Chiefo Chukwudebe, Chiefo’s Kitchen

Chiefo Chukwudebe’s small business did well at the La Cocina Street Food Festival in 2009, but wasn’t sure she could afford to return in 2011. Thankfully, Opportunity Fund was able to provide her with the $3,000 microloan she needed to return and push her business to the next level.

Small Business Lending Landscape

Small business owners still struggle to access capital, and women- and minority-owned business have an especially difficult time. One proven strategy for serving hard to reach communities is the use of modest referral fees. By modifying the California Finance Lenders Law to allow business lenders to pay referral fees to their clients and partners (for successful business loan applications of $5,000 and above), it is possible to harness existing social capital to bring desperately needed financial capital to low income and minority communities.

Luz Orozco, Qi Hair Salon

Luz Orozco built her own hair salon on a solid foundation thanks to the knowledge and assistance she received from Inland Empire SBDC, and created six jobs in her community.