MK – Veteran Entrepreneur Program Update

  • Veteran Biz Update
  • SmallBiz, a New Microlender – CAMEO Webinar
  • The Goodies – Talking about veterans, this week’s highlight includes a CAMEO co-sponsored Certification Course for Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans. It’s a two week class offered by CAMEO member Joe Molina. The next one starts on March 3, 2014. Scroll down to get a discount code to forward onto your clients.

Veteran Biz Update

In August 2013, we hired Liz Perez as our Veteran Outreach Consultant to ramp up our veterans program, driving outreach efforts and facilitating referral relationships between traditional veteran serving organizations and CAMEO member organizations that specifically serve veterans. It’s been about six months, so we checked in with Liz for an update on the program. You can read the entire update on our Veteran Entrepreneurship Program, but here’s a preview of results thus far.

…we have assisted over 228 veterans to start or grow their business through… and referred these veterans to CAMEO members in their region and other resources that might be available.

And next steps…

…follow up with CAMEO members to see how the referrals are working… connect CAMEO members with veterans groups and foster relationships between the micro sector and these groups… and help CAMEO members market their services to the veteran population.

If you have served any of Liz’s referrals or have a specific group that you might want to reach out to, but have had difficulty doing so, feel free to reach out to Liz.

SmartBiz, a New Microlender – CAMEO Webinar

Join CAMEO for a member-only webinar to learn about SmartBiz loans – the first fully-online, automated SBA loan program – on February 25, 2014 at 11:00am PT.

According to the company, they offer “8% interest rates, an easy application process, and an instant decision … Small businesses that need quick access to capital now have an easy way to apply for an SBA 7(a) SLA loan online in about 20 minutes, and receive $5,000 to $25,000 within 5 business days after the application is completed.”

SmartBiz is available in all 50 states, and is a partnership between financial services technology company BillFloat, Inc. and SBA preferred lender Golden Pacific Bank. They are partnering with CDFIs and other financial institutions to help businesses graduate to a small dollar bank loan product, and are providing capital to companies outside the typical geographic reach of these organizations typical geographic reach.

Download a flyer. Feel free to invite your clients.

This is the first in a series of webinars to introduce you to the new players in town to discuss what they’re doing and how both business assistance providers and microlenders can partner with them. Coming up on March 19 at 11:00am is a webinar with Funding Circle and one with LendUp (tbd). Also mark March 5 at 11:00am for a webinar that will focus on IDA accounts and the AFI program. Stay tuned for details.

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!

CAMEO in the News: Maria Contreras-Sweet mentioned CAMEO during her Senate confirmation hearing to head the SBA! You can watch the entire Senate Small Business Committee hearing (you’ll need to jump ahead to 27 minutes into the video for the beginning or to 1:26 to hear the CAMEO mention). Join the US Hispanic Chamber and Small Business Majority in their effort to ensure she receives a quick confirmation as head of the SBA.

For Your Clients: Small, nonfarm businesses in 35 California counties are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. SBA because of the drought.

New Paper: Boku Kodama of Renaissance Marin spent his holiday break researching and writing about redefining entrepreneurship to open it up to those who hadn’t considered it before, yet had limited options. The result is a paper that frames the work he was doing with people with disabilities (Entrepreneurs Enable forum), encorepreneurs (older workers locked out by age discrimination), and 18 to 25 year-olds. The paper is “5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs To Be An Entrepreneurs” and provides a lot of food for thought and possible messaging for you and your programs.

New Report: CFED released Innovations in Microbusiness: Enhancing the Financial Security of Low-Income Entrepreneurs, which details what they learned from a year of partnership with Capital One and some of the microbusiness field’s most innovative organizations – and guess who is one of them! The report documents what they’re doing to help clients achieve financial security and explores strategies for these new approaches that could grow to scale.

New Report: CFED also released Enhancing Support for Lower-income Entrepreneurs through Major Public Systems. The report looks at the ways that policy systems support LMI entrepreneurs and identifies opportunities to expand and improve those services.

2014 Los Angeles Economic Forecast Conference: With remarks by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the inaugural event of Forecast LA brings together Southern California thought leaders to help answer the most pressing economic and quality of life questions facing Los Angeles County and its nearly 10 million residents. The deets: February 25, 2014 from 8:00am-12:15pm at Loyola Marymount University. CAMEO members receive a $25 discount off their registration with the promotional code “cameo14”. Learn more about Forecast LA and register.

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. The next one is February 27, 2014. Note the Small Business Health Option Program’s online enrollment function is on hold and will be back online in the fall. Businesses can still purchase insurance through the traditional paper process, working with your Certified agent or the SHOP Service Center.

For your Clients: It’s time for our friends at Small Business California to survey California businesses. Please forward the 2014 SBC Survey to your clients. It will take about 10 minutes or less. The results of the survey will be sent to every Assembly person, State Senator, and Representative in the state, the Governor, and our two Senators. The deadline is February 28, 2014.

For Your Clients: CAMEO is co-sponsoring a Certification Course for Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans. It’s a two week class offered by CAMEO member Joe Molina. Participants who follow the daily action items in this course will be able to complete the initial submission of information required for receiving a VBE or DVBE Certification. It starts on the first Monday of each month. The next one starts on March 3, 2014. Your clients can use the CAMEO discount code “CAMEO12014” to receive a $120 discount off the $199 tuition fee (so it costs $79.)

Grant Opportunity: The SBA announced a $3 million grant opportunity to provide entrepreneurship training to veterans under the SBA’s Boots to Business program. Public and private institutions are invited to submit proposals to provide entrepreneurship training, curriculum development and program management support services. The deadline is March 3, 2014.

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).

Media Training: The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is hosting a four-part Media Training Series (March 12, 20, 26, and April 2). Topics to be covered: training for business policy, broadcast meeting, writing op-eds, and social media. ASBC has two offers for CAMEO members: 1) a 50% discounted pricing of $75 for the entire series and 2) three free spots to the the first three people who email me and want the spots (by doing so, you’re committed to attending). Click the link above for more info on the series. And email me for the discount codes.

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.

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.

For Your Clients: The Sabor Latino Food Show is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 13 and 14, 2014. It is “EL SHOW QUE VALE LA PENA!”. This is where business in the Latin Food community is conducted. They showcase products from all over the world and invite buyers from all over California.