This year we are celebrating 20 years of Opportunity. Two decades of hope, inspiration and success driving California families to achieve financial stability and economic mobility through education and entrepreneurship.
"When we launched Opportunity Fund in 1994, I had no idea what we would become," recalls founder and CEO Eric Weaver. Today, Opportunity Fund lends more than $2 million every month to over 100 small business owners and we've helped thousands of students save and invest more than $6 million in their educations.
As part of our 20th Anniversary celebration this year, we will share success stories with you from the community of clients, supporters and donors that's rising up to champion our cause. Here is Chiefo's story.
Chiefo's Kitchen | Loan Amount: $3,000 | San Francisco
Chiefo launched her West African catering business - Chiefo's Kitchen - in 2009 at La Cocina's Street Food Festival. It was one of the busiest booths! But in order to sell so much food, Chiefo also had to spend quite a lot of money to prepare for it-so much, in fact, that when 2011's Street Food Festival rolled around, Chiefo was apprehensive about whether she would have enough capital to secure a booth and purchase the necessary ingredients.
"It came down to: 'Should I pay rent or should I be in the Street Food Festival?' I thought I would have to skip the festival and lose the chance to grow my business," recalls Chiefo. Opportunity Fund and La Cocina have a strong working relationship. The team at La Cocina knew they could put Chiefo in safe hands when they referred her to Opportunity Fund for a loan. "I couldn't believe it at first. It seemed too good to be true! It was the right loan that came at the right time." With her $3,000 loan from Opportunity Fund secured, Chiefo's Kitchen was even more successful her second time in the Street Food Festival, grossing $12,000 in sales.
Since then, Chiefo has gone on to launch her own catering business, serving delicious West African dishes to private parties and corporate events throughout the Bay Area. The next time you need catering for a business or personal event, please consider Chiefo's Kitchen! With her $3,000 loan, Opportunity Fund was able to help Chiefo invest in her business at just the right time. We're in the business of saying "yes" and we love to see what happens to these Opportunity Funded businesses as they thrive.
Chiefo Chukwudebe, Owner and Executive Chef
2948 Folsom Street | San Francisco, CA 94110 | 510.689.6096
Read more stories and voices from Opportunity Fund's ever-expanding community.