MicroLenders Forum Success & Renew/Join

  • Renew or Join CAMEO
  • MicroLenders Forum, A Success
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes three new funding opportunities: Walmart Foundation, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Community Economic Development grant, and HHS’s Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Project. Scroll down to goodies for more information.

Renew or Join CAMEO

Give your organization everything CAMEO has to offer. Your membership dues easily pay for themselves with high quality programs, free trainings, individual training opportunities, discounts on professional communications tools, member meetings and the priceless intangible benefits of collaboration and support.

Renew your membership or join our dynamic network of organizations and individuals by February 1, 2015. Together, we build businesses that create local jobs and grow California’s economy. Some of our accomplishments for 2014 include:

  • Introduction of new tools to scale microlending that has increased the number of loans by 150% overall by participating organizations;
  • Launch of the MicroLending Academy to build capacity of microlenders;
  • Initiation of the first Go To Market program to create a market of food entrepreneurs for our members (see photo above right of a super engaged audience);
  • Initiation of the Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network in Southern California to identify and link women veterans to resources to start and grow their businesses; and
  • Saving the PRIME and increasing funding for WBCs through our advocacy in Washington DC.

In 2015, we will bring you more exciting programs and resources – including an expanded advocacy effort in Sacramento to bolster women’s entrepreneurship and increase microlending.

MicroLenders Forum

Speaking of great programs — yesterday, over 60 people attended the MicroLenders Forum, co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. During the morning’s members-only session, we dove into the Excellence in Lending assessment results. Members engaged in a spirited discussion about cost per loan, portfolio risk, self sufficiency and more. The group clearly was interested in defining some of these metrics further and developing industry standards. A big thanks to Ginger McNally of OFN who weighed in with a national perspective (see photo left with Mark Quinn of the SBA and Claudia). California is right on target with our concerns about the industry; we are playing a leading role in looking for solutions.

Conversation buzzed during lunch with members connecting with each other and the bankers. FundWell presented their robust referral tool. After lunch Susan Harper (Bank of America), Fred Mendez (Rabobank), and Tony Moraga (BBVA Compass) gave us their perspective on some of the challenges and opportunities for increasing the volume of microlending in CA. We ended the day with updates on CAMEO activities: MMS first year results of 150% increase in loan volume; expansion of the Centro Business Plan Tool mobile app program to Southern California; the introduction of legislation that will help microlenders compete with online lenders for customers; and a to-do-list for CAMEO that will definitely keep us busy. KGO, 810 AM radio interviewed Claudia and others about the Forum and the impact microloans have on reducing income inequality.

Claudia was also interviewed earlier this week about the same topic by KPFA – Tune in at 26:19 and the Hal Ginsberg show.

A full summary with more details of the event will be forthcoming next week.

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!

Member Updates: Renaissance Center surveyed their 2012 clients and the results are in with their Client Business Impact infographic. Opportunity Fund’s Annual Report is online.

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. Cutting Edge is also offering free finance strategy sessions. You can listen to The Better Way to Crowdfund webinar for more information on crowdfunding.

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.

Funding Opportunity: The Walmart Foundation’s 2015 State Giving cycle opens on January 19, 2015. The Foundation is also offering a webinar, Anatomy of a Grant, on February 3, 2015 from 1:00-2:00pm PT // 3:00-4:00pm CST to get deeper insight into the grant-making process.

Industry Trends Webinar: Join CFED at 9:00am PST // noon EST on Thursday, January 29 for the webinar release of the 2015 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard. Each year, the Scorecard offers the most comprehensive look available at American’s financial security today and their opportunity to create a more prosperous future. It is a powerful research and advocacy tool that helps paint the full picture of household financial insecurity in America. This year’s Scorecard brings together over 130 policy and outcome measures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to help make the case for asset-based policy reform that expands economic opportunity for all Americans.

For Your Clients: Our colleagues at ASBC invite you/your clients to attend Venture Summit West, the premier venture gathering in Silicon Valley. Come meet, interact and network with more than 500 VCs, Corporate VCs, angel investors, investment bankers and CEOs of early stage and emerging growth companies on February 10-11, 2015 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

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. Early bird registration ends January 24, 2015.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) today announced the next funding round for CED and CED-HFFI grants. These are extremely competitive grants that supports social enterprises that create jobs for low-income individuals and require a considerable amount of pre-planning. Friedman Associates will partner with a limited number of CDCs and CDFIs to write successful proposals. The grant deadlines are April 24, 2015.

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.