Stories & Videos

A few years ago, Rachel Bernier-Green was looking for an outlet from the stress of her intense job at a multinational accounting firm and discovered a passion for baking. It didn’t take long before friends and family were encouraging her to sell her baked goods to the masses. Rachel founded ‘Laine’s Bake Shop, LLC in 2013 using a shared kitchen space, working on the side to get her business off the ground. After a few years of baking part-time, Rachel decided to finally quit her job and start a bake shop full-time with her husba...

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...

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

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.

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...