Annual Meeting Success! And Two Upcoming CAMEO Webinars

  • CAMEO Rocks its Annual Meeting!
  • Microenterprise Census: Why Data Matters (webinar)
  • Balance Sheet Basics, A MicroLending Academy Webinar
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes an exciting shout out for CAMEO, and new partnerships for Opportunity Fund and AEO.

CAMEO Annual Meeting: New Economy Solutions!

Claudia walked into the office this morning with a big smile on her face because of the success of our annual meeting. Thanks to the 70 attendees who shared their creativity and enthusiasm for our sector. For those of you who missed it, we had a great day of advocacy, learning, inspiration and fun. In the morning, we heard an insider’s view of legislative visits from Toni Symonds of the Jobs, Economic Development, and Economy Committee – then were off to visit with our legislators and advocate for SB 197 and support for the federal entrepreneurial training infrastructure. (Stacey Sanchez of CDC Small Business Finance and CAMEO board member and Vincent McCoy of Inland Empire SBDC and CAMEO board member elect are pictured in the photo with Assemblymember Medina.) Feedback from legislators on the two issues was positive.

After lunch, Michael Shuman inspired us with Local Economy Solutions, making the case for shifting investment away from costly and generally unproductive business attraction to investment in local small businesses where the real, and sustainable job creation happens. Michael says that four things promote a healthy local economy:

  • Maximize local ownership – local businesses give 2.6 times back to local economies than national chains.
  • Mazimize local self-reliance – instead of growing wide (and expanding into other locales), grow deep and look up and down your supply chain for growth opportunities.
  • Spread triple bottom-line businesses – ones that benefit people, profit and the environment.
  • Create entrepreneurial ecosystems (that’s us!)

Download his presentation on business pollinators and how to foster sustainable local economies.

After a spirited discussion about business pollinators, Shufina presented several trends that we believe are the new normal: Economic Uncertainty, Gig Work, Self-Employment at All Levels, and Disruptive Technology. We brainstormed on how to respond to these trends and presented the top ideas to the group. Here’s a quick taste of the top vote-getters:

  • Tacos and Teaching – mobile business assistance services/mall kiosks,
  • Procurement Kits – easy-to-use kits comprised of everything an entrepreneur needs to contract with their local government, and
  • Advocate and Educate New and Latino Legislators on the Power of Micro.

We ended up with a plethora of creative ideas and will do a deeper dive into what new programs CAMEO might move forward. Stay tuned!

Microenterprise Census: Why Data Matters (webinar)

Join us on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 11:00am PT to kick off the opening of the Micro Census. Register for the Microenterprise Census: Why Data Matters webinar.

Every year, CAMEO partners with FIELD at the Aspen Institute to conduct a census of microenterprise programs using the microTracker platform. We rely on this data to fuel our advocacy and support our members at the state and national level. The better data we have, the stronger our case is, and the easier it is to express the vital role MDOs play in the small business sector.

The Census is a valuable tool for individual organizations, too.

  • Want to raise your microenterprise program’s profile with funders, media, or others interested in the U.S. microbusiness field? The microTracker site helps get your organization in front of site visitors every day.
  • Have a lot of data, but aren’t quite sure how to organize it to present to your Board, funders, and supporters? MicroTracker uses standardized data definitions to answer microbusiness program’s most common questions.
  • Need to compare how you’re doing to other MDOs in California and across the country? MicroTracker can tell you.

Tamra Thetford of the Aspen Institute presents this user-friendly guide to completing and understanding the Census.

Balance Sheet Basics, A MLA Webinar

We don’t usually schedule two webinars back-to-back, but this in information that you and your staff don’t want to miss!

Join CAMEO and Susan Brown, our microlending guru, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 1:30pm PT for Balance Sheet Basics.

Balance sheets provide quality analysis – and form the basis of quality advice – on cash management, structuring debt, inventory management and much more. This webinar, the first of a two-part series, will be an introduction to Balance Sheets accounts, what they mean and how they work together. We have a fun exercise (that you can use in your classes!) that demonstrates how the Balance Sheet changes with each business transaction. We’ll also take a read on what additional Balance Sheet topics the group would like for the “Balance Sheets Part II” webinar in July.

Register for Balance Sheet Basics.

The Goodies

New opportunities for training, 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 Industry 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!

CAMEO in the News: Earlier this week, Representatives Judy Chu and Janice Hahn gave a shout out to CAMEO during the committee markup of H.R. 2760, the “Microloan Modernization Act of 2015.” The bill was passed by the House Small Business Committee, but it’s unclear if it will go to the House floor. More on this as it progresses.

Member Kudos: Congrats to Opportunity Fund. President Bill Clinton announced a collaboration to grow responsible lending between Opportunity Fund and with Lending Club. With a seamless technology integration forged between the two organizations, “the potential for scale is unprecedented and the customer experience will be unparalleled.”

Partner Kudos: Congrats to AEO! Connie Evans told Clinton Global Initiatie America meeting attendees that its TILT Forward Initiative has originated more than $1 million in loans to Main Street entrepreneurs.

Funding Opportunity: The USDA has opened two funding opportunities: Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG), formerly known as RBEG and RBOG, and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG). RBDG is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Deadlines are June 19, 2015.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. SBA’s PRIME grant announcement is out. Applications are due on June 29, 2015. The official one-liner: “The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued Program Announcement No. PRIME-2015-01 to provide training and capacity building grant programs to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs).”

Funding Opportunity: The third-annual PG&E Economic Vitality Grant Program launched this week (June 1). This shareholder-funded program will support local job creation, workforce training, business development and other innovative programs that support local economic vitality and growth. It’s geared toward local government organizations, educational institutions and 501(c)(3) nonprofits throughout their service area. The online application is due July 31, 2015.