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All About Self-Employment

In this week’s Must Know:

  • It’s All About Self-Employment
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs

It’s All About Self-Employment

The CAMEO staff hopes that everyone is having a happy National Small Business Week. We know we are – as two pieces of the self-employment puzzle have come together.

Piece #1: On Tuesday, Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) announced legislation to help increase the availability of self-employment training programs for local entrepreneurs and small business start-ups through local Workforce Investment Boards (WIB). As we’ve said before local WIBs are reluctant to offer entrepreneurial training; one of the reasons being that self-employment is more difficult to measure than wage employment. The Entrepreneurial Training Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 5805) directs the DOL to establish alternative measures for the success of entrepreneurial training programs, thus making it easier for WIBs to offer these programs. Says Claudia of the bill:

In this time of high unemployment, we need to encourage job creation, we need to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of the unemployed who could become self-employed. This bill enables us to turn the long-term unemployed into small business owners by eliminating systemic obstacles in the Workforce system.

Piece #2: Then today, the Department of Labor issued guidelines for the $35 million Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program that was tucked into the payroll tax-unemployment extension bill passed in March.

Under the SEA program, unemployed workers will be able to maintain their unemployment insurance benefits while they start their own small businesses – a full-time job in its own right – without having to look for other full-time work. Currently, in CA, this is not the case. The money can be used by states to start a Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program. If California implements a program it will receive $5.3 million in federal money. It’s ours for the asking. CAMEO has been working very hard to ensure California has a SEA program and we will continue to do so. This is a great opportunity for our state to create new jobs by helping unemployed people be their own boss!

Be forewarned that we will need your advocacy to urge the California Department of Labor, EDD and Governor Brown to take advantage of the opportunity the SEA legislation presents.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks since the last Must Know: I have posted a running tab of current Goodies on the CAMEO website that lists items that were in past emails. Check it out to make sure you’re not missing anything, like grants whose deadlines are still alive!

Job Opportunities: Check out our jobs page as I’ve added a few in the last couple weeks, e.g. The Aspen Institute/FIELD, CFED Opening Doors, Renaissance Center and Working Solutions have new openings.

Grant Opportunity (for your client): The DOE SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the installed costs of solar energy systems by 75% by the end of the decade, achieving grid parity for subsidy-free solar energy. Prime recipients must be a start-up business incorporated in the United States and must incur at least 60% of expenditures under the project, as measured by the Total Project Cost. Application deadline is May 29, 2012.

Impact Investing in Technology: Join Accion in Menlo Park on June 5 and Pasadena on June 6. The events feature Monica Brand and the work of our Frontier Investments Group (FIG) who will introduce potential supporters and partners to Accion’s efforts in impact investing and technology for the bottom of the pyramid.

Grant Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of approximately $12 million in grants through the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program to provide job training and skills development services that will help approximately 6,000 veterans succeed in civilian careers. Applications are due before June 15, 2012.

Grant Opportunity: The Low Income Tax Clinic program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand, or maintain a low income taxpayer clinic. Applications are due June 15, 2012.

For Your Client: Chase and Living Social have a new grant program for small businesses.

For Your Client: Check out small business awards and contests.

For Your Client: Small Business Majority is a great organization and is a great resource for your clients on small business advocacy. They host free webinars on topics like healthcare.