Best Small Business Resources in the Oakland Area

Small map with pin depicting Oakland, CA

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. California has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Oakland area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in California.

Resources Available in your Area

Impact Hub Oakland

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking

Description

This local node of the global Impact Hub network is a premier organization that fosters collaboration, networking, and positive entrepreneurship through events and accelerator programs. Their Business Academy hosts several accelerator cohorts that cater to different needs while the events they host range from educational seminars to pitch competitions and workshops. For bootstrapped startups, they offer a work-trade program where membership is free to members who use their skills to assist in keeping Impact Hub Oakland running. Paid membership plans are priced according to hours of coworking per month you require.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2323 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
510-858-2323


Alameda County SBDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2101 Webster St., Suite 1200
Oakland, CA 94612


Anew America Community Corporation

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Networking

Description

Women's Business Centers are nationwide programs established by the SBA to assist women in starting small businesses. Some of these centers are combined with other local organizations and use that relationship to offer even more services. Each Women's Business Center has counselors who can provide mentorship and assistance with business planning. Women’s Business Centers also provide a network of other businesses, and some have loan programs available

Restrictions

The Women's Business Centers are, as the name implies, meant for women primarily.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1470 Fruitvale Avenue
Oakland, CA 94601
510-532-5240
ivalerio@anewamerica.org


Inner City Advisors

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising

Description

This organization works to promote small business growth through a network of professionals willing to share time and resources to grow the community. Startups apply through an online form, and, once accepted gain access to educational classes and advising. 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2335 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
510-271-0142
info@icafundgoodjobs.org


Oakland SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


Oakland-Public-Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Research

Offers Free Service

Accepts Walks In

Description

The Oakland Public Library is a great free resource for entrepreneurs, offering a myriad of print resources and online services. Lawyers with free consulting hours are available at the library as well. The online business center aggregates links to local government codes and policies pertaining to someone starting a small business and displays them in one convenient place.

Restrictions

A library card may be required to access certain services.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

125 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
510-238-3134

HOURS OF OPERATION:

 

MON - TUE: 10 am - 5:30 pm

WED - THU: 12 pm - 8 pm

FRI: 12 pm - 5:30 pm

SAT: 10 am - 5:30 pm

SUN: 1 pm - 5 pm


Oakstop

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Coworking

Description

Oakstop is an artistic coworking space in the heart of downtown Oakland, offering a unique emphasis on art to spur creativity. An art gallery hosts rotating art exhibits from local and non-local artists and an event space is open to rent. Workshops are held throughout the week, including weekends and evenings, are hosted by local experts and are designed to provide actionable information on entrepreneurial topics.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1721 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
510-698-9370
info@oakstop.com

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8:30 am – 8 pm


Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Coworking

Offers Free Service

Description

The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center was launched in 1985 as a way to provide business planning classes to very low to moderate income individuals. Today, REC offers business planning, co-working space, a women’s business center, and provides scholarships to participants so that low-income participants can enroll in classes.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1500 MacDonald Avenue
Richmond, CA 94801
510-221-2000
ldeleon@rencenter.org