Happy New Year Micro

  • Happy 2015!
  • MicroLenders Forum is January 15, 2015 in San Francisco
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes The Better Way to Crowdfund webinar by Cutting Edge Capital on January 14, 2015, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT. Learn about this funding sources for your clients.

Happy 2015!

After a nice rest over the holidays, the CAMEO staff is hard at work. We have quite a year planned and are starting with a bang!

We take off with the MicroLenders Forum next week at the Federal Reserve of San Francisco. On the agenda: increasing impact while building sustainable operations; introduction to FundWell, a “disruptive platform” with potential for increasing our impact; and our bankers panel will lead off a discussion on what would it take to increase microlending to LMI businesses by 20%.

We’re excited to move forward with an expanded MMS cohort and the MicroLending Academy capacity building activities. For more details, watch for our next edition of our MLA Newsletter in a few days. Other programs in the works include another Go-To-Market specialty food event and more training with women veterans.

Do-It-Yourself Economies will be promoted nationally at the International Economic Development Council conference in Florida. Then, in February, we bring DIY to Sacramento for a Treasury- sponsored roundtable to win the hearts and minds of state agency leaders. And in the spring Claudia will bring the message to the CALED audience. We expect to spread the thought leadership of DIY this year with the ultimate goal of promoting locally grown microbusiness as a funded economic development tool. Read the CAMEO’s latest blog post on our visit to Sonora, CA and a prime example of a DIY economy.

We’ve got a full policy plate advocating for your programs. At the state level, we’re working on legislation that will allow responsible lenders to be able to pay referral fees to non-brokers (yes, CAMEO members eligible) with the purpose of expanding good loan options for small and microbusinesses. And there’s the never ending battle for state funding of our sector – for SBDCs and hopefully, WBCs as well. We’ll continue to educate the Workforce system, in partnership with CWA, and also expect to collaborate with the community colleges. In Washington, we will ensure that the Department of Labor does indeed implement performance measures for entrepreneurship, opening the door to new funding; and we will do a full court press to increase SBA support for programs in California. During the May AEO conference in DC, CAMEO will host a congressional briefing for the California delegation.

So we’ve hit the ground running and look forward to a productive year for microbusiness!

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!

2013 Annual Census: We have crunched the numbers for 2013 and the landscape of the micro sector is a mixed bag. Lending increased in 2013 by 30% over 2012. Our members made 2,049 loans, for a total volume of $26 million, exceeding pre-recession lending for the first time. But as a group, we have served fewer clients and businesses each year since 2010 and have supported fewer employees each year. CAMEO will be addressing the implications of these trends in our Board Retreat and strategic planning in the coming year.

New Essay: Joyce Klein of Aspen Institute’s FIELD program writes how impact investments can be used to scale microlending. The essay appears in a larger publication – Bottom Line – that addresses how impact investment can improve economic mobility in the U.S.

New Data Source: The Federal Reserve has put together some nifty data for the following counties: Alameda, Humboldt, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco, and Tulare for their Vantage Point Community Indicators Project. Info includes demographic, educational, financial stability, employment, and housing measures for a sample of cities, towns, and/or zip codes in the county, with comparative measures included for the US, your state, and your county. The reports include presentation-ready graphs that you are welcome to use in your own work and share with your community.

Free Webinar: Cutting Edge Capital presents The Better Way to Crowdfund on January 14, 2015, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT. A Direct Public Offering (DPO) is a form of investment crowdfunding in which anyone can participate. DPOs do not need to wait for regulations under the JOBS Act—they are already legal. In this webinar you will learn about the crowdfunding tool that lets you raise investment capital from anyone and what are the three keys to a successful crowdfunding campaign.

For Your Clients: Your clients can enter The Sustainable Business Plan Competition to win Mentor Capital. If you know entrepreneurs that are launching or growing a multi-bottom line business and that would benefit from this, tell them to apply by 5:00 ps USA Eastern Time on January 15, 2015. (The application form takes less than 45 minutes to fill out.)

For Your Clients: If you know of any business or entrepreneurial nonprofit that might be interested in raising money using a Direct Public Offering (this allows you to legally raise capital from both wealthy and non-wealthy investors and do public advertising), please let them know about Cutting Edge Capital’s DPO boot camp. The boot camp is virtual and can be done at your own pace at any location where you have access to a computer! It launches in late January.

For Your Clients: Small businesses are always looking for potential clients. Joe Molina, a CAMEO member, can provide a ‘Targeted Leads List’ that has businesses contact info, targeted by zip codes, geographical areas, time in business and number of employees. Your clients can then effectively market to those businesses that will be more likely to purchase his/her product and/or service. Contact Joe directly: jmolinamiracosta@gmail.com.

Member Kudos: Congrats to California Capital who launches a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)on January 29, 2015!

2015 CDFI Coalition Institute: Registration is open for the Institute on February 24-25th in Washington, DC. The tentative agenda includes a discussion of the likely approaches of the new Congress to housing and community economic development programs, including tax expenditure programs like the LIHTC and NMTC.

Take Action: Our friends at California Reinvestment Coalition are supporting a proposed rule change to the Military Lending Act that caps interest rates at 36 percent for a wide range of high-cost loans made to active-duty service members. The DoD is hearing from lenders that want to continue targeting service members with triple digit interest loans, so they need to hear from consumer, community and military groups that enough is enough. Please join CRC and hundreds of allies across the country in urging the DoD to secure consumer protections for our nation’s active duty military service members.