Stories & Videos

#CDFIstory: Finding access to capital gives party accessory supplier reason to celebrate

Alfredo Zendejas co-owns Accesorios Zendejas along with his wife, Leticia Sanchez, in Los Angeles, California. A true mom-and-pop enterprise, Alfredo and Leticia work together to design, create and deliver custom decorative pieces for quinceñeras, baptisms, weddings and other special occasions.

Accesorios Zendejas is not Alfredo’s first business venture: he co-owned a business in downtown L.A. for many years, but he and his partner were forced to sell after financial setbacks caused by the 2008 recession. But it didn’t tak...

Video: Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse - Philadelphia, PA

Ariell Johnson talks about launching her comic book shop and coffee house and pursuing different financing options to get the business off the ground.

Video: Franklin & Poe - Philadelphia, PA

Andrew Li and Chris Caquelin tell the origin story of their American-made clothing store and how they secured affordable small business loans through mission-driven organizations.

Video: Brown Rice - Baltimore, MD

Heather Chung discusses searching for financing options to open her Korean restaurant and to then expand the business to multiple locations.

Video: Heavenly Flowers Too - Amityville, NY

Maria Cruz shares how a flooded basement in her flower shop led her to take out costly loans and where she found an affordable alternative.

#CDFIsInvest in Cider Brewery in Appalachia

Many great ideas are hatched over drinks. For Josh Bennett and Will Lewis, their great idea was the drinks themselves—cider and mead, to be exact. These two Appalachia natives found each other at West Virginia University and began brewing together as a hobby. Over the years, they realized they had a good product on their hands. And with cider’s growing popularity but no other cider producers in West Virginia, they took a chance at starting their own business.

Bennett and Lewis needed a little help getting Ha...

Venturize on Set!

To celebrate National Small Business Week, we’re offering a sneak peek into a series of videos we’re producing showcasing small business owners discussing their experiences with finding loans and funding for their businesses. The videos are part of Venturize, OFN’s public education and awareness campaign about small business lending options. OFN launched Venturize in 2016 in response to the recent emergence of online small business loans, many of which come with hefty interest rates...

The #CDFIstory of a Foodie Destination Taking Hold in California

Charleen Caabay started her cooking career on the streets of San Francisco's Bay area. In 2012, she opened Kainbigan, a pop up restaurant in Oakland that served Filipino food. Its popularity among foodies encouraged Chef Charleen to open a more permanent brick-and-mortar spot, which she established in 2013.

To grow the small business, Caabay liquidated her personal assets, but, even still, she needed capital. She reached out to Pacific Community Ventures (PCV...

A #CDFIstory of an Untapped Opportunity

Newaygo Brewing Company is a 100 seat full service restaurant and brewery opened by Eric, Nick, and Krista Looman in May 2015. When they initially found their location they self-financed the building and reached out to their local banker for building improvements, equipment, and working capital. Nick had spent many hours as front of the house staff in restaurants. Krista had been on the team of the 2nd largest caterer in Sacramento. After several years of home-based brewing, they decided to join forces with Nick’s brother and accountant, Eric, and open a brewery in Newaygo, an untapped mark...

#CDFIstory: From Inspired to Entrepreneur

Maria Harrington opened Casa de Español in downtown Sacramento in 2011 to pay homage to her Mexican heritage. The school, which offers Spanish classes to children and adults soon outgrew its original space. Harrington found a new location, which would allow her to add a Spanish immersion preschool, an after-school program, and a weekend center for children; a library with Spanish-language books; a new outdoor location for meetups; and continue to grow the school’s expanding enrollment.

She turned to ...