What:  Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is hosting a free workshop during Colorado Small Business Week (April 30 – May 5), Designing Success: From Creative Idea to Creative Biz. Attendees will learn about start-up financing available for first-time entrepreneurs in creative industries, including specific CEF loan products available for new companies. Steadily growing, creative industries embrace the idea that new ideas, not money or machinery, are the source of success. Creative businesses include those with a focus on art, culture, design and innovation. CEF staff will share what to expect during the non-profit’s loan process and what in-house business advisory services CEF offers. Colorado Small Business Week is part of a national initiative presented annually by the Small Business Administration(SBA).

This year’s initiative will focus on the theme: Big Impact of Small Business on Colorado’s Economy. According to a recent study conducted by Upstart Co-Lab, the Creative Economy in the U.S. is more than $704 billion or 4.2% of the U.S. GDP. There is also a pipeline of $1.54 billion being sought in capital by Creative Places and Creative Businesses in states across the U.S., including Colorado, a great opportunity for impact from these industries on the state’s economy.  Attendees will meet some of CEF’s borrowers who will share their own success stories about launching their creative industry startups with help from CEF. Local SBA Lender Relations Specialist Steve White will also be available at the workshop to discuss SBA resources for entrepreneurs.

When: Wednesday, May 2 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


Where: The Commons on Champa

1245 Champa St.

Denver, CO 80204

Who: CEF’s workshop is open to the public and presented in partnership with the Commons on Champa, the City of Denver Office of Economic Developmentthe Downtown Denver Partnership, and the U.S. Small Business Administration-Colorado District Office.


The workshop will feature four guest speakers who are CEF borrowers and local innovators of food, function and design who will share their personal success stories about getting started in Colorado’s creative economy:


Ethan Bach, http://altethos.com/: Combining a keen sense of design, social awareness, and novel use of interactive technology, Ethan Bach leads the media studio, Alt Ethos Ltd. The start-up shapes the landscape of “experience design” into one that activates local communities, addresses social and environmental issues, and brings people together. One of Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives in 2018, Ethan Bach was touted for “connecting with audiences through mind-blowing imagery and technological tricks of light.”


Stephan Toma, https://www.denverhaho.org/: Denver Handmade Homemade (HAHO) is a membership-based organization that offers access to a studio and commissary kitchen that enables craftspeople to be successful and to make local goods more accessible. HAHO also hosts monthly markets where its members can showcase and sell their unique products.


Michelle Hadden-Weekley, https://frenchforsugar.com/: French for Sugar is a made–to-order boutique bakery specializing in delicious high quality baked sweets + treats that are elegant and perfect for any special occasion.


Leland Copenhagen and Sarah Hughes, https://www.yaisthai.com/: With the belief that food should always be delicious and inspiring, Yai’s Thai is a line of authentic sauces, salsas and curries that use only clean and healthy ingredients.


CEF’s Lending Team will also be at the event to share information about loans for first-time entrepreneurs. CEF staff members attending include: Director of Lending Alan Ramirez and Loan Officer Hannah Gushurst-Jones. Find out more about these CEF staff members here.  

How to Register: There is no cost to register but reserved seating is required. Registration is limited to 75. Members of the media may register by emailing Valerie Hamlin at bvkhamlin@msn.com. All others may register and reserve seats via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2063110900384841/ or by visiting thecommons.co/programs-events.


Why: CEF Supports Colorado Small Business Week with Special Events (April 30-May 5)

In addition to the workshop on May 2, CEF is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and community partners on additional events in metro Denver and beyond as part of this year’s National Small Business Week(#DreamSmallBiz) celebration in Colorado:


  • Tuesday, May 1:
  • Wednesday, May 2: 10:00am -12:00pmColorado Small Business Week Awards Ceremony (invitation only). Presented by SBA Colorado District Office. Innovation Pavilion Event Center, 9200 East Mineral Avenue, Centennial, 80112.

About Colorado Enterprise Fund

Founded in1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and start-ups unable to obtain funding through traditional banks. CEF has dispersed over $75 million in startup and growth capital to almost 2,000 businesses, and created or retained more than 18,000 jobs in the state. A non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with lending services available statewide. For more information, visit: www.coloradoenterprisefund.org

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