Insights into the world of small business lending and development


Kateri Gutierrez co-founded Collective Avenue Coffee in Lynwood in 2016 with big dreams of what the business could do for her community. As her business has grown, this commitment to community has become the foundation of Collective Avenue Coffee, from it business structure to its mission and even how it's funded its growth.

Kateri and her co-founder Jonathan Robles organized their business to be the first worker-owned coffee shop in L.A, meaning the business is owned and operated by its members and employees. They felt that the cooperative model was a way for them to start and own...

This is the final post in our series, “Turn your bright idea into a business.” Check out our other posts on validating your idea, running the financials and testing the waters by starting small.

You’ve been thinking about starting a small business for a while, and you’ve even done your homework to try out your idea. Hopefully you’ve read our other posts in this series for advice on validating your idea, doing a bit of market research, thinking through the financials and testing the waters by starting your business on the side. While you’ve successfully taken some steps towards beco...

This is the third post in a series on how you can turn your dream of owning a small business into a reality. If you missed Part 2 in the series, you can find it here. Check back each week for new posts.

Once you’ve figured out that your business idea has legs and makes financial sense, the next step is to try it out. Many entrepreneurs like to dream big as they’re first launching a business—they picture their business with their own office, retail location and staff. Dreaming big is great, but starting small gives you the opportunity to test out your business ideas and perfect them...

This is the second post in a series on how you can turn your dream of owning a small business into a reality. If you missed Part 1 in the series, you can find it here. Check back each week for new posts.

There are many excellent reasons for starting a business: being your own boss, loving what you do and enjoying the challenge of getting your enterprise up and running. But at the end of the day, you need your business to make money. Now that you know that your business idea has legs, it’s time to see if your business makes sound financial sense.

Starting any business costs mon...

This is the first post in our new series about how you can turn your dream of owning a small business into a reality. Check back each week for new posts.

Congratulations! You have a great idea for a new business and want to start your journey as an entrepreneur. But starting a business can seem like a daunting task and you might need some help figuring out if you’re ready to turn your idea into a reality. Read on for tips to help you determine if your business idea has legs.

Validate your idea

Before spending any money on starting a business, do your homework. There a...

This blog post originally appeared on

Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator

For this blog about Hurricane Season preparedness, we thought it would make sense to get some business continuity tips from a real expert—a business owner who survived multiple disasters. 

Three Brothers Bakery, a 69-year-old business owned by Janice and Robert Jucker, suffered losses of around $1 million after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston last August.  In 2008, the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike forced the couple to close the bakery for nine months.  They lost $1 million afte...

This article originally appeared on

Levi King, CEO & Co-Founder of

The devil is in the details. And when you’re applying for a business loan, there are a lot of details.

My company, Nav, in a recent survey of 648 U.S. business owners, discovered that "70% of small business owners without a business checking account were turned down for a business loan in the past two years." The top reason they didn’t have a business checking account? They didn’t have time to set one up, even though they wanted one.

What they may not realize is that, by...

As a small business owner, you’ve probably found yourself in the position of needing extra funds to help you expand, whether you need to buy equipment or you have a new product idea you need help developing. Traditional financing like a bank loan can take months to close between the application and approval phases, and you probably don’t have the time to wait, especially if you need a relatively small amount of cash. In this case, a crowdfunding campaign could be the right move for your business and the good news is that there are many different crowdfunding options available right now....

This article is from Excelsior Growth Fund, a Venturize supporter.

Small business owners seeking funding to start, operate, or expand their businesses often fall prey to banks and lenders who are deceiving about the costs associated with borrowing. Monthly interest rates alone are not an indicator of the overall cost of a loan. Predatory lenders may hide additional costs, such as the annual percentage rate (APR), closings costs, service fees, and other fees or penalties. If you are a small business owner looking for financing, it is essential that you do your research not only to ca...

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY.

Rhonda Abrams, Special for USA TODAY

America loves small business, and from April 29 to May 5, America observes “Small Business Week,” dedicated to recognizing the best small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

I also want to recognize the best small-business support in the country: the consultants of America’s SBDC — Small Business Development Center — network.