Opportunity Fund Launches $500,000 Start-Up Funding Challenge to Help Bay Area Small Businesses Get Off the Ground

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 21, 2013

Today, Opportunity Fund announced their Start-Up Funding Challenge to help Bay Area businesses get off the ground. For a limited time, the organization is lending up to $ 500,000 to local start-up entrepreneurs, who are either launching their businesses or have less than a year of sales. At 7.5% interest and no loan fees, the challenge aims to offer financing that is hard to come by for most start-ups at an affordable rate.

Getting the access to necessary capital is a huge hurdle for most businesses that are starting out. And 45% of businesses fail due to lack of financing, said the groups Vice President of Lending, Marco Lucioni. With banks often unwilling to lend to start-up businesses, many people turn to friends and family, or high-interest credit cards. Opportunity Fund is seeking to help those businesses get off the ground and running, putting them in a position to succeed for the long-term.

Last years Start-Up Funding Challenge winner, Rachel Myers, started her dream business, the Home D?cor Learning Center in Concord, California. Rachel began teaching upholstery at Mt. Diablo Adult Education in 2007. In 2009 she and her students found out the program was going to be cut. Confident in the demand for her instruction, Rachel developed a business plan to offer classes on her own, but she couldnt find the funding to make it a reality until applying to the Start-Up Funding Challenge.

Rachel was able to borrow $ 30,000 in order to move into a new warehouse space. I remember being on the phone with Opportunity Fund, and I was in a state of disbelief about getting the loan. I wouldnt have been able to start this without Opportunity Fund. Or we would have gone so far into debt it would have been ridiculous, said Rachel.

Entrepreneurs like Rachel will be able to apply to Opportunity Funds Start-Up Funding Challenge through March 31st. The winners will be selected by a panel of Bay Area business and philanthropy leaders, and will be announced in April. For more information, please see http://www.opportunityfund.org/startup.


Press inquiries: Caitlin McShane, 408-512-2211 (o), 415-225-8855 (c), caitlin(at)opportunityfund(dot)org

Loan inquiries: Tim Hatfield, 408-516-4701 (o), startup2013(at)opportunityfund(dot)org

Opportunity Fund is a not-for-profit social enterprise helping thousands of California families build financial stability. Our mission is to advance the economic well-being of working people by helping them earn, save and invest in their future. Our strategy combines microloans for small businesses, microsavings accounts, and community real estate financing. Now California’s leading microfinance provider, Opportunity Fund began based on the idea that small amounts of money and financial advice could help people make permanent and lasting change to improve their own lives. Since making our first loan in 1995, our team has deployed over $ 279 million into our communities.

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Today Small Businesses Still Hurt for Capital: Sunovis Financial Micro Loans Can Address the Problem Now

San Francisco, California (PRWEB) March 07, 2013

What can a small business owner do when he or she needs capital but cannot access it? This could be for a small expansion, hiring, purchasing inventory or equipment.

Businesses need capital to grow, to thrive, to hire and to survive. Yet access to capital has been a major problem for many small businesses since 2008. Why? Banks, especially small banks that typically lead in lending to local small businesses, are still experiencing problems. Between bad debt on the books, new regulations aimed at larger banks, and other issues, it is difficult for many to lend even today. And lending requirements have become very tough.

Sunovis Financial provides a solution for small business owners. “We can make an impact on this difficult situation, and that is why we are focusing on small business Micro Loans,” says Terry Robinson, President of Sunovis Financial. “We can get capital into the hands of qualifying small businesses very quickly. Approvals can be made in as little as two to four days.”

The economy will not recover until small businesses can recover. There are more than 23 million small businesses in the U.S. which account for 54 percent of US sales, says the SBA, with 66 percent of new net jobs coming from small businesses.

“No doubt, innovation and job growth comes from small business. Our mission at Sunovis is to help rebuild the economy, one business and one loan at a time, and Micro Loans are a big part of that.”

Micro loans are typically up to $ 150,000 but may expand to $ 250,000 for multi-site businesses (such as franchises or restaurants). Terms are short, from 4 months to 18 months, with easy payback methods. The main underwriting focus is on the ability to repay and cash flow of the business, not collateral or credit scores. “Many small businesses today have a cash flow but need capital to expand, yet they are unable to get a bank loan. Micro loans can help.”

According to the recent Pepperdine University study, small business hiring was down in the last quarter of 2012 and into 2013. The report also indicates that alternative financing is growing in popularity. No doubt, micro loans have an important role for small business owners.

About Sunovis Financial

Sunovis Financial focuses on lending to small businesses, through expertise in SBA loans and Micro loans. It also provides capital for commercial real estate financing and refinancing. The mission of the company: “rebuilding the U.S. economy, one business and one loan at a time.”

Source Point Training brings Relationship Coaching to AZ to meet the needs of Successful Businesses seeing relationship skills as essential in performance and growth.

Healdsburg, CA (PRWEB) March 01, 2013

From patient care satisfaction levels to customer care in high tech industries, businesses in all areas understand the need to coach employees at all levels to play a more important role in keeping customers, attracting talented employees, and maintaining high levels of engagement of employees in order to grow in size and revenue levels quickly. No surprise that at the 2012 ASTD Conference (American Society for Training & Development), they reported organizations have experienced a loss in productivity from disengaged employees reaching a new high of $ 328 billion annually. Without a change in management style, empowerment of employees, and a commitment to building strong, trusting relationships, these figures will continue to rise, says Barbara Fagan, co-founder of Source Point Training (http://www.sourcepointtraining.com).

Recent studies have shown that strengthening relationships at work improves morale, increases engagement and leads to greater satisfaction at work. Why Are Work Relationships Important? Ignite!

Having weak customer relationships costs organizations in lost sales, poor communications and wasted resources. Proactive companies are turning to their T&D/HR departments for resources, says Fagan, and many aren’t clear on how to assist managers and employees to advance relationships by improving communication, creating more trust and commitment to work together.

Source Point Trainings Certified Relationship Coach training for HR professionals, independent coaches, people in the health care and the counseling arena provides skills and tools for the people they serve to create stronger relationships. This certification is recognized by the International Coach Federation and meets its guidelines for creating coaching core competency in this area and provides 56.5 CCE units of education. ICF recently reported the following through their 2012 Global Coaching Study:

Professional Coaching:

70% Reported Improved Work Performance

51% Reported Improved Team Effectiveness

80% Reported Improved Self-Confidence

73% Reported Improved Relationships

Professionals who have completed this certification see the benefits in working with people to have mutual trust, communicate with others with respect and commitment to understand while developing self-awareness of themselves and how they are being in a relationship in order to make changes. These materials can easily be incorporated into organizations and as part of their existing T&D/Coaching Support programs/services. The principles of Source Point Training are also happy to collaborate and support that integration.

This Relationship Coaching model goes further than most companies typically focus on in working with their employees. As a result, it creates a greater impact in the attitudes and behaviors that foster trust and commitment in communicating and working together, resulting in enhanced job satisfaction, active engagement, creativity and problem solving.

The training is structured in a 4-day learning session where participants receive a coaching reference guide with 10 modules and a client workbook to be used by the person receiving the coaching on relationship. Over the 4 days, each module is demonstrated using the tools and practicing the coaching skills to enhance the learning. After the 4 days of training, participants identify two potential clients to work with and coach them on the 10 modules, typically delivered in a weekly coaching session. At the end of 12 weeks, they return for 2 days to complete, have a final certification exam and celebrate. Here is what one of the graduates share from this learning experience:

This is incredibly insightful, logical and universal material that facilitates deep, lasting and positive change with people. I have recommended this Certified Relationship Coach Training to colleagues, with only glowing reports from them. This is an outstanding coaching curriculum and certainly a first choice for anyone who would like to be a coach or add coaching to their other skills.

Catherine Cardinal, Ph.D., CRC

I’ve been involved in coaching for 25 years and the need for more coaches in the workplace couldnt be greater, says Fagan. She points to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre, Inc., that shows companies using professional coaching reported a median return on investment of seven times their initial investment.


Dates: March 14-17 & June 1-2, 2013

Location: Fiesta Resort & Conference Center

Phoenix, AZ

See this video testimonial by recent graduates of Source Point Trainings Coaching Fundamentals and Mastery Certification programs.

For more information, visit http://www.sourcepointtraining.com/coach-training/certified-relationship-coach-2/, email admin(at)sourcepointtraining(dot)com or call 800-217-5660 x101.


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Entrepreneurs Turn to Mobile Phones and Tablets to Buy Franchises and Businesses for Sale

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) October 04, 2012

Mobile commerce is catching on even in the high-end market of buying a business. Investors who want to buy a franchise are adopting mobile phones and tablets at a rapid rate to research and apply for franchise opportunities.

The number of investment inquiries from mobile devices has tripled in the past 18 months, according to new research on the franchise-buying process. Findings were shared with industry executives at the Franchise Update Leadership and Development conference in Atlanta today.

Many marketers will be surprised to see such a boom in mobile leads from the portals, said Steve Olson, president of the Franchise Update Media Group. We certainly expected phones and tablets to be part of the research process, but the growth in inquiries submitted was definitely a surprise. For business purposes, mobile seems to be catching on faster than any other channels.

With a typical franchise investment ranging anywhere from the cost of a car to the price of a home or college education, Smaller screens are playing a big role in big purchases, Olson said.

Trends were drawn from an analysis of more than 15 million visits to the Landmark Interactive Franchise Group, a network of the largest online franchise recruitment sites. The companys websites, including Franchise.com, FranchiseOpportunities.com, FranchiseSolutions.com, FranchiseGator.com and BusinessBroker.net, have pioneered online franchise sales since 1995.

Among the findings that show mobile devices are now an important segment of the franchise-recruitment process:

????Mobile visitors now account for 20.7% of all visitors to the groups websites. Mobile share of visitors has tripled since January 2011, with phones accounting for 57% of the mobile visitors and tablets 43%. Tablets are the faster growing category with a share that has more than quadrupled since January 2011.
????Mobile franchise prospects have tripled in the past 18 months, reaching 20.2% of online investment inquiries.
????Mobile engagement mimics desktops in page views per visit and time spent per visit. The return frequency is virtually the same for tablet and PC visitors.
????Mobile users are high-value prospects and were 8.7% more likely to request franchise information with $ 100,000 to $ 500,000 in available capital to invest.

The challenge with mobile is that it includes so many different devices and screen sizes, not to mention several different app stores, operating systems and mobile browsers, said Michael Alston, president of Landmark Interactive. We have re-tooled our products to make sure that we are engaging prospects across all of these platforms.

Just as the Internet fundamentally changed the business-buying process over the past decade, mobile phones and tablets are now further changing the game, according to Alston.

About Landmark Interactive

Landmark Interactives business units operate a number of leading consumer marketplaces for entrepreneurs interested in franchises and business opportunities. Our Franchise and Business Opportunities Group serves the leading franchisors with prospective franchisees. We operate one of the largest business-for-sale marketplaces in the world, with over 30,000 listings, as well as FranchiseNews.com.

The companies of Landmark Interactive offer Internet advertising and marketing services to consumers, businesses and, in particular, marketers. Its online marketing services businesses help leading publishers and advertisers acquire profitable customers through services such as lead generation, email marketing, ad targeting, geo-location, and predictive modeling.

Landmark Interactive is a unit of Dominion Enterprises, a leading marketing services and publishing company which also serves the automotive, recreational and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, employment, parenting, and travel markets. The companys businesses provide a comprehensive suite of marketing solutions including Internet advertising, lead generation, customer relationship management, website design and hosting, and data management services. The company has more than 45 market-leading websites reaching more than 40 million unique visitors monthly.