Sarah sets up business owners with employee perks packages. She needed working capital to help grow her business. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, Sarah can focus on her clients instead of worrying about her bottom line.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  Read about Sarah Garcia of Allegiance Employee Perks in San Diego. Sarah sets up business owners with employee perks packages. She needed working capital to help grow her business. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, Sarah can focus on her clients instead of worrying about her bottom line

Making Work Fun

Sarah Garcia established Allegiance Employee Perks in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego in 2015. She got her start in corporate events coordination in after switching jobs as a dispatcher for a security company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Allegiance Employee Perks specializes in offering employee discounts to business owners and scheduling employee appreciation days featuring local clients, including popular restaurants, sports teams, and golf courses. They also provide connections to these local clients as fundraisers for nonprofits like Susan G. Komen and the La Jolla VA Hospital.

Sarah had a vision for success in San Diego. She took advantage of a new opportunity when her company signed the Major League Baseball San Diego Padres as a client.

“I saw myself as a business owner,” she said. “Once we acquired the Padres as a client, I had the opportunity to open our office here.”

Sarah works with a small but mighty team of four women who coordinate the connections to sports teams and other hot tickets in the San Diego area. As Sarah grows her business, she needs access to working capital to retain her staff. Her natural networking ability led her to Opportunity Fund.

Starting a Lending Relationship

Sarah got a referral to Opportunity Fund after meeting with an advisor at the San Diego district office of the U.S. Small Business Association. She called loan consultant Byron Escobar, who helped close a $2,600 loan in February 2017 for Allegiance Employee Perks.

The working capital helped her incorporate the company and made it easy to start marketing and recruiting projects to grow her business.

“There were lots of high interest loans from other lenders available,” she said. “I wasn’t interested.”

Sarah and Byron - Allegiance Employee Perks

Sarah and Byron celebrate a successful loan deal (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

The connection to Opportunity Fund has allowed Sarah to build a long-term lending relationship that fits the needs of her business. “Without Opportunity Fund, I would have struggled a lot longer,” she said. “Before, I didn’t have access to many resources. Opportunity Fund is the right place to go.”

Sarah’s next goal is to sign more San Diego area clients and eventually expand to the Sacramento market. We’ll be there to help Sarah keep her entrepreneurial dreams alive and kicking with our easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans.

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


Opportunity Fund is 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 November 13 through 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from November 13 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

The True Cost of IT issues
Date: November 14, 2017 |1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
Fee: Free

This class is designed to help business owners and leaders understand the way technology can add to, or destroy their bottom line.

We’ll focus not on the technology itself, but the way we think about risk and cost associated with our choices concerning technology.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Jim Wood
Date: November 15, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Santa Rosa—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organizations: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Jim Wood will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on November 15th in Santa Rosa. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Website Best Practices for Beginners
Date: November 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin Building AC, Room 105
835 College Ave. Kentfield, CA 94909 (map it)
Contact: Miriam Karell | miriam@marinsbdc.org | (415) 755-1100
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: Free

Learn how to save time and frustration and create a more effective website with the basic principles of web design—no experience in web design or technical background necessary!

This workshop is for small business owners who are developing or maintaining their own website and want to understand the basic principles of effective website design. This is not a technical class nor do we discuss advanced search engine optimization. It does not require any specific background and we will avoid technical terms as much as possible so that everyone can understand.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: November 15-16, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 14th and C St. Bldg 13150, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Join the SBA for a Boots to Business Training Program, a two-day, free seminar designed for veterans interested in entrepreneurship.

The workshop is open to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military. To learn more information about Boots to Business, please email boots-to-business@sba.gov  call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event.

Murrieta Business Round table
Date: November 15, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Murrieta Innovation Center
26442 Beckman Ct. Murrieta, CA 92562 (map it)
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: Free

Come join business leaders and guest speakers in a great networking opportunities at a business round table meeting. This is a wonderful way to meet other business owners and discuss important topics crucial to the success of your business.

Don’t miss out on this great networking opportunity. Join us for this monthly meeting recurring on the third Wednesday of every month.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Matt Dababneh
Date: November 17, 2017 | 1:30 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Van Nuys, CA—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Contact: samantha@csba.com
Organizations: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Matt Dababneh will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on November 17th in Van Nuys. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Market Research for Small Business: What is it and Why do it?
Date: November 15, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Understanding your potential customers is one of the most important keys to effective marketing. Knowing where to find them and how to speak their language translates into sales.

Before you start or expand your business, be wise and test the viability of your product or service. Learn all you can about the industry, demographics, trends, and potential customer buying habits.

This webinar is an overview of what market research is and how you can use it to start and grow your small business. We’ll cover your options to conduct market research as a small business with limited resources.

We’ll also talk about free and inexpensive ways to get research including downloading an industry report, attending an industry event, using focus groups and surveys, and crawling social media. For businesses with an international reach, we’ll also discuss resources for expanding into global markets.

The content will instantly applicable to start-ups and existing businesses. It may be especially relevant for any entrepreneur looking for funding. Empower your business decisions with data and knowledge.

Click here to register for this event.

Apps Unleashed: Grow Your Business Using Just Your Phone
Date: November 16, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

A smartphone or tablet is an incredibly powerful computer, communication device, and online marketing tool—right in your pocket! There are hundreds of free and inexpensive apps at your disposal that can drive sales, improve communication with your customers, and market your business. Join this free webinar to learn how to unleash the power of your mobile device:

  • How to spot the must-have apps: including both the new and the obscure you’ve never heard of
  • How to use apps for maximum impact
  • How to utilize apps in conjunction with your other marketing efforts to magnify results

This session is designed for everyone. Beginners will not feel lost, but advanced users can learn something new.

Click here to register for this event.

Blogging to Boost Your Business
Date: November 16, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $10

Discover how you can generate leads with a business blog. In this online workshop, you’ll learn blogging essentials including:

  • Tips on what to post
  • Keys to creating great content
  • Ways to attract attention with powerful headlines
  • And more!

A link to join the webinar will be sent the day before the event.

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 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 November 2 through 13.

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 November 2 through 13.

Northern California/Sacramento

Exploring Business Ownership: What Does it Takes to Start a Business?
Date: November 2, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Starting a business can be scary. Like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are, the higher chance of a positive outcome. If you are considering starting a business, get informed.

Join us for this free workshop, where you’ll discover:

  • The mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • The different types of businesses as well as legal structures
  • Common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Why conducting a feasibility study is like packing the right supplies for a trip

Click here to register for this event.

Boots to Business Reboot #MyVetBiz
Date: November 6, 2017 | 8:30 am PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: SBA Fresno District Office
801 R St. Room 102 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Peter Estrada | peter.estrada@sba.gov | (559) 487-5791 ext. 2703
Organizations: Fresno SBA District Office
Fee: Free

Veterans have the character, discipline, and skills needed to succeed as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Veterans can transition to entrepreneurship with help from Boots to Business Reboot.

Boots to Business Reboot is a two-step training program that provides participants with a starter kit of information for entrepreneurship:

  • Overview of business ownership as a career vocation
  • Outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan
  • Practical exercises in opportunity recognition
  • Introduction to available public and private sector resources

Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserve), and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners, who are skilled business advisors. Step two is one of the online follow-on courses instructed by a consortium of professors and skilled business advisors from the SBA Network.

This course is also offered November 8 in Citrus Heights. Get the information here.

Click here to register for this event.

Finance Your Business
Date: November 7, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: U.S. Bank
1 California St. Suite 2000 San Francisco, CA 94111 (map it)
Contact: Diana Chavez | diana@workingsolutions.org | (415) 590-0155
Organization: Working Solutions
Fee: Free

Join this free panel discussion on business financing with financial experts from nonprofit lenders, banks, and community partners. Opportunity Fund is honored to join U.S Bank, Kiva, and host (and our community partner!) Working Solutions at this event.

Topics will include:

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

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: November 8-9, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 32nd Street Naval Base—San Diego
3455 Senn Rd., Bldg. 3210 San Diego, CA 92136 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Join the SBA for a Boots to Business Training Program, a two-day, free seminar designed for veterans interested in entrepreneurship.

The workshop is open to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military. To learn more information about Boots to Business, please email boots-to-business@sba.gov  call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event.

Disaster Recovery
Date: November 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Microsoft Store—The Shops at Mission Viejo
555 The Shops at Mission Viejo Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (map it)
Contact: workshops@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

Join Orange County SCORE for this free workshop on disaster recovery for small businesses. Prepare for the workshop with the following agenda:

  • 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm | Registration
  • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Workshop and presentation
  • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm | Networking and raffle (bring business cards!)

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Networking Breakfast
Date: November 10, 2017 | 7:45 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: The Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Ave. San Diego, CA 92114 (map it)
Contact: score0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20 through November 2 | $25 after November 2 and at the door

Join San Diego SCORE for this women’s networking breakfast. This event’s theme is Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Profit. Your registration fee includes networking, lecture, and hors d’oeuvres, with no host bar.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

5 Cheap Ways to Market Your Business Online
Date: November 7, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Getting your business online isn’t as complicated or expensive as you’ve been told. Join us as we discuss some ways to promote your business online without breaking the bank—or driving yourself crazy.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Owner Tax Workshop
Date: November 9, 2017 | 10:15 am PDT – 12:15 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (206) 553-7310
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

Learn the basics of small business taxes in this free webinar. Tax professionals will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Types of entities
  • Record keeping
  • Accounting methods
  • Travel and entertainment expenses
  • Business use of home
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Estimated taxes
  • Independent contractors
  • Choosing a tax preparer

The SBA Seattle District Office offers free workshops the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, except for the 4th Thursdays in November and December. Classes held on the 2nd Thursday of the month are online webinars only.

Here’s an upcoming slate of free November events:
Live webinar | November 9 | 9 – 10 a.m. | Make the World’s Biggest Buyer Your Customer Through Government Contracts
Live webinar | November 9 | 12:30 – 2 p.m. | Choosing the Right Business Structure
Live webinar | November 9 | 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. | Register, License, Go!

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

After Lunch Webinar Series: Effective Human Resources for Small Businesses
Date: November 9, 2017 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.edu | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

This webinar will focus on building an HR infrastructure within your company.  Topics include:

  • Effective interview questions
  • Content of an onboarding program
  • Value of performance appraisals
  • Rationale for implementing progressive discipline  

Participants will also learn the best practices for ending an employment relationship and how an Employee Handbook can assist in making HR decisions.

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 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

Gayle founded a successful business card management company in San Diego. When she needed to complete a major software project, Opportunity Fund was there to help with a small business loan. Thanks to the working capital, BusinessCardManager.com is on the fast track to greater success.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  Read about Gayle Hawks of BusinessCardManager.com in San Diego. Gayle founded a successful business card management company in San Diego. When she needed to complete a major software project, Opportunity Fund was there to help with a small business loan. Thanks to the working capital, BusinessCardManager.com is on the fast track to greater success.

Managing Success

Gayle Hawks started BusinessCardManager.com in 2002 in San Diego. The online company manages business cards for large organizations and government agencies throughout the United States. “We work with any business in the public or private sector, for profit and non-profit, that has 100 employees or more,” Gayle said.  

With the help of her business partner and husband Keith, Gayle has grown the online company into a leader in online business card management. As the business grew, she had to add staff and build a new sales office. Gayle saw the future of her company in advanced software for BusinessCardManager.com. They needed an application program interface (API) to create the upgraded business card procurement and management solutions that put the company on the map.

“The new API allows us to offer services to large organizations that no one else can,” Gayle said.

Working capital didn’t come easy for Gayle, even as BusinessCardManager.com was doing well. It’s a tough industry where many printing companies failed during the latest recession. Plus, she had waves of high-interest loan offers coming at her from every angle. Her search for the right loan was complicated.

Graduating to Better Financing

Gayle learned about Opportunity Fund through her small business lending research online. She reached out to our business development officer Adriana Williams, who helped close a $35,000 loan for BusinessCardManager.com in July 2015.

“Adriana was easy to work with,” Gayle said. “Everything was professional and quick. I never had to wait for her to call me back. I never had to wonder about a thing.”

The loan allowed Gayle and her team to complete and launch their new software.  “Without the loan from Opportunity Fund, we would be a year behind,” Gayle said.

Gayle Hawks - BCM.com

Opportunity Fund helps small business owners like Gayle “graduate” to better small business financing (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)


Gayle is thankful for the working capital that gave her some breathing room while launching the best version of BusinessCardManager.com. Even better, she was able to repay the loan is less than two years. With help from our fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business loans, her business can qualify for lower interest, longer-term loans from lenders like the U.S. Small Business Administration. We’ve helped small business owners like Gayle “graduate” to better financing.

The next level of the business is an online portal integrated with human capital management software platforms that will allow clients to manage their business cards from any platform. “That’s our future,” Gayle said. “We want to hire more sales staff and expand our marketing to get to the next level.”

We’re excited to support successful entrepreneurs like Gayle and we’re proud to watch her take the next step with her business.

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

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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from October 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

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

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

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

This event will include:

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Skills covered will include:

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

During this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

You will learn:

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

Click here to register for this event.


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

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


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

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

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

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

Serving Up Success

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

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

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

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

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

Helping Entrepreneurs Engage Their Communities

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

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

Javier and Byron - Antojitos Colombianos

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 18 through 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 18 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

Are you:

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

This talk will teach you:

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

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

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

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

Why you should attend:

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

Topics covered in this workshop:

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

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

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

Topics will include:

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

Click here to register for this event.

Targets of Opportunity: Recent Study Reveals Best Potentials for Economic Growth in our Region
Date: September 20, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

What could you and your business do if you knew:

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

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

Targets of Opportunity Study:

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

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

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

Click here to register for this event.

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

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

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

You’ll learn:

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

Click here to register for this event.


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

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


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

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

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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 31 through August 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Modesto: Business Start Up
Date: August 8, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Kirk Lindsey Center
1020 10th St. Suite 102 Modesto, CA 95354 (map it)
Contact: Peni Hogwood | phogwood@stanbusalliance.com | (209) 422-6416
Organization: Valley Sierra SBDC Modesto
Fee: Free

If you dream of owning your own business and think you have what it takes to be successful, this free two hour workshop is for you.

Join us for an entrepreneur’s introduction to the basics of starting a new business. Bring your ideas for your business model—rough ideas are okay too! Get answers to your questions like:

  • Is your idea viable?
  • What kind of financing will it take to open your business?
  • Why do you need a business plan?
  • What are the risks, pitfalls, and requirements of opening a new business?
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

California Small Business Insurance Requirements Seminar
Date: August 3, 2017 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Program
Fee: Free

California law mandates employers to have certain types of insurance, including workers’ compensation, unemployment, and (contingent on the business location) disability insurance, and others depending on your type of business. Join this seminar to learn the difference between the types of insurance and how to get started for your business.

Click here to register for this event. This seminar is also available as a webinar. Click here for more information.

WE Thrive Together on Tuesday: Being Bold With Heart – Networking Success Tips You Can Implement Now
Date: August 5, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Moseley Family Cellars
4713 Mountain Lakes Blvd. Suite 300 Redding, CA 96003 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Join the Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) for this networking opportunity that will help you create a story for your small business.

Women share a desire to connect. We value our relationships. Together, let’s explore why our female assets are admirable in business development.

Discover these building blocks for small business success:

  • Define what “convenience” means for you in business development
  • Create a personal asset inventory
  • Engage your top 3 personality assets for successful marketing ideas

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

Southern California/San Diego

How to Start Your Business Financials in Excel
Date: August 9, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: 13430 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cisneros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization: SBDC Hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Overcome your fear of starting with an empty Excel spreadsheet. Learn the basic Excel functions necessary to develop your financials and then build a basic Profit and Loss statement for your business in this workshop.

For maximum impact you may bring your laptop to follow along, but it is not required. Basic computer knowledge is required for this class.

Click here to register for this event.

Demystifying the Commercial Leasing Process
Date: August 9, 2017 | 1:30 pm PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: Mission Viejo City Hall—Saddleback Room
200 Civic Center Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organizations: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $35 via pre-registration online  $45 at the door (cash or check only)

Commercial building owners and their agents each have a strong background in negotiating leases, which most commercial tenants lack. This course can help you even the score with skills on how to lease the right office, industrial, or retail space for your business.

Leasing commercial property takes knowledge and skill. Whether you are planning to lease a commercial property on your own or use the services of a qualified broker, this seminar will guide you through the steps of the process and prepare you for signing your lease with confidence.

Click here to register for this event.

Communicating & Negotiating Effectively Across Cultures
Date: August 10, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego Public Library—Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center
330 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 (map it)
Contact: Cynthia Harris | cynthia.harris@sba.gov | (619) 727-4885
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

In today’s global environment, we must work with people from other cultures. Communicating with people with different cultural groups can be challenging, whether they are colleagues we are working with, suppliers and clients we are doing business with, or direct reports we are supervising. Each culture has its own rules and norms, which prescribe the attitudes and behaviors considered normal within that culture.

Our cultural background programs the way we view and interpret the world around us. Few of us are aware of our own cultural biases and baggage. This workshop will help you develop effective communication skills with people from other cultures through mindful and conscious learning.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Date: August 3, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Melissa Terrell | mterrell@theinstitutenc.org
Organization: The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
Fee: Free

Learn how to create a marketing strategy that supports your business goals. This seminar will cover the best free and low-cost marketing tools and help promote your business without breaking the bank.

Click here to register for this event.

Demystifying Business Insurance
Date: August 10, 2017 | 12:30 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: workshops@sba.gov | (206) 553-7310
Organization: SBA Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

You’ve embarked on the incredible journey of starting your own business. You completed your business plan and worked with a top notch attorney to set up the right business structure for your new business. You found a prime location and space for your business and you’re ready to launch. There’s just one little thing left: insurance.

You have no idea what types of insurance coverage you need. The information your friends or family members tell you about insurance is confusing and may not be accurate.

This webinar from the SBA will help you get started with business insurance. Get answers to your questions:

  • Why do I need insurance?
  • What is the difference between first party and third party insurance coverage?
  • What are the common types of insurance coverage for business owners?
  • Why should I select available “optional” coverage?
  • How do I find the right business insurance agent?
  • What are the common myths about insurance?
  • And more!

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

  • Webinar | August 10 | 9 – 10:30 a.m. | Make the World’s Biggest Buyer Your Customer through Government Contracting
  • Webinar | August 10 | 12:30 – 1 p.m. | Demystifying Business Insurance
  • Webinar | August 10 | 2:15 -3:45 p.m. | DIY Market Research with the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 9 – 10:30 a.m. | Meet the Lenders: How to Finance Your Small Business
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Your Business Plan: Do the Financials Add Up?
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 1 – 2:30 p.m. | Best Financial Practices for Your Business

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

Small Business Mentoring for your LGBT Business
Date: August 15, 2017| 7:00 am PDT – 8:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Valerie Maher | Houston@sba.gov | (713) 773-6500
Organization: SBA Houston District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar for entrepreneurs. You’ll get information about:

  • How to get business counseling through SCORE, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Women’s Business Center (WBC)
  • How to grow your business
  • How the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce can help your business
  • How small businesses benefit from SBA programs

Speakers will include:

  • SBA Houston District Office Experts
  • GHLGBTCC Chamber Leadership
  • SCORE
  • LGBT Business Owner

This workshop is open to all and we encourage the following groups to attend:

  • LGBT business owners (or prospective business owners)
  • Currently certified LGBTBEs seeking new growth strategies
  • Local business leaders
  • Supplier Diversity and procurement professionals
  • Anyone committed to the economic advancement of LGBT community

Click here to register for this event.


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

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


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

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

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 July 17 through July 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 17 through July 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Mean Business
Date: July 18, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Renaissance SOMA
275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Join the Renaissance Entrepreneurship center for this networking event where women entrepreneurs will share their journeys of starting and growing their own San Francisco-based jewelry businesses. Enjoy an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a panel discussion, followed by facilitated networking. Entry fee includes light dinner.

Click here to register for this event.

Success with Facebook Ads
Date: July 19, 2017 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: Angelique Gosse | angelique.gosse@sfgov.org | (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

During this workshop you will learn the best practices for achieving success and creating leads through Facebook Ads.

This class is designed for intermediate Facebook Ad users. Please prepare the following prerequisites before attending the seminar to get the most out of your time with us:

  • Install Facebook Pixel on your business website (Get started here)
  • Create an Ad manager Facebook account for your business Facebook page (Get started here)
  • Prepare and bring a current email client list with first name, last name, and email address
  • Prepare and bring 5-10 Images and/or video

Bring your laptop and get ready to learn! Click here to register for this event.

How to Repair or Build Your Credit
Date: July 19, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, California 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: $15

Credit can be an incredible asset or a heavy burden, depending on how you use it. Your credit history is an important factor in access to capital for your business.
Join this workshop and learn:

  • Why and how to build your credit
  • How to get free credit reports
  • What makes a good credit score
  • Why you want to file taxes and show some profit
  • What NOT to do if you want a high credit score

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

Southern California/San Diego

Grow Your Business: You’ve Survived, Now Thrive
Date: July 22, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: United States University
7675 Mission Valley Rd. San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20

SCORE’s Grow Your Business is an informal conversation between you and our team of qualified executives, experts in the areas of sales, marketing, finance, management, and more. The session is designed to help small business owners take their enterprise to the next level.

This discussion will address the needs and concerns of our audience. Instead of SCORE “guessing” at what the audience would like to hear, you are encouraged to bring your questions or concerns. We also encourage attendees to share their own experiences and/or solutions to questions addressed.

Click here to register for this event.

SBA Day and Lender Fair in Vista
Date: July 26, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Vista Civic Center
200 Civic Center Dr. Vista, CA 92084 (map it)
Contact: Maria Hughes | Maria.hughes@sba.gov | (619) 727-4871
Organizations: SBA San Diego District Office and Vista Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

The SBA San Diego District Office and the Vista Chamber of Commerce are hosting an SBA Day event and Lender Fair on Wednesday, July 26th.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the main program and presentations from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m:

  • California small business permits and taxes—Presented by California Board of Equalization
  • Legal aspects of being in business—Presented by a local attorney
  • Overview of the new I-9 form and filing procedures—Presented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Cyber Security Tips—Presented by TBD
  • Our Resource Partners Can Help You Succeed in Your Business—Presented by representatives from SCORE, the Small Business Development Center, the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, and others

The Lender Fair, networking, and one-on-one Counseling will follow presentations until 2 p.m.

Coffee and light breakfast will be available. Optional lunch is available for $5 fee, payable at registration.

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

Marketing for Restaurants
Date: July 27, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: West Valley BusinessSource Center
18645 Sherman Wy. #114 Reseda, CA 91335 (map it)
Contact: Irene Vazquez | ivazquez@vedc.org | (818) 705-9977
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Restaurateurs hear a lot of conflicting ideas about restaurant promotions. Join this free workshop to learn how to grow your business from the ground up.

Get information on these key strategies:

  • Avoid promotional ideas that might devalue your restaurant
  • Avoid unsustainable expectations from customers like getting food at half price
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using LinkedIn to Grow your Business
Date: July 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: marketingscore24@gmail.com | (973) 442-6400
Organization: Northwest New Jersey SCORE
Fee: Free

Join Northwest New Jersey SCORE for this webinar and get the most out of LinkedIn for your small business:

  • Build your professional network on LinkedIn
  • Gather intelligence and data on your prospects and customers
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Become the authoritative resource in your market segment
  • Generate new sales leads

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Overview
Date: July 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Melissa Terrell | mterrell@theinstitutenc.org | (919) 956-2335
Organization: Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
Fee: Free

Join the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina for this webinar where you’ll learn the key elements of a successful business plan. Get answers to your questions on why you need a good business plan and how to get started.

The webinar will cover:

  • Outline your plan
  • Craft a mission statement
  • Analyze the market and the industry
  • Create a financial plan
  • Locate resources

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing With Google Tools
Date: July 19, 2017| 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: njsbdcnb@business.rutgers.edu | (848) 445-8790
Organization: NJSBDC at Rutgers – New Brunswick
Fee: Free

The webinar covers three features of Google Tools to market and grow a business online:

  • Be found by local customers—How to connect with local searchers using Google My Business, a free local business listing that can help your business appear across Google Search and Maps
  • Be found everywhere, on all devices—How to optimize your website for the organic search results, focusing on making your site mobile-friendly
  • Be found with online advertising—How to promote your products and services on Google and partner websites.

Click here to register for this event. After completing your registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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

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


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

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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from April 18 through April 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from April 18 through April 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance Fundamentals
Date: April 20, 2017 | 3:30 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6777
Organization: Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Come learn about the newly enacted San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance, requiring employers to provide paid leave for new parents.

Topics include:

  • Who is covered
  • Employer responsibilities
  • How to apply
  • How to calculate benefit amount
  • Interaction with related state and federal law
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Disruption Recovery Plan for Your Business
Date: April 27, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: NEC SBDC at Butte College
202 Mira Loma, Oroville CA 95965 (map it)
Contact: Sophie Konuwa | konuwaso@butte.edu | (530) 895-9017
Organization: Northeastern California SBDC
Fee: Free

These are the times! With upswings in cyberattacks, and natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricane, business continuity planing has suddenly moved to the front of the line as more businesses are being forced to complete their disaster recovery plans.

This training will help you complete a workable plan that you and your employees can easily follow and visit regularly to ensure usefulness, relax from the stress of unplanned activities that cause your profit to drop, teach you how to complete a plan to address your business operation for disruption, and prepare you for funding when available.

To register for this event, click here.

10 Best Practices for Business Success on Facebook & Twitter
Date: April 27, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

In this class, you will learn how Facebook and Twitter work, best practices, success stories from other businesses who are winning it, and tools to save you time. Connect the dots from social media to sales! This class is part of a series called “Social Media and Online Marketing Made Simple.”

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Leveraging Video Marketing to Engage Your Target Audience, Drive Traffic, and Generate Leads
Date: April 18, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: United States University
7675 Mission Valley Road San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20

Nearly all business owners understand the need to have a digital or online presence. But did you know:

  • Online video has increased 8-fold in the past 5 years
  • Video content is shared 1200% more often on Facebook alone than traditional posts or graphics
  • The average website visitor will stay 5 times longer on a site with video
  • Nearly 80% of consumers say watching online videos influence their decision making

Other than face-to-face meetings, video is by far the strongest connection you can make with your target audience. This workshop goes far beyond simple video production to helping your videos reach your audience and engage them. You will learn key skills and strategies like:

 

  • Essential research in pre-production
  • Basic equipment to start on a small budget
  • Scripting your videos for greatest impact and conversion
  • Optimizing videos to rank and be found on Google, YouTube, and major social media channels
  • Social video marketing vs. search
  • Live video streaming
  • Copywriting and creating a video Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • Lead generation with video
  • Video data and analytics: measuring your video campaigns


Click here to register for this event.

An EZ Trip Through Your Financial Statements
Date: April 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 9:00 pm PST
Location: Orange Public Library
407 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to know where financial statements come from and how to make them work for you, this workshop is for you. The session includes basic accounting principles and an interactive case study where you’ll learn about the following tools and skills to create a healthy, profitable business:

  • Balance sheets
  • Income statement
  • Cash flow
  • Ratio analysis

Click here to register for this event.

Business Communications
Date: April 26, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: 6160 Van Nuys Blvd  Van Nuys, CA 91401 (map it)
Contact: (818) 894-8800
Organization: ICON CDC
Fee: Free

This workshop will help you develop and refine your brand and practice your sales pitch. This training will give everybody the opportunity to practice their pitch before the SFV Marketplace event on May 2.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Process Improvement & Working Smarter
Date: April 18, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 3:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: Women’s Business Center
Contact: Martha Ocasio | mocasio@thecentre.org | (813) 251-8437
Organization: The Helen Gordon David Centre for Women
Fee: Free

How do you improve the work processes in your office or small business? This class focuses on applying “lean” process improvement to add efficiencies to your business and improve your bottom line potential. You’ll learn ideas to make your work processes flow better, faster, and cheaper, plus problem solving and identifying “value added” activities.

“Lean” thinking applies to any business process, regardless of your industry. In many cases, this can result in improved customer service, saved labor, better inventory control, and reduction of expenses.

Click here to register for this event.

Radio Show: Business Basics VEDC
Date: April 20, 2017| 5:00 pm PST -5:30 pm PST
Location: Radio show on KKVV Las Vegas (Nev.)
Organization: VEDC Nevada Business Opportunity Fund
Fee: Free

Do you want to become an ENTREPRENEUR? Need FUNDING for your business? Have questions about MANAGING your business? Tune into “Business Basics VEDC Radio Show” on KKVV Radio 1060AM at 5:00pm to listen and learn about the basics of being a business owner. Listen via LIVE stream at www.kkvv.com.

Click here to register for this event.

Get Found on Google Search and Maps
Date: April 26, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

It’s important your business’ information appears correctly when people search online. Did you know:

  • 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local info like business hours and directions
  • Businesses with complete listings (with updated photos and hours of operations) are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers
  • 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine

This workshop will explain how to setup Google My Business as your one-stop-shop for managing your business info as it appears across Google Search and Maps. Your potential customers will find important info for your business like your phone numbers, hours of operation, and driving directions.

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