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Crowdfunding and MicroTracker

To make sure CAMEO email goes to your inbox and not your spam folder, follow these directions for your email provider to add CAMEO ( to your ‘Safe’ list.

Don’t forget to write your letters by April 4 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (House FSGG), the committee that decides on funding for the SBA and CDFI’s. Easy to follow directions (including sample letters) are in last week’s Must Know.

In this week’s Must Know:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Micro Tracker Webinar
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is thePower of One Awards. The application deadline is tomorrow Friday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m. EST


Start-ups have a new funding option – crowdfunding. You may have sent your clients to indiegogo or similar sites to raise money. Donors contribute money and businesses offer token gifts – like pens, mugs or T-shirts. Under a new bill, sent to President Obama on Tuesday, businesses will be able to raise up to $1 million in return for an equity stake.

Innovations in technology means innovations in the way we do business. Our friend David Brodwin, wrote in US News that we need to adjust the investment rules to accommodate a 21st century economy, but we need to do it right. I’m happy to report that has happened. The new crowdfunding legislation included safeguards for investors. Thanks to an effort led by American Sustainable Business Council in which CAMEO and several members actively participated. That makes legislative win #2!

As a reminder, I’ve collected micro-related federal legislation and will update it as events occur. Speaking of which, CAMEO is participating in a press conference next Wednesday with Congresswoman Judy Chu and PACE to highlight her bill HR 3571 that would help low-income business owners file taxes and receive business training.

MicroTracker Webinar

It’s up to all of us to ensure that everyone knows about the good work we are doing so that we can keep on doing it and do it at a much larger scale. We’ve stressed the importance of measuring our impacts and we will stress it again. is a new website that helps you analyze your data, understand the U.S. microenterprise industry, see how you compare to other organizations, and improve your performance.

Join us for a free webinar exclusively for CAMEO members to learn how to adopt data analytic techniques long used by the private sector to improve performance.

On April 12th, you’ll learn how microTracker can help you:

  • explore the size and diversity of the field;
  • assess lending and training performance, evaluate the cost of microenterprise and
  • use benchmarking tools to understand the state of the industry and assess your program’s performance.

Register for this free webinar and learn about the microTracker subscription options available only to CAMEO members.

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!

Ann Sullivan wrote a piece about the pervasiveness of gender bias in media and politics and how there is a direct link to the success of women business owners.

And if you haven’t read it from the last couple of Must Knows – Claudia writes in the American Banker about how capital access needs to incorporate business assistance and that includes funding for business technical assistance.

For Your Clients: Google is helping small business with free websites.

Job Opportunities: Check out our jobs page as I’ve added a few in the last couple weeks, e.g. Working Solutions is looking for a loan officer.

The AEO 2012 National Conference: The Power of Micro-Business is on April 30-May 2 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Register now – early bird registration ends April 2, 2012. Learn about the CAMEO discount!

Micro Conference: A whole bunch of CAMEO members in San Diego (ACCION San Diego, CDC Small Business Finance, Foundation for Women, International Rescue Committee) along with other partners will host the 2012 San Diego Microfinance Summit: Technology and Innovation on April 4, 2012 at the University of San Diego. Register and learn more.

For Your Clients (in SoCal – LA, Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties): Count Me In (a Friend of CAMEO) hosts Urban Rebound Los Angeles Conference and Competition on May 10 and 11, 2012 at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles. You can register (only $49) for the conference and/or send to your clients – it’s a great opportunity. Find out about the pre-conference pitch parties so your clients can practice pitching their business (say that five times fast.)

CAMEO’s Annual Meeting: in Sacramento, June 6-7, 2012. Book your hotel room at the discount rate until May 15, 2012. And don’t forget to Nominate your businesses for the Face of Entrepreneurship Awards by April 15, 2012.