MicroLending Essentials: Minnesota

Great River Energy

12300 Elm Creek Boulevard, Maple Grove, MN

May 14, 2019 - 9:00 AM

Southwest Initiative Foundation is pleased to partner with CAMEO (the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity) to offer you Microlending Essentials (MiLEs). CAMEO members often ask us where they can send staff for microloan underwriting training. When we looked around, we didn’t find any that had evolved with current underwriting practices. So we designed a training ourselves.

For business coaching organizations: Is one of your goals to help business owners access capital? Are too many of your referrals to lenders denied? Does your staff know how to talk to a lender in lenders’ terms? This training will help your staff think like a lender so that your referrals experience a higher rate of success. In turn, you will be able to train your business clients in the key components most likely to get them qualified for financing.

Susan Brown, CAMEO’s microlending specialist, developed a training for microlending credit analysis, with input from some of the strongest lenders in the field today.

The training consists of two days on microlending credit analysis including discussion and application to several case studies.

What makes this training unique and valuable?

  • The participants apply all the analyses they learned to three actual microloan applications.
  • We provide a structured credit memo form that walks participants through each step of the underwriting process and compares each deal’s particulars to sample underwriting criteria.
  • We introduce all the elements of a loan program, outlining all the infrastructure, capacities and policy elements needed to run a quality loan program.
  • We explore various for roles a loan committee in the microlending approval process.
  • We delve into the differences in ‘point of view’ and role between a business coach and loan underwriters.
  • We consider how an organization’s target market impact loan product design and underwriting criteria.
  • We discuss mission, scale, impact and technology – prompting participants to consider their future direction and choices.


  • Microlending Underwriting: Microlending Goals, Underwriting Criteria, Support documents, Global Cash Analysis, Bank Statement Analysis, Credit History Analysis, Profit and Loss Statements, Projections, Underwriting Analysis, Writing Credit Memos
  • Case Studies: Participants will be given applications and supporting documents for three case studies and then be asked to write up the credit memo and recommendation for each.


Day One

  • Introductions
  • Microlending Overview
  • Underwriting Criteria and Credit Memo Introduction
  • Application, Eligibility, Assessment
  • Required Documents
  • Amortization
  • Credit Report: Credit History and Current Debt
  • Global Cash Analysis

Day Two

  • Bank Statements
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Debt to Income Ratio
  • Projections
  • Collateral, Character, Character
  • Case Studies: Write up Credit Memos and Make Recommendations
  • Present Credit Memos and Group Discussion
  • Other Elements of a Loan Program
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