Doing What MATTERS for Small Business

Gabriela Sapp Biography

Gabriela Sapp
Small Business
Deputy Sector Navigator

San Francisco / San Mateo Regions


Gabriela is a seasoned business and financial consultant with broad background in quantitative and qualitative analysis to support solid business practices and produce profitable business.  Her work experience and skills range from commercial lending underwriting, business development, financial analysis, sales negotiation, non-profit management, and thorough understanding of multi-cultural markets.

Gabriela started her career in Peru; first teaching financial management courses to undergraduate students, and later working as a commercial loan officer for the largest financial institution in Peru. Gabriela moved to San Francisco in 1998, to pursue graduate studies in business, but got an opportunity to work in commercial real estate lending where she enhanced her underwriting and negotiation skills. After a decade working in financing, and after her MBA graduation, Gabriela was highly interested in entrepreneurship development, and landed a job at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). At MEDA, Gabriela was a business coach, and her contribution was fundamental to the development and launch of the first Microloan program targeted to Latino micro-entrepreneurs in San Francisco, including development of the loan underwriting policies and procedures.

From 2009 to 2013, Gabriela was the Assistant Director for the SF Small Business Development Center where she managed business counseling and training programs for emerging and established small businesses, as well as the Hispanic Business Development Program funded by the SF Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. In 2011, Gabriela was invited to participate in the launch of Kiva Zip Pilot project (one of the first peer-to-peer lenders innovators) by providing guidance on underwriting criteria.

In 2013, Gabriela co-founded Equitable Growth Solutions, a small business consulting company that delivers business solutions and accessibility to financial resources. Gabriela is also a lead consultant for economic development programs sponsored by the City of San Francisco: BizFit SF, a business strengthening program for retailers located in commercial corridors; and Healthy RetailSF, a business technical assistance program geared to corner stores in low income neighborhoods interested in becoming healthy food retailers. In her role, as SBDC Business Loan Advisor, Gabriela assists clients to identify the right financing solution, makes sure clients understand the loan process, and helps them to present a fundable loan application.

Gabriela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics fromUniversity of LimainPeru, and a Master of Business Administration fromSan Francisco State University, with concentration in finance and management.


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