SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

pportunity Fund Partners with Meriwest Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and UMe Credit Union

Opportunity Fund | January 07, 2021

Opportunity Fund, the nation's leading nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to small businesses, today declared partnerships with Meriwest Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and UMe Credit Union, part of the nonprofit lenders' $1 Billion obligation to investing in minimized businesses nationwide in the following two years. These partnerships increase small business owners' access to transparent, reasonable credit — especially among businesses claimed by ladies, ethnic minorities and provincial entrepreneurs — permitting credit unions to unquestionably allude members to the nonprofit loan specialist to meet their business credit needs responsibly while holding the general financial relationship.

"Credit unions and Community Development Financial Institutions like Opportunity Fund share a purpose: to ensure ready access to affordable, responsible, financial products and services in our communities," said Luz Urrutia, CEO of Accion Opportunity Fund. "By working together, we can build a more inclusive financial landscape, especially for women, immigrant and entrepreneurs of color."

Providing working capital loans from $2,600 to $100,000 to underserved businesses — including adaptable endorsing measures, less onerous documentation requirements than different lenders, multilingual customer service representatives accessible to answer questions 7 days every week/12 hours out of each day — in a snappy and customer driven way is Opportunity Fund's essential focus; credit unions and community bank partners are vital to that exertion.

"Creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all is at the heart of what we do at Self-Help FCU. By collaborating with Opportunity Fund, we refer members for small business loans we don't offer in-branch, ensuring that whether it's us or our trusted partner Opportunity Fund, we can support entrepreneurs — especially entrepreneurs of color, women, and immigrant business owners — in making their dreams a reality," said Sarah Brennan, SVP of Southern California for Self-Help Federal Credit Union.

"Helping people is at the heart of what we do at UMe Credit Union. Having a trusted partner in Opportunity Fund to refer our members to for small business loans that we don't offer in-branch ensures we meet our mission and keep happy members," said Anita Hutchinson, UMe Chief Marketing Officer.

With credit unions assuming a phenomenal job in the financial support Americans need, many stepped forward to process PPP loans, inviting hundreds of new small business owners as members in the process. Presently many are searching for a mission-adjusted accomplice to offer progressing credit products and business support services they don't offer. During a test case program to test the CDFI + Credit Union partnership model in the eight months preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (July 2019 - Feb 2020), almost 90% of the small businesses upheld by Opportunity Fund are ladies, worker, or minority-possessed.

About Accion Opportunity Fund

In March, 2020, Opportunity Fund and Accion, The US Network, joined forces to establish Accion Opportunity Fund, the first organization focused on a national microlending strategy to meet the credit needs of small businesses – developing new products, establishing new partnerships, promoting research and financial education, and leveraging digital technologies to support mission-driven lending.

About Opportunity Fund

Opportunity Fund, the nation's leading nonprofit small business lender, believes small dollar loans help hard-working entrepreneurs make lasting change in their own lives and build stronger communities by growing businesses and creating jobs. Opportunity Fund's community of donors and investors is creating an inclusive financial system that empowers women, immigrants, and minority small business owners. Our strategy combines microloans for small business owners and New Markets Tax Credit investments in high-impact community infrastructure projects. Since 1994, Opportunity Fund has deployed more than $900 million and helped thousands of entrepreneurs invest in their families' futures. The organization has committed to lending an additional $1.2 billion to small business owners across the country and investing $174 million in community real estate projects by 2023.

Spotlight

The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order that you like, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. When you are finished writing your first draft, you’ll have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you’ll want to edit them into a smooth‐flowing narrative.


Other News
TECHNOLOGY

Firstbase Startup Platform Adds Wise to Initiate Instant Cross-Border Payments

Firstbase | June 08, 2022

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FINANCE

National Funding Announces Strategic Growth Investment in Finova Capital

National Funding | March 24, 2022

National Funding, Inc., one of the largest U.S. specialty finance companies serving small- and medium-sized businesses, announced it has made a strategic growth investment in Finova Capital, a business lender focused on merchant finance and the payments industry. National Funding’s significant investment in Finova comes on the heels of market momentum for both financial services companies. Finova Capital will continue to operate as an independent business unit with its current leadership and platform. Finova Capital’s suite of products complements and expands National Funding’s small business loan and working capital funding offerings. With its combined 50+ years of experience in financing and merchant acquiring and one million merchants served, Finova Capital primarily supports ISOs, processors, and POS equipment manufacturers. In addition, it works with partners to build leasing programs that allow merchants to conserve capital while accessing the latest technology. Finova Capital’s suite of services includes point of sale (POS) equipment financing solutions, working capital loans, term loans, and merchant cash advances. “Our significant investment in Finova Capital supports our vision of providing whatever products it takes to help small businesses to succeed. Finova’s leaders mirror National Funding’s commitment to modern technology and trusted relationships, and we are pleased to provide access to banking and liquidity opportunities to support its growth.” National Funding CEO Dave Gilbert “The Finova team greatly appreciates Dave Gilbert’s vote of confidence in our business model, business philosophy, and leadership team. The National Funding investment will allow us to focus on continuous product and platform enhancements that we believe will result in significant value for our merchant clients and referral partners,” said Finova CEO Bob Neagle. About Finova Capital Finova Capital is a new kind of merchant finance partner. The company is backed by decades of experience and is dedicated to transparency and acquirer growth. Founded in New Jersey by best-in-industry merchant finance experts and powered by retention-focused products and acquirer-enabling technology, Finova is quickly building relationships where acquirers and merchants all win. About National Funding, Inc. Founded in 1999, National Funding is a leading U.S. specialty finance company serving small- and medium-sized businesses. The Company’s foundation serves American small business owners by providing funding solutions to meet their needs to reinvest in their day-to-day operations and help them grow. National Funding has provided more than $4.5 billion in working capital and equipment leasing for more than 80,000 small- to medium-sized businesses nationwide. In addition, National Funding’s digital funding process has elevated its digital capabilities by delivering a fast and simple online application.

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FINANCE

Mississippi-Based Community Bank Selects Fintech to Effectively Serve Small Businesses

Teslar Software | June 16, 2022

First Security Bank and Teslar Software announced their partnership to expedite and streamline processes across the bank’s loan department. The Batesville, Miss.-based bank plans to leverage Teslar’s configurable lending process automation platform, starting with the exceptions management module“From the beginning, we were impressed with Teslar’s robust products and how user friendly their technology is,” said Justin Hill, president of First Security Bank. “Efficiency is a top priority for us, and with Teslar, we are reimagining our lending operations. By automating our loan processes, employees will no longer have to navigate cumbersome, manual tasks. The time savings will result in faster loan turnaround times to our customers, improving their overall experience.” Small business lending accounts are a significant portion of First Security Bank’s loan portfolio, and Teslar’s platform will allow the bank to better serve these businesses by providing exception tracking, centralized data and transparency into customers’ portfolios. “Efficiency goes hand in hand with a bank’s success; the more productive an institution becomes, the more time they have to focus on strategic, growth-oriented initiatives, First Security Bank is empowering their lenders with the powerful tools and centralized data needed to effectively support the Mississippi communities that rely on them, and we are proud to be a part of their solution.” -Joe Ehrhardt, CEO and founder of Teslar Software. About Teslar Software Teslar Software, founded in 2008, is a configurable lending process automation platform for community financial institutions. Teslar transforms commercial lending by providing easy access to centralized, relevant information to balance portfolios, optimize profits and help community bankers effectively serve their customers. Named Best Solution for Lending by the 2021 FinXTech Awards, Teslar Software continues to earn their reputation as a top technology provider for community institutions. Please visit www.teslarsoftware.com to learn more.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Breef and Newity Partner to Help Small Businesses Grow With Easy Access to Vetted Marketing Service Providers

Breef | March 07, 2022

Breef (www.breef.com), the world’s first online agency marketplace, has announced a partnership with NEWITY, the small business marketplace dedicated to supporting equitable access to SBA loans and trusted business service providers. As NEWITY’s official Marketing Services Partner, Breef is helping NEWITY’s growing community of 115,000 small business members more easily access marketing agency resources and extend their growth opportunities. Breef provides brands with access to more than 6,000 vetted, boutique agencies that deliver more than 40 project types. From brand creative and public relations to digital marketing, web development, and design, Breef connects companies with vetted agency partners in under seven days, simplifying the marketing outsourcing process to drive measurable business outcomes. Businesses using Breef have reported savings on average of 35% per project compared with traditional agency spend — allowing small businesses to get more out of their advertising and marketing budget. “We are committed to introducing our community to resources that will help their businesses grow and become more profitable,” said Luke LaHaie, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at NEWITY. “Breef allows us to fulfill this commitment by providing access to essential marketing tools and relationships that in the past have been reserved for only the largest companies with significant marketing budgets.” Through this partnership, NEWITY members will gain access to Breef’s innovative platform and dedicated expert support to help guide their marketing project planning, budgeting, and scoping processes. “At Breef, we give users both the tools and technology to make outsourcing to agencies accessible and affordable. We’re thrilled to be a dedicated resource to NEWITY’s community and help guide its small businesses to marketing success.” George Raptis, Co-Founder at Breef In a step to provide integrated services that help small businesses via this partnership, Breef plans to roll out NEWITY’s suite of loan offerings to its community. Breef will start with the SBA 7(a) loan — a core component of NEWITY’s offering — which commenced initially with PPP loans during the early phase of Covid. ”By providing equitable access to SBA 7(a) loans via our simplified online application, small businesses are able to quickly obtain the inexpensive working capital they desperately need to grow their businesses,” said LaHaie. “By spending these funds on growth initiatives, such as marketing and advertising, our small business members can grow their market share and profitability without having to contribute more equity to their businesses.” About Breef Founded in 2019 by Emily Bibb and George Raptis, Breef is redefining the future of work by taking the agency online. The company’s technology is the first of its kind to streamline the agency outsourcing process and facilitate high-value, high-consideration projects. Breef’s proprietary platform allows brands to manage and service all agency projects, pitches, and payments, facilitating efficiencies within today’s distributed workforce. The platform hosts more than 6,000 vetted agencies and is used by hundreds of world-leading brands, transacting millions of dollars in projects each month. Breef operates from its headquarters in New York City. About Newity NEWITY is America's Small Business Marketplace, focused on empowering entrepreneurs with access to trusted service providers and affordable loan solutions — all in one place. NEWITY was founded in 2020 to better service Paycheck Protection Program loans. Today, NEWITY uses leading technologies to help small businesses access services that make running their business more efficient and more profitable.

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Spotlight

The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order that you like, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. When you are finished writing your first draft, you’ll have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you’ll want to edit them into a smooth‐flowing narrative.

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