Claudia is a Trailblazer; AEO Conference

Claudia Wins Trailblazer Award

Congratulations to Claudia! RISE Financial Pathways is presenting her with the Robert A. McNeely Trailblazer Award! Claudia has been a pioneer in the micro sector for over 30 years, when she started the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, which grew into an award wining training and business incubation program serving thousands of entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Claudia is starting her 10th year at CAMEO. Her challenge has been to build a strong, engaged, and creative network of about 100 practitioners = a constituency that is the Voice for micro businesses in California.

Through her leadership, CAMEO is shining a light on the opportunities presented by the emergence of self-employment as an economic force. As we say in our 2015 annual report

Micro Magic + Technology = Future

The awards ceremony is today, March 24, at The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

AEO National Conference

CAMEO is excited to attend AEO’s National Conference, EconoCon25. They celebrate 25 years on May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC. EconoCon25 gathers actors in the small business space who impact America’s smallest businesses and underserved entrepreneurs – lenders, nonprofit and for-profit service providers, advocates and policy makers, entrepreneurs, funders and investors – for meaningful dialogue about how to innovate faster, partner smarter, and execute effectively.

Register today! Early bird registration prices have been extended until April 14, 2016. Check out the EconoCon25 agenda.

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: Claudia has a chapter in a new book. Check out “Think Small: Microloans, CDFIs and Credit Unions in Finance Your Own Business.

Cutting Edge Professional Development: OFN is offering the Small Business Financing Webinar Series focused on growth and innovation. CAMEO will follow each session with dynamic peer group calls to digest and apply what was learned. Susan Brown will lead the calls. Both CEOs and line staff can benefit from this rich training opportunity. The next OFN webinar is today, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 11:00am: Building a Value Proposition. The follow-up CAMEO peer call on Monday, April 7, 2016 at 11:00am to discuss the unique set of products and services that you offer your customers and how you distinguish yourself from competitors..

For Your Client: Small Business Majority launched a weekly national webinar series (free). Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business is available March 25, 2016, 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time; March 30, 2016, 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time; April 6, 2016, 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time; and April 13, 2016, 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time.

Take Action: The CDFI Coalition is circulating a letter in support of $245.9 million in appropriations for CDFI Fund programs and activities in FY 2017. Please signing on and encouraging other organizations to sign on as well. The letter can be signed by CDFIs, businessees, state and local elected officials, nonprofits, and other organizations that support the work of CDFIs. The deadline for signatures is March 29, 2016 at the close of business.

For Your Client: Do you know a woman in the produce industry that has inspired you with her dedication, fortitude and professional accomplishments? A woman who continues to surpass expectations? Celebrate her success by nominating her as the United Fresh 2016 Women in Produce Honoree! The nomination period closes on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

For Your Clients:Are you a small business, entrepreneur or scientist interested in technology-based agriculture innovations? Are you interested in collaborating with world class scientists? Then you should attend the webinar – Partnership Pays: Building a Relationship with ARS to Enhance Your USDA SBIR Proposal – on March 29, 2016 at 11:30am PT // 2:30pm ET.

CDFI Fund Applications: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). Congress appropriated $153 million for CDFI Program awards; $22 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) awards; and $15.5 million for NACA Program awards. Applications must be submitted by April 18, 2016.

Take Action: We’re asking all of our members to hold district meetings with their California state representatives to inform California’s small business leaders and elected officials on what good capital looks like. We’ll follow up with meetings in Sacramento at our annual meeting. This is an issue they need to know about!