Oakland / SF Bay Area Programs

The foundation develops, manages, and supports a variety of programs, services and events in the Oakland and San Francisco Bay Area. Emma Guttman-Slater, our Community Engagement Manager, helps connect local small business owners, social-impact entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to the resources they need to succeed. Looking for funding or space for your next meeting? Need help figuring out what technical and financial assistance may be available for your business or nonprofit? Get in touch via email!

Oakland Indie Awards

The Oakland Indie Awards is Beneficial State’s signature annual event.  On Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Oakland Museum of California we celebrated 10 years of honoring the independently-owned business and artist communities. This economic development initiative encourages Oaklanders to recognize the community, economic, environmental and political impact of supporting local commerce.

Each year, anyone in the community may nominate Oakland-based businesses and artists to be considered for one of seven awards. Two independent judging panels then gather in April to determine the finalists and winners. Awards are handed out at the Oakland Indie Awards Ceremony, followed by an energetic community celebration featuring live music, exhibits, food, drinks, and an Indie Marketplace highlighting a huge variety of local businesses and artists. People of all ages, cultures, faiths, and genders come together to cheer on the businesses and artists that are keeping our Town thriving!

The 9th Annual Oakland Indie Awards took place on May 29, 2015 and was a huge success. Discover the winners and more at www.OaklandIndieAwards.com.

What are people saying about the Oakland Indie Awards?

“The Indie Awards is a great opportunity to find out about local businesses, creative work spaces and active entrepreneurs/artists in the Oakland community”  – Oakland Indie Awards attendee

“When I started business in Oakland in 1999, one had to be member of a private club to have networking like this. I promised to never be “member” to one of those elitist clubs. The Indie Awards is truly an event for people to meet and network and showcase their artistry, ingenuity, and social justice outreach and efforts.” – April Quinn, owner of Gondola Servizio

“The Oakland Indie Awards was such an amazing time! We engaged non-stop with Oakland’s finest.” Oakland Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Clinic

“The Indie Marketplace is a reflection of Oakland’s vibrant, multicultural community. The music, the food, the scenery… It’s like a treat for all of the senses! And it’s all Oakland!”– Indie Awards Attendee

Upcoming Events & Sponsorships

May 13, 2016: Playworks
May 21, 2016:
Upward Roots
May 26, 2016:
Greenlining Economic Summit
June 2, 2016: GRID Alternatives
June 6, 2016: RCD

Oakland Business Assistance Center Website

In 2010, Beneficial State Foundation built a business resource website for the City of Oakland Business Assistance Center website.  This site includes searchable listings of organizations that provide classes, counseling and financial assistance to local businesses.

Memberships, Partners, & Community Resources

Beneficial State Foundation builds partnerships in the community through membership in local organizations and participation on local boards and committees. See our Partners and Resources pages for a list.

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Join the Beneficial Banking mailing list.

Past Programs

Over its history the foundation has produced a variety of other programs, workshops and events to support local businesses and artists, including:

  • Build a Better Business Workshop
  • Social Market Innovation Leadership Exchange Forums:
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Innovative Growth Capital for Social Ventures and Non-Profits
  • Sector Luncheon: Recycling, Re-purposing and Upcycling
  • Introduction to B Corporations Workshop
  • Bank on Oakland Financial Education Workshops
  • Pal Payday Alternative Loan Program
  • Holiday Buy Night and Full Moon Buy Night local shopping events
  • Oakland Unwrapped! Local Shopping e-commerce website
  • Cash for Employers – Alameda County Wage Subsidy information sessions
  • American Sustainable Business Council partnership event: How Visionary East Bay Companies Are Responding to Climate Change

Questions about our Oakland / SF Bay Area programs, contact Emma Guttman-Slater at 510-912-2900.