OFN and Goldman Sachs committed to helping small business lenders grow to better serve small businesses by launching the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative. This three-year program provided national training opportunities for CDFIs and other community lenders to scale lending to small businesses in underserved communities.

Components included industry webinars, the Small Business Leader Award for Mission-Driven Lenders, national workshops, and other intensive technical assistance and participate in peer-learning opportunities.

Webinar Series

This webinar series presented an array of operational strategies to reinvigorate participants to think about their small business lending, understand the building blocks of small business lending, learn new tools to enhance and advance their organizations, and gain insights from members of the Small Business Finance Collaborative who integrated these concepts into their lending.

These webinars, covering seven essential topics in growth and innovation, were recorded to provide an on-demand library of resources to benefit mission-driven small business lenders across the country. The series was part of the Small Business Financing Initiative launched in 2014, funded by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses with additional support from the Surdna Foundation.

Small Business Lending Landscape

Small Business Lending Landscape

Mission-driven small business lenders recognize the need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. The online small business marketplace has boomed over the past few years and is expected to grow exponentially. Learn more about this evolving landscape and how CDFIs are responding to meet these challenges and deliver financial services responsibly. Small business lenders also share their own experiences and creative responses to these marketplace changes.

Hosted on 2/11/2016

Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

In this webinar, experts introduce the Business Model Canvas, a powerful and interactive tool to help you understand and map out your organization’s business model. Small business lenders also share their own experiences with this tool.

Hosted on 3/3/2016

Building a Value Proposition

Building a Value Proposition

In this webinar learn how to understand, define, and build your organization’s “value proposition.” This powerful tool will help you focus on the unique set of products and services you offer your customers and how you distinguish yourself from competitors. Small business lenders also share their own experiences with this concept and practice.

Hosted on 3/24/2016

Customer Acquisition and Retention

Customer Acquisition and Retention

In any business, no one is more important than your customer. In this webinar, we explore strategies and tools for attracting, acquiring, and retaining your borrowers. Small business lenders also offer their experiences and approaches to successful customer outreach and innovative partnerships.

Hosted on 4/14/2016

Lending Life Cycle Part 1

Lending Life Cycle – Part 1: Finding Existing Barriers to Loan Growth

Join us for an introduction to the Lending Life Cycle model, a powerful tool used to analyze the essential aspects of your lending operation from customer acquisition through loan closing to troubled loan management. We help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your operations, and introduce a process mapping tool to help you diagnose and treat your “pain points” that may be barriers to growth. Small business lenders also share their own experiences with this methodology.

Hosted on 5/5/2016

Lending Life Cycle – Part 2: Lending Life Cycle and Technology

In this webinar, we continue to explore the power of the Lending Life Cycle model, introduced in the previous webinar (Finding Existing Barriers to Growth). Using the Lending Life Cycle methodology, we explore where technology can be used to enhance operational efficiencies and introduce a framework to help you assess your organization’s technology priorities. We also highlight technology’s role in enabling expansion goals and improving the lending process for your customers. In addition, small business lenders share their own experiences with this tool.

Hosted on 5/26/2016

Talent Management

In this webinar, we explore a range of tools, frameworks, and approaches to attracting and retaining your organization’s most important assets: people and culture. Content also includes best practices for aligning organizational culture, managing talent, and leading successful change. Small business lenders also share their own experiences and approaches to talent management.

Hosted on 6/16/2016

National Workshops

In July and August 2014, OFN offered three, free, two-day workshops designed to help small business lenders identify and pursue growth opportunities. These workshops were designed to help mission-driven small business lenders 1) define growth strategies for their organization, 2) overcome barriers and challenges to growth, and 3) identify opportunities to propel growth.

The workshops built on OFN’s work with small business lenders, and leveraged content from the innovative Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program for entrepreneurs delivered by Babson College. The workshops were attended by 115 participants from 85 mission-driven lenders from across the country.

Small Business Finance Collaborative

The Small Business Finance Collaborative launched in January 2015. This program built the capacity of CDFIs and other mission-driven lenders to deliver responsible and affordable loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the nation. The program was designed to dramatically increase small business lending in low-wealth communities in the U.S.

Funded by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, with additional support from Surdna Foundation, the Finance Collaborative provided an opportunity for a cohort of 24 mission-driven, small business lending organizations to participate in an intensive two-year program of peer learning, training, and technical assistance to develop and implement a strategic growth plan to improve lending strategies and practices and to significantly increase small business lending while maintaining asset quality.


2015-2016 Small Business Finance Collaborative participants were:

  • Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) – Cleveland, GA
  • Accion New Mexico ∙ Arizona ∙ Colorado ∙ Nevada – Albuquerque, NM
  • Bridgeway Capital – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union – Brooklyn, NY
  • California Coastal Rural Development Corporation (Cal Coastal) – Salinas, CA
  • CDC Small Business Finance – San Diego, CA
  • CEI – Wiscasset, ME
  • Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) – Denver, CO
  • Community First Fund – Lancaster, PA
  • Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Craft3 – Ilwaco, WA
  • Entrepreneur Fund – Duluth, MN
  • Excelsior Growth Fund – Albany, NY
  • Growth Capital – Cleveland, OH
  • Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) – London, KY
  • LiftFund, formerly known as Accion Texas – San Antonio, TX
  • Montana Community Development Corporation (Montana CDC) – Missoula, MT
  • Northern Initiatives – Marquette, MI
  • Pacific Community Ventures – San Francisco, CA
  • PIDC Community Capital (PIDC-CC) – Philadelphia, PA
  • The Support Center – Raleigh, NC
  • Travois – Kansas City, MO
  • VEDC – Van Nuys, CA
  • Virginia Community Capital (VCC) – Christiansburg, VA

Small Business Leader Award

The Small Business Leader Award for Mission-Driven Lenders (SBLA) recognized innovation and growth in mission, impact, and financial sustainability among mission-driven small business lenders. This national award rewarded excellence, built broad-based recognition, and created momentum among CDFIs and other mission-driven lenders.


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