MicroLenders Forum Recap, Fed Budget!

  • 2014 MicroLenders Forum: Disruptive Technology, A Recap
  • FY2014-2015 Federal Budget – Thank You!
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes early bird registration for AEO’s Big Easy Takeover on the heels of Jazz Fest! CAMEO members get a discount (scroll down for more.)

Disruptive Technology

Last week, we held our sixth MicroLenders Forum at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Scaling Up Microlending in California: Disruptive Technology. The recurring theme was how to incorporate the new norms in lending brought on by technology into our high-touch/community-based approach so that our organizations are sustainable and we scale microlending.

Our industry faces major shifts. Internet-based technology is changing the microlending process, allowing for cost reduction, increased efficiency and volume. New players into the field mean increased competition for loan ready borrowers. This year’s MicroLenders Forum explained these changes, how they affect us, and how CAMEO can help smooth the way.

Read a full recap and find links to reports, resources and the powerpoints on our blogpost: 2014 MicroLenders Forum Recap.

FY2014-2015 Federal Budget – Thank You!

Extra! Extra! The House passed a FY 2014 budget; the Senate is expected to pass it tomorrow and the President sign it by Saturday! Thank you for your advocacy efforts as the programs we support maintained or increased their budgets from last year, and mostly from our recommendations. We’d like to see the PRIME program funded with ‘real’ money. The important thing is that we will start next year’s budget appropriations from what appears to be a stable level. We are working on a strategy to increase resources to our programs. Download a comparison of FY11-14 budgets or check out the Omnibus bill, go to page 538 for the SBA and page 21 for the USDA.

SBA PRIME Program – $3.5M
SBA Microloan – Lending – $25M
SBA Microloan – Technical Assistance – $20M
SBA Women’s Business Center Program – $14M
SBA Small Business Development Centers -$113.625M
SBA Boots to Business – $7M
USDA RBEG – $24.3M
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund – $226M

Please join Martin Feeney, AEO’s Government Relations Guru, on Thursday, January 23 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET for an in-depth policy webinar on the FY2014 appropriations bill. Register for “Policy Briefing Call: FY2014 Appropriations.”

In other federal news, President Obama nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder and board chairman of ProAmerica Bank in Los Angeles, to head the SBA. CAMEO is excited for her appointment as Mrs. Contreras-Sweet spoke at our Viva! event in 2009 and is a founding board member of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (formerly Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA), a CAMEO member.

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 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!

AEO Conference: Registration is open for AEO’s Big Easy Takeover! Connect with hundreds of industry professionals who are committed to giving Main Street microbusinesses the resources they need! Help America’s 25.5 million microbusinesses unleash their power. The conference is May 5-7, 2014. An additional enticement is the New Orleans Jazz Fest happening right before the conference. The hotel will extend the discounted room rate if you come early…let’s show AEO that CAMEO members know how to party! CAMEO members are eligible for a $50 discount off the AEO nonmember rate and can access it by entering the code SMA2014 at registration.

Healthcare Webinars: The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series. They take place every Thursday at 11:00 AM PT // 2:00 PM ET starting January 16, 2014.

Member News: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights honors Paul Weitzel (Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP) with the James T. Caleshu Award. The award is presented to an attorney who has made an extraordinary pro bono contribution to the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program, which provides free business legal services to low-income individuals who want to start a businesses. The award will be presented at their 27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon on January 24, 2014 in San Francisco.

Free Webinars: Opportunity Finance Network and the CDFI Fund host Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs. The program will provide training and technical assistance, including one-on-one assistance and mentored cohorts, for small and emerging CDFIs enabling them to increase their impact and improve their sustainability. Click on the link above to register or learn more about this webinar series on January 21 and February 5, 2014.

Professional Development Opportunity: The Aspen Institute is accepting applications for its Sector Skills Academy. The Academy was created to provide emerging leaders in the sectoral workforce development field with a unique professional development opportunity. Participants will explore industry-targeted strategies that build ladders to good jobs, as well as approaches that aim to transform bad jobs into good jobs. Learn more about the Sector Skills Academy and download the application. The deadline for applications is January 24, 2013.

Free Webinar: Join CFED at 9:00am PT // noon EST on Thursday, January 30 for the webinar release of the 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard – the leading source of state-level data on financial security and policy solutions. During this webinar, CFED experts will discuss data on asset poverty and measures of household financial security, as well as trends on state policies that help families achieve security. Register for the 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard webinar.

For Your Clients: Apply for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and explain what separates their business from the rest. After entries are accepted, businesses can share your unique story and profile with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to encourage them to vote. Your clients can win up to $25,000.

Professional Development Opportunity: The Global Good Fund is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that funds leadership development of young people (under 40) who are growing existing nonprofit organizations and social businesses. Their fellows receive a coach and up to $10,000 to invest in their personal leadership development. Fellows stay in their workplace except to attend the Global Good Fund Summit, a four-day intensive leadership development event that is included in the fellowship. Download a brochure on the Global Good Fund Fellowship.

2014 CDFI Coalition Institute: The CDFI Coalition Institute also turns 20 this year. Attend this conference on March 5-6, 2014 at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC. Register asap to take advantage of the limited room block at the Hotel Monaco for a cost of $339 (2 nights, March 4th and 5th). The deadline for reserving a room in the block is February 4, 2014. Click on the link above for more information about registration and booking a hotel.

Industry Conference: What do you get when you mix 500 savvy social enterprisers, 3.5 days of top notch programming, the building momentum of a national movement, and the nation’s “it” city? Find out at Social Enterprise Alliance’s Summit 14 in Nashville on April 13-16, 2014. Build the social enterprise field, connect and strengthen skills. CAMEO’s network receives a 33% off discount with discount code CAMEO33. For more information click on the link above.