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Microbusiness Creates Good Jobs

  • Microbusinesses Create Good Jobs
  • Thumbtack Webinar
  • Be Counted – Fill Out The microTracker Census by August 21, 2015.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes two action items to support microlending: 1) Join or endorse the Responsible Small Business Lending Coalition. 2) Weigh in on the Microloan TA program (Scroll down for more details.)

Microbusinesses Create Good Jobs

FIELD interviewed more than 100 employees of microbusinesses to find the answer to the following questions:

  • Is a median wage of $12.50 an hour enough?
  • Does having a stable or flexible schedule provide sufficient balance to the lack of benefits?
  • What do workers think about their opportunities for growth, their working environment, and other elements that make a job good?
  • Are investments into microenterprise programs to support these jobs a good investment of philanthropic and public money?

Read their new report Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs They found that workers value the flexibility, fulfillment, and skill-building opportunities offered by their microbusiness jobs and 63% of respondents made wages at or above President Obama’s proposed increase to the minimum wage (see image above). They also found out that there’s a 1-5 cost-benefit ratio for micro business development (for every $1 of grant money spent on micro business development, $5 is created in economic activity) and microbusinesses create opportunity for those that struggle the most.

Using mobile technology for business planning

A key ingredient for those good jobs is for microbusiness owners to connect with others and seek business assistance. Bethel AME church in South Central Los Angeles recently launched B.E.S.T. (Business Entrepreneurial Stewardship Training) using the Centro Business Plan Tool app. (See photo of Frank Stokes [in vest] facilitating use of the Centro mobile app.) The six students enrolled have started their businesses, which include vegan baked goods and health and wellness products. Bethel AME offers 16 hours of classroom time supplemented with individual coaching. Bethel AME is one of four organizations participating in the Centro App Pilot Project, a collaboration between Centro Community Partners and CAMEO in the Los Angeles region. When microbusiness owners receive business assistance they are 80% more likely to be in business in 3-5 years and create two jobs in addition to the owner.

Webinar: How to Use Thumbtack

NOTE: This webinar has been rescheduled to Monday, August 24,

CAMEO has been on a quest to bring you information about the technologies that are empowering self-employment and microbusiness. Join us for a train-the-trainer webinar with Thumbtack on August 24, 2015 at 3:00pm (click link to register and learn more). Thumbtack is a platform that matches professionals with people who need their services. According to Thumbtack:

“Our technology is transforming the way people accomplish any project, anywhere, anytime. Just tell us what you need done. We’ll quickly deliver customized quotes so you can compare pricing, read reviews, and hire the right professional on the spot.”

Jamil Poonja from Thumbtack will discuss:

  • How to use Thumbtack as a small business service professional (how to make a winning quote, how to create a solid profile, etc…);
  • How Thumbtack is supporting Small Businesses (through research and advocacy efforts); and
  • How to market a small business online.

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!

Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.

Take Action: The Senate is considering legislation passed by the Senate Small Business Committee that would change the SBA Microloan program. While some of the changes are beneficial to intermediaries, counselors, and entrepreneurs, the bill fails to include critical reforms that program participants have requested. For example, the current legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement to be issued by SBA. This is unnecessary paperwork and the requirement should be removed all together. Providing business assistance that supports entrepreneurs should be at the lenders discretion. AEO and CAMEO believe that microloan reform legislation without important changes will not best benefit the program and its users. We urge you to add your organization in support of this letter to tell the Senate to include these reforms in their legislation. If you are willing to sign on, please email our Government Relations team member John Stanford.

For Your Clients: Banks are issuing new chip-enabled payment cards that are more secure. The deadline for phasing in these cards is October 1. Businesses need to install new card readers to process the information on the chips. Those that do not have the new technology in place by then will be on the hook for any security lapses or fraudulent transactions, instead of payment-processing firms.

For Your Clients: The Office of Women’s Business Ownership are pleased to announce the launch of the SBA’s InnovateHER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge in partnership with Microsoft. The InnovateHER Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families through local business competitions that culminate in a live pitch Final Round. Through this Challenge, the SBA is looking for entrepreneurs to create a product or service that (1) has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, (2) has the potential for commercialization, and (3) fills a need in the marketplace. Organizations can begin submitting requests to host a local competition by sending a written request. The deadline to apply to host a competition is September 3, 2015.

Industry Meeting: Save the date for OFN’s 2015 Western Regional Meeting September 17, 2015 at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (101 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105). This promises to be an engaging meeting where CDFI staff, Board members, partners, and others can network and learn more about what’s happening in the industry and in the region. Stay tuned for more information in August.

Professional Development at AEO Conference: CAMEO is very pleased to sponsor seven CAMEO members for AEO’s 2015 Microbusiness Learning Conference, September 24-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. To apply for the scholarship, visit our individualized training page for the application information. If you have questions contact Shufina English.

Grant Opportunity: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the launch of the Economic Development Administrations (EDA) $10 million funding opportunity for the 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program competition to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this program, EDA is soliciting applications for two funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge, which funds organizations that help innovators and entrepreneurs turn innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into viable, sustainable companies, and Seed Fund Support Grants (previously Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds), which funds regionally-focused seed capital funds that provide early-stage capital to innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth. Stay tuned for a webinar to learn more.