There are some cool things happening in Oakland that are allowing individuals to be participants in the economy without being bazillionaires. 

Kiva Zip Micro Lending

Oakland is a municipal trustee for the innovative micro-lending platform Kiva Zip. This week, Oakland announced its first three endorsed businesses: (there are other businesses in Oakland that you can support through Kiva Zip but it appears these are the first three endorsed by Oakland)

These small businesses will be promoted to receive loans of around $5,000 each, crowd-sourced to citizen-lenders who want to help someone's entrepreneurial dream come true. You can start lending as little as $25, which gets repaid overtime. Once these three businesses get their loans fully funded and repaid, Oakland will endorse three new ones! Visit to learn how you can become a micro lender and watch for City of Oakland endorsed lending opportunities.

People's Community Market

Become a shareholder in the People's Community Market! The People's Community Market is a grocery store that will be opening in West Oakland. Much of the money is being raised through a DPO with people investing $1000.

Oakland Grown

Oakland Grown is a network of local independent businesses and artists. You can get a cool OG card and earn 5 points for every $5 you spend with OG participants.

Plaid Friday

Sponsored by Oakland Grown, on Friday, November 29, 2013, shoppers had the opportunity to shop locally and avoid the Black Friday stampedes at the malls. Activities included Santa Village at Latham Square from noon to 7:00 p.m. complete with free photos with Santa, over 45 retail shops open downtown throughout the day, pop-up artisans and vendors at various downtown bars from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., and much more. Shoppers were able to pick up a free Oakland Grown card to earn rewards and chances for hourly and grand prizes for shopping local that day. Plaid Friday was designed to allow shoppers to support local business while keeping their tax dollars in Oakland to support vital services. For more information, please visit