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Making Entrepreneurial Dreams a Reality #SFSBW2016 Interview: Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Christopher Gil, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA).

MEDA PhotoWhat is your organizations mission?

Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.

What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community?

MEDA worked with the 36 community-serving businesses displaced by the fire at Mission and 22nd streets Jan. 28, 2015.

Also, MEDA’s community lending arm – Adelante Fund – is a vehicle for MEDA to provide vital capital and lending options to small-business owners in San Francisco and the none-county Bay Area. Many small businesses struggle to access the lending capital that is oftentimes necessary to help these ventures grow. In addition, many families in our community face barriers in accessing mainstream financial products, leaving them to turn to high-cost predatory lenders in times of need. MEDA recognizes the need to now combine our direct services with fair-lending options for our clients; therefore, in 2015 we launched the Adelante Fund to provide fair and affordable lending options.

What tools and resources has your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business?

MEDA helps small businesses:

  • Prepare a business plan
  • Start and expand your business, plus commercial lease negotiation
  • Prepare a marketing plan to attract and retain customers
  • Apply for a microloan
  • Use technology to improve your business
  • Learn marketing and social media skills
  • Strengthen personal finances for successful business ownership

San Francisco has been experiencing quite the transformation. What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners? What resources do you offer to entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started?

MEDA offers free, seven-session workshops to help aspiring small-business owners get on the road to success. This can be followed by one-on-one coaching, also at no cost.

San Francisco is known for its diverse culture. How does your organization ensure that the small businesses that make this city unique are able to stay in San Francisco?

Our clients are primarily Latinos, with two-thirds immigrants who come to this country with the dream of starting a business. This is a means to creating an asset and also for providing for their family.

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?

Any budding entrepreneur can make their dream a reality with some direction and plenty of diligence.

Hear from other small businesses that have used MEDA to tap into new opportunities and grow their businesses.

http://medasf.org/meda-client-cooks-up-an-idea-works-hard-and-opens-new-el-aji-peruvian-restaurant-in-the-mission/

http://medasf.org/medas-adelante-fund-provides-first-loan-to-small-business-community/

http://medasf.org/el-buen-comer-gets-adelante-fund-loan-to-open-restaurant-in-bernal-heights/

 

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