Microlending Essentials September 2024

Microlending Essentials September 2024


09/09/2024 - 09/13/2024    
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Event Type

Register HERE!

Can’t make September’s MILES session? Don’t miss our October 28-November 1 session! Register HERE.

Lending to small and micro businesses is a challenging undertaking for a nonprofit organization and requires the development of dozens of systems and capacities, one of which is quality underwriting. Few trainings exist for staff on the fundamental skills for consistent, quality microloan underwriting, so we developed one!

Also, when coaching and training staff understand underwriting basics, they can help their clients be more successful at applying for loans.

CAMEO offers Microlending Essentials (MILES), a microlending underwriting class for the CDFI and business-coaching nonprofit community several times a year. This introductory training covers multiple analyses: global cash, credit history, debt-to-income, and bank statement. Participants also underwrite and write credit memos for two actual microloan applications.

About the instructor

Emily Gasner and Douglas Craven will be the instructors from our CDFI Program Team. Combined they have more than 35 years of CDFI micro and small business lending expertise. Dara Dado, our Program Assistant runs tech, administration, and logistics for the training. We realize office situations vary with some attendees in their offices and others working remotely and this class requires more preparation and engagement than the typical webinar. Let us know if you need help getting ready. We are also available for questions throughout the course for any support you need.

What makes this training unique and valuable?

  • We provide a practice underwriting criteria grid that introduces participants to the fundamental structure that every lender should use to guide decision making.
  • We provide a credit memo form that 1) walks participants through each step of the underwriting process; 2) compares each deal’s particulars to sample underwriting criteria; and 3) provides a format for presentation to a loan committee.
  • We introduce the elements of a loan program needed to run a quality loan program – the infrastructure, capacities, and policy pieces.
  • We explore various for roles a loan committee in the microlending approval process.
  • We delve into the differences in ‘point of view’ between business coach and loan underwriter roles.
  • We consider how an organization’s target market impact loan product design, underwriting criteria, and loan processing.
  • We discuss mission, scale, impact, and technology – prompting participants to consider their future direction and choices.


  • Microlending Overview
  • Underwriting Criteria
  • Credit Memo Introduction
  • Application and Eligibility
  • Required Documents
  • Amortization
  • Credit Report
  • Credit History and Current Debt
  • Global Cash Analysis
  • Bank Statements
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Debt to Income Ratio
  • Projections
  • Collateral, Character, Character
  • Write three Credit Memos
  • Make Loan Recommendations
  • Present Credit Memos
  • Group Discussion

Participants apply these topics to actual microloan applications, using supporting documents and writing up credit memos for each.

Class Dates

We are offering this five-part class online: 10:00am – 1:00pm PT, Monday, September 9 through Friday, September 13, 2024.

CAMEO Members: We are offering a special discounted rate for CAMEO members of $650 per person. Please note, your organization needs to be current on its CAMEO organizational membership dues at time of registration in order to access this discount. Your organizational leaders have been sent the member discount code.

Non Members: For those whose organizations are not CAMEO members, the cost is $1,300 per person.

Please only purchase a maximum of FOUR tickets per organization to give others an opportunity to take the class.

To learn more about CAMEO’s membership benefits, visit: https://cameonetwork.org/cameo-membership/join-cameo/

Refund Policy
Only 50% of the amount paid will be refunded up to 7 days in advance of the first day of the course (September 2, 2024). Please email ddado@cameonetwork.org.

Testimonials from our May 2023 cohort:
“Microlending Essentials is an excellent course! It is definitely a great introduction for those unfamiliar to the world of underwriting and it’s a vehicle through which existing skills can be sharpened! The instructor/student interaction is an added plus for all levels.” – Anita, Working Solutions

“The Microlending Essentials was a great opportunity to review the basic terms and trends of this work. I enjoyed doing the practice of the case studies and having conversations with the other group participants. Understanding that no application has a black and white answer, rather it implies doing great research and development of lending guidelines for the organization, depending on your mission lenses, I learned that building a grid and process for the applicant can make the difference for providing an exceptional experience in the loan journey.” – Anonymous

Testimonial from our February 2023 cohort:

“Just got promoted to the Program Director position so this training was amazing; it helped me understand how the underwriting process for a loan is. I could realize how we can better our own microloan program.” – Anonymous

Testimonials from our May 2022 cohort:

“The course material was very helpful, class materials were excellent and I was given a basic overview of underwriting principles and how to write a credit memo, will use the template going forward to work with new businesses in help explain importance of financial and helping with business plan.” – Victor, Access Plus Capital

“The MILES course was so helpful to me as a new lender! I appreciated the patient and thorough instructor, she answered all of our questions while keeping a steady but not overwhelming pace. Thanks!” – Hannah, Arcata EDC

“Wonderful program focused on microlending-specific underwriting. Opportunity to learn via hands-on through small business breakouts as well as connect with other organizations doing similar or complimentary work.” – Lia, Community Fund of North Miami Dade

Testimonials from our January 2022 cohort:

“As someone brand new to the world of Small Business Assistance, this MILES course greatly improved my confidence in assisting small businesses in my community! I witnessed a healthy exchange of information that made me excited to learn more about accessing capital”. – Kristine, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans

“My understanding of the micro-lending process and confidence in making good decisions are leagues higher after taking the MILES course. The content is comprehensive, well organized, and offers excellent hands-on opportunities. Emily is knowledgeable, practiced, and an excellent teacher. I highly recommend the course”. – Brian, Colorado Department of Agriculture

I was not sure how this course would benefit my professional development before the course, but had no question after the first day. It was engaging, informative, and prompted a lot of reflection for me. Very glad I took the chance and set aside the time to participate. The class and cost was well worth it. – Sabine, Mandela Partners


For any questions regarding the class content discussed above, please email Emily Gasner at egasner@CAMEOnetwork.org. For program and class logistics please email academy@CAMEOnetwork.org.