Small Business Financing Initiative

  • Expanding the capacity for small business financing

  • through training and technical assistance.

Overview of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative

Small businesses drive the U.S. economy and generate quality jobs in communities across the country.  Increasing lending to small businesses presents an important and attractive opportunity for CDFIs and other mission-driven lenders to make a significant impact in their communities.

OFN and Goldman Sachs have 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 provides national training opportunities for CDFIs and other community lenders to scale lending to small businesses in underserved communities. Components include:

National Workshops

OFN will offer three, free, two-day workshops in July and August 2014 designed to help small business lenders identify and pursue growth opportunities. These workshops will help you to:

  • Define growth strategies for their organization
  • Overcome barriers and challenges to growth
  • Identify opportunities to propel growth

All workshops are now full and registration is closed for all three workshops in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York. View more information about the training curriculum. Direct questions to:

Small Business Finance Collaborative

Following the National Workshops, 20 participants will be chosen through a competitive process to receive intensive technical assistance and participate in peer-learning opportunities over two years to implement ambitious and customized growth plans. 

Industry Webinars

Best practices in small business lending will be showcased through a series of webinars beginning in 2015. Webinars will be recorded to provide an on-demand library of resources to benefit all small business lenders across the country.


The Small Business Leader Award for Mission-Driven Lenders, the first-ever award to recognize innovation and growth in mission-driven small business lenders, launches this summer. 


National Small Business Lending Workshops

OFN and Goldman Sachs have partnered to offer the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative Workshops. These two-day, free classes provide a framework for smart growth in small business lending. The workshops will be offered three times between July-August 2014.

Workshop Dates

Below is the schedule of workshops. Each session is identical, so sign up for the one that best fits your schedule.

  • July 24-25: Chicago (Note: this workshop is full)
  • August 5-6: Los Angeles (Note: this workshop is full)
  • August 20-21: New York (Note: this workshop is full)

Seats are limited—register now. Eligibility based upon current and future commitment to small business lending, managing on-balance-sheet risk, and mission focus on serving low-income communities and peoples. We encourage up to 3 people per organization to register. Acceptance will be confirmed three weeks from application.  

Who Should Attend

  • Organizations focused on small business lending in underserved communities:
    • CDFIs: loan funds, credit unions, and banks
    • Mission-driven lenders that carry on-balance-sheet lending such as: SBA 7(a) and Community Advantage lenders, and revolving loan funds
  • Those empowered to affect change in their organization, including:
    • Executive Director and CEOs
    • Chief Credit/Lending Officers
    • Managers with influence


The training focuses on methods to improve customer acquisition and retention, address competitive threats, refine loan policies, expand capital deployment, and increase underwriting and servicing efficiencies while staying true to an organization’s core mission. See our Curriculum Overview for more detail.


Curriculum Overview

The workshop curriculum combines innovative approaches to marketing, culture, technology, operations, and leadership with elements of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program for entrepreneurs adapted for small business lenders.

Join us as we explore topics such as:

  • Succeeding within the changing small business landscape
  • Creating a sales culture to support growth and performance
  • Maximizing public awareness among borrowers and funders
  • Building talent management strategies that support growth and mission

The workshop format will be highly interactive, including discussions with entrepreneurs who graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses training. 

Day 1 Topics:

  • Small Business Landscape: Rise of alternative lenders and unmet needs in low-income and minority communities
  • Creating a compelling value proposition: target customers and customer segments; aligning products and services to market needs; creating differentiation in the marketplace
  • How to find and retain qualified borrowers: Marketing strategy and tactics; sales channels; sales culture

Day 2 Topics:

  • Small business owner panel: hearing the voice of the customer; finding the parallels between growing a small business and growing small business lending
  • Creating a culture of growth and performance: prioritizing initiatives and developing metrics and dashboards to measure progress
  • Lending lifecycle and Operations: How to increase efficiencies and value through-out the organization
  • Managing People and Change and the role of Leadership
  • Technology: Evaluating different types of technology to support productivity, operations, new products, and marketing

Other topics that may be covered across the two days include:

  • Raising capital
  • Performance metrics
  • Measuring impact