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Ms. CAMEO Goes to Washington; New Lending Technology Webinar

Ms. CAMEO Goes to Washington

Claudia was busy in Washington, DC this week! Some highlights include:

  • At the AEO Board meeting Project CUE – Connecting Underserved Entrepreneurs – was rolled out. This new platform will connect borrowers declined by banks but are good prospects for CDFIs. It’s in beta test now so stayed tuned for more news on its progress. Claudia was given a free ticket to the new African American Museum which she describes as incredibly beautiful, powerful and personal.
  • At the American Sustainable Business Council’s Annual Summit, She galvanized new constituencies for women’s business ownership at the ASBC’s Working Group for Women.
  • Today (Thursday) she moderates a panel on “Ensuring Entrepreneurship Can be a Pathway to Wealth” at CFED’s Assets and Learning Conference. AEO will present new data on African American business ownership and access to capital and the panelists will discuss business ownership as a wealth building strategy.
  • In her spare time she beat the drums for rural development. She made new connections with like-minded partners such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and met with the California delegation on the Agricultural Committees to stress the importance of microbusinesses to rural economies.

Coincidentally, Congress has been working on issues related to our sector.

The House of Representatives passed H. Res. 835, a resolution that the United States “should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.” This Resolution does not create any laws, but is an indication that lawmakers are concerned about FinTech development. CAMEO is advocating to ensure any laws that do pass will protect your clients’ businesses from predatory practices.

Regarding the FY 2017 budget, Congress passed a continuing resolution that would fund the government at current levels until after the elections in December.

And finally: Don’t just vote-Get Out the Vote!!

Introducing: Spark Lending Platform

Would you like to improve your lending process efficiency, save money, increase volume and underwrite deals yourself? Is developing your own online lending platform beyond the scope and budget of your organization? Then attend the October 5 webinar at 2:00pm to learn more about Spark, a cloud-based lending platform developed by Community Reinvestment Fund for small business lenders.

Spark features include:

  • Pre-screen through disbursement capacity
  • Your organization’s branding
  • Cloud-based and hosted so that both lenders and borrowers can access Spark 24/7
  • Client-facing, web-based application and document interface
  • All SBA rules, procedures and requirements programmed in
  • Customizable microloan capacity
  • Portfolio reporting
  • Underwriting summaries
  • Disbursement management
  • And more!

CAMEO has worked with seven members on the MMS platform, which includes underwriting support. Spark has a different palette of features, and is an exciting platform for organizations that want to use technology to increase sufficiency and volume, but keep underwriting in-house.

Please join us on October 5, with Nick Elders. If there is enough interest among members, CAMEO will explore opportunities for an aggregated approach to Spark to reduce the cost to our members, as we have done with MMS.

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!

New Policy Paper: Etsy released a new policy paper – “Economic Security for the Gig Economy: A Social Safety Net that Works for Everyone Who Works“. The paper outlines four federal policy proposals that Etsy believes would would bolster economic security for the 21st century workforce.

Member Kudos: Congrats to Arturo Noriega of Centro Community Partners and Roxanne Caldera of AnewAmerica Community Corporation! They are among the 77 Latino entrepreneurs from across the U.S. that were selected for the third cohort of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program.

California Small Business Profile: Download the SBA’s profile of California’s small businesses. California has 3.7 million small businesses, 3 million of which are non-employer.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority hosts Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business every other Wednesday, the next one s October 5. They present an overview of alternative lending options including community development financial institutions, SBA’s loan guarantee program and reputable online options, key questions to consider when seeking funding, the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and helpful tools and resources.

OFN Conference: Registration is now open for Opportunity Finance Network’s annual conference – Rethink. It takes place October 24-27, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

Professional Development: CALED is partnering with the California Academy for Economic Development, Fresno State, and the University Business Center, to bring you the Introduction to Economic Development Certificate Program. Register for this certificate program that is designed as an introductory course for people who are generally interested in knowing more about how local economic development works, as well as for those people whose responsibilities include economic development assignments. The course runs from October 24-27, 2016 at Fresno State, Craig School of Business. Fees: $700 CALED Member Rate (you must be the listed CALED member) or $800 Non-Member Rate (includes a one-year membership in CALED).

Conference: Save the Date for the 6th Annual Asset Building SymposiumFostering Economic Equity in a Changing Bay Area on November 3, 2016.

For Your Clients: AEO is partnering with the Federal Reserve System to survey existing and pre-start stage small business owners/managers. This survey is designed to better understand the credit landscape for small business and the experience of small business owners. As in prior years, the Federal Reserve System will release a national report of the survey findings. This year, they will also share custom data reports. They are seeking your help in distributing an important national survey of small business credit to your applicants and clients. The survey will be open now through November 23.

Programming Resource: Resources are now online for the webinar Prison to Proprietor: Entrepreneurship as a Re-entry Strategy presented by Asset Funders Network.