2023 Small Business Finance Forum

OFN Small Business Finance Forum Returns to Chicago – Register Now!

Updated June 6, 2023

OFN’s 10th annual event for small business mission-driven lenders returns to Chicago this June for the first time since 2019 

Entrepreneurship surged during the pandemic, increasing demand for small business financing that continues today. At the same time, troubling signs in the economy, from inflation to rising interest rates to bank failures, are constricting access to finance, putting small businesses — and the American economy — at risk.  

We know that when traditional banks pull back, CDFIs lean in – and today’s economic climate is no different.  

At the 2023 Small Business Finance Forum, we’ll explore how CDFIs can continue delivering capital and other critical services to our nation’s smallest and most under-resourced businesses so they can build sustainable futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Registration is expected to sell out soon. Register as soon as possible to secure your spot!

Event Summary  

Now in its tenth year, OFN’s Small Business Finance Forum is returning in person to downtown Chicago’s magnificent mile for the first time in four years. This June 20-21, join hundreds of mission-driven small business lenders, funders, investors, and other partners from around the country to learn, connect, and be inspired. 

2023 Small Business Finance Forum in Chicago
Harold Pettigrew, OFN’s newly appointed president and CEO

The event offers an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn from their peers and build valuable connections, along with a Small Business Partner Showcase, new OFN training programs, a conversation featuring SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman and newly appointed OFN President and CEO Harold Pettigrew, and much more.  

The forum will feature more than 20 interactive breakout sessions spread across five distinct tracks: Data, Impact Measurement, and Technology; Innovations in Underwriting and Product Design; Partnerships & Collaborations; Policy; and Portfolio Management.  

Breakout sessions will cover a diverse range of topics most critical to small business lending, such as:

  • Over-Mentored and Under-Funded: Women Entrepreneurs of Color
  • An Ecosystems Approach to Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs
  • Leveling-Up Portfolio Management: Using Secondary Markets to Add Liquidity, Reduce Risk, and Lend More
  • Cash-Flow Data for Underwriting Minority Business Enterprises and Small Businesses
  • Practitioner Perspectives on the State Small Business Credit Initiative


The forum will also introduce three new training opportunities:  

  • CDFI 101: Orientation to the Industry 
  • CDFI 201: CAMEL Framework Fundamentals  
  • Green Lending 101 

These half-day, workshop-style courses will provide more comprehensive, interactive learning than our standard breakout sessions.

Learn more about each training on the forum registration site. Please note training availability is limited and there is a separate registration fee. 

The forum has officially sold out, as well as our room block at the JW Marriott! However, you can still join the forum waitlist and secure your spot if any openings become available. We are working to secure additional rooms at a nearby hotel. In the interim, we have included alternative hotels on the registration site 

New to the Small Business Finance Forum? Visit OFN’s website to learn more, including highlights and sessions from previous years.


2023 SBFF Sponsors

Stay Connected with OFN

Subscribe to receive regular updates from OFN straight to your inbox. 
Follow OFN on social media. 

More From OFN

News, stories, and voices from OFN and the CDFI field. View more on our blog!

Tags: , ,