CDFI Incubator

A comprehensive suite of programs for young mission-based lenders that would like to strengthen their lending infrastructure, knowledge, and skills for greater impact and stronger portfolios.

Microlending Essentials iconCDFI Essentials iconImpact fund icon
CAMEO created Microlending Essentials, an underwriting training for business coaching and lending organizations on the practice of microlending underwriting, to support access-to-capital programs for microbusinesses.  We cover underwriting criteria, credit memo structure and writing, credit history and global cash analysis – all designed appropriately for microlending.


Learn more about MicroLending Essentials.
CDFI Essentials supports young CDFIs to learn skills, create policies and manage risk — while still meeting their mission to serve disadvantaged communities.

Learn more about CDFI Essentials.

Download our Community Loan Policy Manual Workbook – it assists community lenders to develop their loan policies for sustainability.
CAMEO provides capital to young CDFIs to support portfolio growth and prepare for applying for larger investments. Our loans, from $100,000 to $250,000, are available to member organizations who have their foundational program design in place and are willing to continue to work with CAMEO to strengthen their lending practices. Contact Emily Gasner for more information.
CAMEO offers small grants for loan loss reserves to microlenders in an effort to support microlending to diverse entrepreneurs in California.

Read about our 2021 recipients.
CAMEO has aggregated small volume lenders onto the LendingFront platform, offering a low-cost approach to high-quality lending technology.

Learn more about our current LendingFront cohort.
CAMEO convenes our 35 lending organizations each year to discuss cutting-edge industry developments, discuss challenges and offer training.

A recap of content and accompanying resources (including a recording) can be found on our blog post “Inclusive Small and Micro Business Lending Post-COVID.”
Navigating the CDFI Fund: CAMEO will provide training and practical hands-on advice on the following topics: Certification Application and Choosing Your Target Market, Annual Certification Renewal, Introduction to Awards Management Information System (AMIS): the CDFI Fund’s Online Portal, Annual Reporting Requirements: Institutional Level Report (ILR) and Transaction Level Report (TLR), Compliance, and Applying for TA and FA Awards.CAMEO can help your organization start a microlending program, complete your strategic growth plan, facilitate a board meeting, consult on staffing, or your discuss other strategic needs.
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Microlending Academy

The Microlending Academy programs were folded into the CDFI Incubator. CAMEO created the Microlending Academy in 2013 to increase microlending in California by supporting our members to expand their capacity, skills, capital resources and technology adoption.