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SF Small Business Week. Celebrate Small Business.


Working Solutions: Gain Experience in the Industry Before Going Out on Your Own

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Working Solutions.

Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence

Working Solutions provides affordable microloans, customized business consulting, and community connections for entrepreneurs unable to secure traditional financing to grow thriving local businesses that create jobs.

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

We nominated our client, Sow Juice, for SF Small Business of the Year 2017 and they won!

Working Solutions has…

  • Provided over $12 million in microlending to over 600 small businesses since 2005.
  • Graduated our clients to over $12 million in bank loans and leveraged finance.
  • Helped create or retain over 2,000 jobs

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

Working Solutions group photo

Photograph © Mitch Tobias (415) 302-5973 Working Solutions, Invest in Dreams breakfast and award ceremony. At the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco. Event Photography

Working Solutions’ clients are automatically enrolled in our exclusive Business Consulting Program.

Our goal is to accelerate your business growth by helping you identify and achieve your business objectives. Your Business Consultant will connect you to the following resources:

Access to experts who provide specialized knowledge and advice within your industry.
Skill building business events, such as QuickBooks seminars and legal clinics, that provide you with the business tools you need to be successful.
Amplified exposure through our digital channels, small business award nominations, and networking opportunities with other clients and professionals.
Tailored business education through newsletters, industry specific digests, and individual opportunities provided by the Business Consulting team.

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?

Working Solutions is a microlender that is the first to believe in new entrepreneurs. We lend to startups and businesses that are pre-revenue, as well as established. Our loans are accessible and affordable for early stage entrepreneurs. Working Solutions is unique in providing free business consulting and advising that is available to our borrowers for the life of their loan!

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?

Working Solutions does special outreach to women, low-income, and minority-owned businesses, as we understand that these entrepreneurs have the biggest challenges accessing capital.

Working Solutions has created a new Business Retention program in partnership with the City of San Francisco and Citibank. Business Retention services help small businesses navigate commercial leasing and government incentive programs to support small business growth in our local communities.

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

Prepare for entrepreneurship with a reserve of money until the business can afford to pay you; get experience working in the same industry before going out on your own; get your personal credit in good standing; and research your competition so you know how to differentiate your business.

We would love to hear some real life examples of how you’ve supported small businesses.   

“I am so honored and feeling extraordinarily grateful to have people like you and organizations like Working Solutions in my life, supporting my dreams and ambitions.” Luisa Alberto, Owner of Sow Juice, San Francisco Small Business of the Year 2017.

“Working Solutions is the best organization for small biz and especially women small biz. I recommend you all the time!” Kelly Jones, Little Paper Planes

“Thanks again for ALL your support!” Theresa Petry, The Organic Pantry

“Thank you for your encouragement and support.” Eden Stein, Secession Art & Design

“I have a much more solid understanding of my business’ financial picture and can use the concrete skills I learned to help it grow.” Samantha Roxas, Maaari

“It was a pleasure to meet with you–Lana and I have brought up a few times how inspiring we found our conversation! I’m so impressed by what you are all doing at Working Solutions and am excited to work with everyone and continue to grow my business with your guidance.” Lana, Outerlands & Alexis, Case For Making

“It was wonderful meeting with you today! Working solutions does so much for small businesses it is really refreshing.” Michelle Sheppard, Callina

Connect with Working Solutions:

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