! Join us for this event.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Tax Tips for Small Business
Date: January 10, 2017 | 5:00 pm PST – 7:00 pm PST
Location: North Valley BusinessSource Center
13420 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 121 Pacoima, CA 91331 (map it)
Contact: nvbsc@vedc.org | 818-834-0577
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

This workshop will give you guidance and useful information to help you keep accurate records and save money on your various business tax liabilities. Join VEDC to learn valuable skills to keep your business afloat!

Click here to register for this event.

La Verne Business Resource Seminar and Expo
Date: January 11, 2017| 8:00 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: University of LaVerne Campus Center, 3rd Floor
2180 Third St. La Verne, CA 91750 (map it)
Contact: 909-448-1567
Organization: La Verne SDBC
Fee: Free

Join La Verne SBDC for this business resource seminar and expo. You’ll get strategies for success in today’s economy from experts and community organizers from the City of La Verne, the La Verne Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Topics include:

  • Simplifying Sales and Use Tax for Your Business
  • Minimize Tax Frustration with Effective Recordkeeping
  • Access to Capital – Be Prepared for Your Success
  • Employee or Independent Contractor? Demystify Common Misconceptions
  • Recordkeeping for Small Businesses – Avoiding Tax Audits With Effective Recordkeeping
  • Ten Tips to Ensure Small Business Success
  • Forms of Ownership – Tax Advantages of Properly Classifying Your Business

Click here to register for this event.

How to Get Lenders to Say YES! to You
Date: January 23, 2017 | 11:30 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: Poway City Hall
13325 Civic Center Drive Poway, CA 92064 (map it)
Contact: chamber@poway.com | 858-748-0016
Organization: Poway Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Join local lenders and the Small Business Administration for this free seminar on available resources to help your business grow. Small business lending experts will cover these key topics:

  • How to understand the “Mind Set” of the lenders
  • How to access capital to start your business
  • How to get started with resources available to business owners

Join us for this exciting program featuring special guest speakers Rosalinda Delgado, Business Development Officer at Acción, Esther Carrillo, Loan Officer at CDC Small Business Finance, and Mike Sovacool, Acting Lead Economic Development Specialist at U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Social Media Video Production Webinar
Date: January 9, 2017 | 11:00 am PST – 1:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: 951-652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: $15

Learn how to create, implement, and boost sales using social media video. This course will include social media video tools like Facebook Live and Periscope. Learn techniques used the film industry to create videos that will help your business:

  • Attract new customers
  • Increase website traffic
  • Engage quality customers
  • Raise more funds

Click here to register for this event.

What to Say, and How to Say It: Crafting Effective Email Messages
Date: January 18, 2017| 4:00 pm PST – 5:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: entrectr@hartford.edu | 860-768-5681
Organization: University of Hartford
Fee: Free

Learn to create, curate, and extend email content that will help you achieve your business goals. This seminar will teach you time-saving tips, techniques, and apps to help you develop and share content successfully.

You will learn these key how-tos:

  • Use links to create the most engagement
  • Turn questions into high-open subject lines
  • Use graphics, photos and videos
  • Repurpose content across multiple platforms
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Plan “It”: Small Business “It” Series
Date: January 24, 2017 | 12:00 pm PST – 1:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: Business Impact NW
Fee: Free

In this workshop you will learn all about Business Model Canvas: a strategic visual and organizational tool that can be used to develop a new business model or document an existing one. This innovative approach helps business executives see the relationships between different segments of their business and identify hidden opportunities or risks. Bring your business ideas and be ready for a hands-on class.

Click here to register for this event.

For more information on the Plan “It” series of workshops (live in Washington state and available globally via webinar), click here.


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

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


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

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

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in November.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting the free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in November.

Northern California/Sacramento

Healthy Employees, Healthy Bottom Line Workshop
Date: November 9, 2016 | 9:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Contra Costa SBDC – 2nd Floor
300 Ellinwood Way Pleasant Hill. CA 94523 (map it)
Contact: Rhea Aguinaldo | raguinaldo@smallbusinessmajority.org | 415-654-4846
Organization: Small Business Majority & Contra Costa SBDC
Fee: Free

Small business owners spend their days concentrating on their particular specialty, but there’s one thing they have in common: they all have to contend with a host of similar workforce issues. Join Contra Costa Small Business Development Center and Small Business Majority for a workshop on a variety of workforce and healthcare laws as they pertain to small businesses, including paid sick days, paid family leave, and Covered California for Small Business.

Topics include Covered California for Small Business—online health insurance marketplace where small businesses and the self-employed can shop for health coverage for their needs and budget; California’s Paid Family Leave Program—employer obligations, employee eligibility requirements; California’s new paid sick days law; and tools and resources to help you navigate the new laws. A question and answer portion will follow.

Click here to register for this event.

La Cocina’s Food + Entrepreneurship Conference
Date: November 13 & 14, 2016 | 9:00 am PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: San Francisco
Contact: Aniela Valtierra | aniela@lacocinasf.org | 415-824-2729 x 309
Organization: La Cocina
Fee: $50 – $200 (scholarships are available – Please see below for more information. Application deadline is November 7)

For the past 5 years, the Food + Entrepreneurship Conference has been a gathering place for civic leaders, nonprofit innovators, and forward thinking food business owners to come together, rethink economic structures, share innovations and work together to build more equitable, vibrant and delicious cities. Leaders and innovators from as close as Oakland to as far as Helsinki have looked to La Cocina throughout the years to engage in dialogue and revolutionize the way we produce, eat, and think about food.

This year, La Cocina’s Food + Entrepreneurship Conference, presented by Whole Foods Market, will kick off on Sunday, November 13th with a full day of conversations, workshops, and food with a focus on how small businesses can be activists for change in their communities. On Monday, November 14th, we’ll be hosting guided walking tours (with plenty of eats!) to experience food entrepreneurship on the ground.

To see what we’ll be discussing at the conference, and who will be speaking, have a look at the Conference Schedule.

Food Producer Scholarships: We also have a scholarship fund for producers, which is good for the Sunday Conference Program. So if you think you’d really benefit from attending the conference but can’t quite afford it, please do send in a scholarship application form.  We are reviewing scholarship applications weekly, and will respond to you accordingly. The last date to apply is November 7th.

For more information or to buy tickets for the event, click here.

Buying or Selling a Small Business
Date: November 14, 2016 | 9:30 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Silicon Valley SCORE
234 E. Gish Road, Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | 408-453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45; Free for veterans (see below)

Learn how to buy the right business cheap….or sell it high! This is a class for anyone who wants to buy or sell a business and doesn’t know where to start. Two highly experienced business brokers teach this class and they really know their stuff. Anyone who wants to know about evaluating a business’s value or wants to know how to be sure they are buying value should take this class. The course will cover valuation, what kinds of records you need to review, and the legal overview of a business transaction.

Click here to register for this event. Veterans: Free admission is available for this class. Click here for details.

Southern California/San Diego

Small Business Development Center Orientation
Date: November 1, 2016 | 1:30 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: San Diego SBDC
880 National City Blvd., Suite 103, National City CA 91950-3263 (map it)
Contact: sdsbdc@swccd.edu | 619-482-6391
Organization: San Diego and Imperial Valley SBDC
Fee: Free

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a myriad of services for the start-up and existing business owner at “No Cost” or “Low Cost”. The one-on-one business consulting services are non-fee based and designed to assist in the formulation and management of your business. The workshops and classes cover a variety of business interest topics and most are no cost to the SBDC client. The SBDC mission is to assist small business owners to start and grow their business.

Click here to register for this event.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business—Information Session
Date: November 2, 2016 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: We Work, the Gas Company Tower
555 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 (map it)
Contact: Catalina Aldridge | 213-580-7590
Organization: Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Have you secretly desired to learn how to take your business to the next level? With Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, you can gain practical business skills and tools to help accelerate that growth. Through professional workshops, you will learn from some of the brightest minds in business. Learn about access to financial capital and build a powerful network of professional support. If accepted into this national program with near 100 percent completion, program tuition will be at no cost to you!

If you are a business owner that is passionate about building greater success, join us for this information session. Your invitation will give you access to previewing the program, hear from an instructor, and learn how to apply for this exclusive network of business owners from around the nation. Opportunity Fund Regional Director Iosefa Alofaituli is scheduled to appear at the event.

For more information about the Goldman Sachs program, click here. Download the information flyer for the information session here: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Business Resource Seminar & Expo
Date: November 9, 2016 | 8:00 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Ventura College Wright Event Center
57 Day Road Ventura, CA 93003 (map it)
Contact: Xiomara Peña
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

The Board of Equalization invites you to join this business expo full of strategies for success in today’s economy. Topics will cover: the power of the chamber of commerce, avoiding common sales and tax problems, forms of ownership, recordkeeping for small businesses, employee or independent contractor status, loan programs, and much more. Our So. Cal. Outreach Manager will be presenting on the importance of planning for retirement and complying with workforce regulation including CA’s new Paid Sick Day Law and Paid Family Leave.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Money Now, Money Later: ABCs of Financing Your Small Business and Building Your Retirement
Date: November 8, 2016 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Geri Agilpay
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Small Business Majority invites you to join us for a free webinar to help you navigate the funding landscape and finance the growth of your small business. We will focus on microloans, crowdfunding, online lenders, and guarding against predatory lending. Growing your business also means securing your finances, so we will provide an overview of common retirement paths for small business owners and their employees.

Topics of discussion include an overview of alternative lending options including microloans and reputable online lenders, questions for entrepreneurs to consider when seeking funding, The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, the U.S. retirement savings gap and how small business can be part of the solution, and much more. A question and answer period will follow.

Click here to register for this event.

Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Date: November 17, 2016 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: sbc@durhamtech.edu |919-536-7241
Organization: Small Business Center Network
Fee: Free

Learn how to create a marketing strategy that supports your business goals. This seminar will cover some of the best marketing tools that are free or at a very low-cost and explore creative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank or your budget. Taught by Melissa Terrell of Women’s Business Center.

Click here to register for this event.

Veteran Entrepreneurship
Date: November 30, 2016 | 5:30 pm PDT – 6:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Amber Lopez | sdbc@canyons.edu | 661-362-5900
Organization: SBDC Los Angeles
Fee: Free

The session will highlight entrepreneurship as an option to generate income and cash flow.  Participants will be introduced to resources to help with the next step in starting or growing your business, or transitioning from current activity into a formal business. Join instructor Raimone Roberts, Business Advisor at the College of the Canyons SDBC and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Click here to register for this event.

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

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


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

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

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