Ms. CAMEO Went to Shanghai to Talk Microfinance

  • Ms. CAMEO Went To Shanghai to Talk Microfinance
  • Webinar: How to Use Thumbtack
  • Scholarships for AEO
  • Be Counted – Fill Out The microTracker Census by August 21, 2015.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is to add your organization in support of a letter to tell the Senate to include microlending program reforms in their legislation (scroll down for details).

Ms. CAMEO Went To Shanghai to Talk Microfinance

Last week Claudia was in China to talk about microfinance and how to bring a CAMEO-type organization to China.

On July 29th I had the privilege of being the honored guest at a Micro Finance Roundtable hosted by Dr. Ting Lowery, Director of the Center for Chinese Entrepreneur Studies at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. Senior managers from the Alibaba Group — the Chinese version of a combined Amazon, EBay, Google, and PayPal — and CreditEase — a massive, new peer-to-peer microcredit platform that has facilitated $400 billion in urban and rural lending in the past five years — attended, along with local small business owners.

Read more about what Claudia learned about how the Chinese are working with microbusinesses and their interest in CAMEO.

Webinar: How to Use Thumbtack

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 19, 2015 at 11:00am (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.”

Luke McGowan 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)
  • How to market a small business online

And while we’re getting all techy on you, read Andrew’s blog post on our Bay Area lunch at Square – Micro Meet Tech; Tech Meet Micro.

Scholarships for AEO

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, provide the following information in a one-page document and mail your complete application to Shufina English:

  • Title: AEO Leadership Conference, Atlanta
  • Applicant’s name, position, organization, and contact information.
  • How do you think this training will help you better serve your clients and/or your office team?
  • What specifically do you hope to gain from this training? Why?
  • What is your organization’s mission statement?
  • Provide a paragraph about your organization.
  • Provide a short description of your duties within your organization.
  • What is your Micro Enterprise training experience?
  • What is your microlending experience?

The learning conference will continue the work we did at the leadership conference in May. The conference is designed for front-line microbusiness professionals, and will focus on training, professional development and capacity building. The agenda is starting to take shape.


Make your hotel room reservation at the AEO group rate of $119 per night (expires September 2, 2015) at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport.

Delta Airlines is offering AEO attendees discounts on flights. Reservations and ticketing are available via Select “Book Your Flight” and this will bring you to the “Book A Flight” page. Enter the meeting code NMLXB in the box provided. Reservations may also be made by calling Delta Meeting reservations at 800-328- 1111, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm CDT.

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 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, including a removal of the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement as well as removing the 1/55th rule. Currently, the legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 formula 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 these 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 (that easy).

New Blog: The SBA Office of Advocacy has a new blog. The Office of Advocacy is a good resource for stats on small business.

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.

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.

Free Webinar: Friedman and Associates host Re-Imagining the Role of Business Development Services on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET. The CDFI industry has clear standards, guidelines and metrics for the operation of a loan fund. We cannot say the same for business development services (BDS). Why? BDS is a key strategy to support portfolio performance and mission. It requires a formal structure to sufficiently support loan clients’ path to sustainability and growth. And it needs established metrics to measure success! The webinar will demonstrate a BDS process and “product” for effective pre-loan technical assistance.

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.

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.