Looking Back and Charging Ahead

Dear Friend, 
It’s that time of year, when we gather with friends, take stock, and look ahead to the promise of a new year.  So without further ado…

Reflecting on 2018

2018 was a year of big changes and big successes for CAMEO. Here’s what we’ve accomplished:
  • We welcomed Carolina as our CEO! Transition always comes with uncertainty, but her arrival brought new energy and fresh ideas that have begun to shape the future of our work. Carolina also has expanded the board from 9 to 16, which will help us bring these new ideas to life.
  • Our advocacy efforts paid off big time this year. In California, we secured a $23 million state investment in small business development and played a critical role in the passing of SB 1235 to increase transparency in small business lending. Federally, we worked on the FY 2019 federal budget that is still pending but we have high hopes that when it passes all of our programs will be intact.
  • We hosted big events for our members. The MicroLenders Forum showcased new research by the Federal Reserve on small business credit needs, the SBA’s Community Advantage program, how to be better partners with banks, and lots of networking among peers. And in our Annual Member Meeting in June, we focused on the changes and challenges the microbiz world is facing such as natural disasters and the impact of technology. Both events saw record attendance.
  • This year was all about training! We instituted a Thursday Webinar Series to dive into specialized topics and reach members who can’t meet with us in person. And with our regional meetings in San Diego, Inland Empire, Northern California, the Bay Area, Fresno, LA, and the Central Coast, we had a chance to train our members on region-specific issues as well as hear about what CAMEO can do to bring value to its members. 
  • We increased our outreach and network development, reaching more microbusiness organizations. CAMEO has engaged new partnerships and strengthened relationships with other organizations that are helping small businesses thrive.

A Look Ahead

2019 will be an exciting year for CAMEO, as it marks our 25th anniversary! The theme will be “It Takes a Network!” And we’re celebrating by hosting our first ever West Coast microbusiness conference on September 16-17, 2019
We will continue the work we did with capacity building, advocacy, and network development, including further development of our Coaching Academy. We also plan to hire a policy fellow to boost our advocacy work, and we’re working with several LA members on a new microbusiness collaborative called LA Micro Moves. 
Start the year off right and don’t miss any opportunities. Do two things – make sure your membership is up to date and mark your calendars for the following dates that are coming up in the new year:​
  • Sacramento Regional Meeting on January 16
  • Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Program Toolkit reveal on January 31 in Willits
  • Los Angeles Regional Meeting on February 19
  • MicroLending Essentials (MiLEs) on February 20-21 in Los Angeles 
  • Training Independent Entrepreneurs for Success (Train the Trainer on Samaschool’s gig economy curriculum) on March 20  in San Francisco
  • MicroLending Forum in April (23 or 24 TBD) in San Francisco
  • Advocacy Day on April 30 in Sacramento
  • The Third Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm is our capacity building webinar series
Thanks for working and learning with us in 2018. It’s our collective efforts that make progress happen. We couldn’t do it without you!
Happy holidays and a prosperous 2019!