Have you ever wondered how local food entrepreneurs get the start-up funds to begin their culinary career? Business loans are the obvious answer, but on a smaller, more local scale, microlending is the way to go. Opportunity Fund is one such microlending organization that provides Bay Area food and business entrepreneurs with microloans and business consulting.
This past Tuesday, Opportunity Fund decided to share the food entrepreneurial wealth with the residents of San Francisco at their Taste of Microfinance event. “We figured it was about time to share the great treats we know where to find with all of our friends in the community,” says Caitlin McShane, the Marketing and Communications Director of Opportunity Fund. The organization chose a small handful of food entrepreneurs who receive their microloans to be featured at the event.
“We love all the small businesses we’ve lent to over the years,” she states. By lending money to local entrepreneurs, Opportunity Fund is able to kick-start local businesses for community members to support, and that support puts money back into the local community.
“Microlending is awesome, and it’s easier to connect with it when you can feel it, see it, buy it and taste it!” Caitlin proudly states. She was right! The taste of microfinance is filled with local and organic goodies and served by passionate and friendly community members. At Tuesday’s event there was an array of Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean, and Ethiopian food—not to mention the local wine, drinks, and fancy cupcakes for dessert!
Onigilly is not only the name of this business, but also of the food they serve—brown rice seaweed wraps stuffed with gourmet filling, healthy and delicious! Eji’s served up their savory enjera rolls filled with spicy red lentils. Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas provided a wide variety of cheesy and flavorful veggie- and meat-filled tamales. Elvia Buendia showcased her decadent La Luna Cupcakes, featuring unique flavors with sweet and perfectly-textured frosting. El Buen Comer provided their hand-held tostaditos: corn chips topped with vegetarian or meat-lover ingredients with nopales, guacamole, beans, and shredded cheese. Love and Hummus dished up an impressive variety of creamy hummus, made with all local and organic ingredients—it doesn’t get any better than that!
I can’t think of a better way to help support the local economy than grabbing a bite to eat from a fellow community member. Be on the lookout for these food entrepreneurs at local foodie events and gatherings throughout the City!