Celebrating the milestones of Opportunity

Posted on Sep 03, 2014 by Alma Elizondo-Bailey

Celebrating 20 Years of Opportunity

As we continue to celebrate Opportunity Fund's 20th Anniversary throughout 2014, this month we're marking all the milestones, heroes and miracles along the way that have helped make Opportunity Fund the award-winning cause that's driving economic mobility in California today, while breaking all the records and breaking all the rules!

I hope you enjoy this snapshot of 20 years of powerful stories from entrepreneurs, students, single mothers, low-income communities and underprivileged families and neighborhoods that have been touched by the Opportunity Fund community.

1994 - 2014

1994 - Opportunity Fund is born
"After business school, I knew I wanted to do something to help people move up the economic ladder. I am passionate about economic justice, and had visions of using the problem-solving acumen of business to affect change." - Eric Weaver, CEO
Eric with Rosa
1995 - Opportunity Fund provides first microloan
"I met Eric twenty years ago when I needed a loan to expand my business. He not only helped me financially, he also motivated me to never give up, no matter the circumstances. Thanks to his advice and support, I'm running a successful business all these years later."
- Rosa, owner of Paradise Flowers, Redwood City

Reaches $1M in microloans
1998 - Reaches $1 Million in microloans

"We went to our bank and it became clear we weren't going to get a loan. That's when we found Opportunity Fund."

-Lana, owner of Outerlands Cafe, San Francisco  
Opens first savings account
1999 - Open first microsavings account

"As soon as I heard that I got into the Microsavings program at Opportunity Fund, I burst into tears. I knew it was my one chance to get ahead. It gave me hope that I could actually build a foundation for myself and my son!"  
- Jackie, Microsavings client and mother


The Croppers
2000 - Converts for-profit to non-profit

"Opportunity Fund stood out to us as an organization truly expanding the economic base in a local and supportive way."
- David and Joni Cropper, Opportunity Fund Donors

Opens 1,000 savings accounts and 1,000 loans
2003 - Opens 1,000 savings accounts and makes 1,000 microloans, since founding

"The process of saving each month taught me to be more aware and proactive. I had to be weary of the temptation of using my debit card, and start thinking about money management."
- Kiara, College Saver, East Palo Alto

2006 - Expands from San Jose to Greater Bay Area

"Opportunity Fund is near and dear to my heart, both for the mission it stands for and for the team of people who make it magical."
- Evelyn Huang, Opportunity Fund Donor

Noel and his family
2012 - Expands microlending from Greater Bay Area to Greater Los Angeles

"Building and growing a business is very difficult, but Opportunity Fund believed in me. They really care about the success of my business."
- Noel, owner of The Little Machin mobile food truck, Los Angeles

Approves 5 loans per day
2013 - Approves loans at the rate of five per day, investing $8,000 per hour

"Getting a loan from Opportunity Fund was fast, easy, with no hassle. They want to see you succeed in your business."
- Sheri, owner of Sista Soul Food, Los Angeles 

Eric celebrating 20 years of Opportunity
2014 - Celebrates 20th Anniversary. Impact since founding: 
$16 Million in microsavings by 4,635 savers; $50 Million in microlending to 2,237 entrepreneurs.

"Twenty years ago, when we launched Opportunity Fund, I had no idea what we would become. Just getting to a million dollars in microloans, I thought, that would be amazing." Eric Weaver, CEO

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