the gift of growth
in this issue:
tech boost | system 76
Carl Richell
Co-Founder and Owner
C apitalizing on opportunity is what entrepreneurs do best. For Carl Richell, harnessing the power of open source software in a custom hardware product was a novel idea in 2005. So he and his business partner started System 76, a Denver-based computer manufacturer that specializes in building laptops, desktops, and servers for creators . The company is known for its support of open-source software, including Ubuntu, the only installed operating system it offers. Now a self-funded operation, Carl recalls it wasn't always that way.  To learn how Carl financed his business from start-up to success with help from CEFclick here .
our newest borrowers and who's in the news
Welcome Borrowers: Each month, the business names of CEF's newest borrowers are posted on our blog so anyone visiting our website can connect with you to learn more about your small business. If you haven't seen these lists, click here to see why these pages are some of the most popular on our website. You might just find what you need!
In the News: Kudos to the following borrowers who notified us about their media mentions since our last issue. Btw, did you know we love it when you mention CEF helped you get where you are today? Yup, we do, so share the love and   send us your latest news links so you can be featured in the next issue of Small Biz Builder!
cef updates

We made history in our 40th anniversary year!

CEF staff celebrating a historic year at Cheesman Park
On September 30, CEF officially completed its 40th year of operation with record-breaking results. T he number of loans we closed went up 12% and the dollar volume of these loans went up 29%! It took a dedicated team of CEF staff, plus community partners, funders and borrowers like you, for this to happen. Thank you for choosing CEF to help make your small business dream come true this historic year.

CEF partner Calvert Foundation launches Small Business Competition

Calvert Foundation is launching a competition among small businesses that receive funding from CEF to encourage your supporters, customers, and community members to vote for your small business. The goals of this competition: 1) promoting your small business as one that is tied to the local community; 2) competing to win a cash prize (1st = $10K, 2nd = $3K, 3rd = $2K) to enhance business operations; 3) educating people on the benefit of investing in the local community and the businesses that create local jobs; and 4) making people aware of the opportunity to invest in Calvert Foundation's Community Investment Note to support investments in small businesses located in the Denver Metro area. 

During the week of November 14th, you are invited to create a short profile on the competition's website that explains your business and the value it brings to your community. During the week of November 27th, the competition will go live and you will be able to promote the competition and your profile, and encourage your network of customers and supporters to vote for your business. Calvert Foundation will also promote the contest, as well as talking about the benefit of investing in the local community and the businesses that create local jobs. The three small businesses with the greatest number of votes after three weeks (wrapping up around December 19th) will win cash prizes!

For more information on how to participate in this 2016 competition, click here.

small biz toolbox

competitions and surveys (time sensitive):
Federal Reserve Bank 2016 Small Business Survey (10 minutes) - open until 11/23

grants (no deadlines):
Colorado SBIR/STTR Programs: competitive awards; amounts vary
Longmont Entrepreneurial Fund; up to $25K for startups

BAS (CEF's Business Acceleration Services)
Small Biz Builder Facebook page ( like us to get the latest news and tips!)