James Gutierrez is an entrepreneur in the financial sector. His ambition is to provide individuals and families with the capital they need to achieve their goals. In 2005, James co-founded Progreso Financiero (later rebranded as Oportun) to make unsecured loans accessible to Hispanic families who may not have excellent credit scores or credit histories.
Since its inception, Oportun has provided over $1.5 billion in loans to more than 500,000 borrowers in the US. James raised over $250 million to nurture Progreso Financiero of 2005 into Oportun of 2012. Under his leadership, Oportun expanded to 85 retail locations in California and Texas, originating more than 200,000 loans per year.
James' endeavors led him to serve on the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council and the Centennial Advisory Committee. He also serves as Co-Chair at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Gutierrez speaks frequently at conferences about innovations in financial services. James drafted and helped institute laws to make safe, lower interest loans more accessible to qualifying families. His efforts earned him recognition by BusinessWeek and Goldman Sachs as one of America's top social entrepreneurs.
Before founding Progreso Financiero, James honed his financial proficiency at Morgan Stanley, Bain & Co., and in Europe alongside Martin Varsavsky (founder of Urban Capital, Medicorp Sciences, and Viatel). His earliest entrepreneurial endeavor was Magic Beanstalk, a recruiting company that helped connect college graduates with leading employers.
James Gutierrez is also the CEO of Insikt, a California-based venture capital fund that helps brands provide loans to customers. He also serves on the boards of Listo!, SEO-SF, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Talent, Inc.
James enjoys networking with, teaching, and learning from fellow entrepreneurs. Partnering with Great Oaks Ventures, James has invested in forward-thinking companies including Jumpcut, OkCupid, StubHub, Symphony Commerce, Trulia, and Zimbio.
James Gutierrez holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.
CEO, Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur
Getting Started as a Social Entrepreneur
June 22, 2011
Insikt Introduces Lending As A Service For Brands
December 9, 2014
James Gutierrez - Entrepreneur
James Gutierrez - IMTC
November 9, 2020
James Gutierrez - Medium
James Gutierrez - PERC
James Gutierrez - Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?
James Rufus Koren
July 12, 2018
Trying to Correct Banking's Racial Imbalance
June 30, 2020
Unconventional lender raises millions to help businesses offer loans
E. Scott Reckard
December 10, 2014
With capital, communities of color can lead our economic revival | TheHill
James Gutierrez and Antony Bugg-Levine, opinion contributors
June 3, 2020
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
Episode 1 - Sit Down Startup: Aura's James Gutierrez on empathy as secret sauce
October 5, 2020
Podcast 156: James Gutierrez of Insikt - Lend Academy
June 22, 2018
- Insikt, Inc.
- OportunFinancial institution aiming to provide loans to individuals with little to no credit at affordable rates.
- Silicon Valley Leadership Group
- Talent Inc.Talent Inc., is a group of companies that operates in the recruitment industry. The company was originally formed as a subsidiary, before control of the subsidiary was sold and the company became Talent Inc.