Working Solutions is a certified, nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides affordable capital, customized business consulting, and community connections for underserved entrepreneurs – primarily low-income individuals, women, and people of color – to start and grow thriving local businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Specializing in start-up and early-stage financing, Working Solutions creates economic opportunity, builds financial self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship, and promotes microenterprise growth to strengthen the local economy, create jobs, and build resilient communities.

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Approach

  • Focus on start-up and early-stage financing

  • Fund entrepreneurs with capital consisting of loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 and small business grants

  • Provide every funded entrepreneur with up to 5 years of one-on-one consulting and resources

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Results

Capital

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  • $17.6 million disbursed

  • 673 loans funded

  • 96% repayment rate

  • $26,210 average loan size

  • $1.8 million in grants made to 177 small businesses

Consulting

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  • 14,500+ entrepreneurs educated

  • 3,100+ entrepreneurs provided with pre-loan technical assistance

  • 2,200+ hours of post-loan technical assistance

Community

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  • 3,674 jobs created/retained

  • 63% women-owned businesses

  • 53% people of color-owned businesses

  • 81% low- or moderate- income owned businesses

  • 49% start-ups and 75% early stage businesses

History

Working Solutions began in 1999 as a workforce development program under the auspices of TMC Financing. By 2005, the organization had commenced its own micro-lending program. Since then, Working Solutions has perfected our holistic approach to community economic development, blending our lending services with business coaching and mentoring programs. Emily Gasner, Working Solutions' founder and CEO, was honored with the 2008 Financial Services Champion of the Year Award by the San Francisco Small Business Administration. In 2009, Working Solutions was designated a United States Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  

We follow fair, responsible, and transparent lending practices, and are a signatory of the:


Working Solutions is a proud member of: