New Women’s Business Center Federal Legislation!

  • New WBC Bill!
  • What’s Cooking in the Do-It-Yourself Economy: Incubate Your Own Businesses, A Webinar
  • Tell Governor Brown to Sign 197. Visit this Must Know to find a template letter, instruction, and more information.
  • Register for WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network on November 4 in Santa Ana.

New WBC Bill!

This week, I took part in the American Sustainable Business Council’s policy summit. CAMEO’s role was to moderate a discussion about access to capital and contracts for minorities and women. We came up with some policy suggestions and you’ll be hearing about them as they are put into action. Connie Evans of AEO discussed their effort to modernize the SBA’s Microloan TA program, which you can support right now by scrolling down to the bottom of this email. I was also able to ask the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor Chris Lu if he would hasten his department’s issuing of performance measures for self-employment so that WIBs can more easily contract with training providers. Perhaps, more exciting is that I was able to promote the next item to several congressmen (and that’s me in the Cannon Building.)

Last night, a bi-partisan group of Senators of the Senate Small Business Committee – Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and chairman, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and ranking member, and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)- introduced the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2015! It would reauthorize and increase authorized funding for the WBC Program to improve business training and counseling opportunities for women entrepreneurs. From Senator Cantwell:

Women entrepreneurs have created more 10 million small businesses and more than 23 million jobs yet still face problems such as access to capital – we must take additional steps. Today’s legislation will help break the glass ceiling women entrepreneurs face in this country by ensuring the next generation of women small business owners can get the training and counseling they need to turn their ideas into realities.

Here’s the cliff notes on the legislation, courtesy of Jake Clabaugh of Madison Services Group.

  • Increase Program Authorization: The program authorization level will be increased to $21.75 Million from the current level of $14.5 Million;
  • Increase Grant Awards: Maximum grant awards to WBCs will be increased from $150,000 to $250,000, which will encourage growth in established centers. Centers match the federal dollars with privately raised dollars;
  • Financial Flexibility for Centers:
    • Grants above the $250,000 threshold will be available to centers for new projects to encourage collaboration and innovation;
    • Hardship waivers will be available for centers that are unable to meet their matching funds goal for a 2 year period
    • Auditing and reporting requirements will be removed for non-federal funds raised above required match;
  • Increased Collaboration with Stakeholders: SBA and stakeholders will collaborate to improve streamlining in the grant process and develop enhanced training;

Also, the National Women’s Business Council’s new fact sheet on women-owned businesses.

What’s Cooking in the Do-It-Yourself Economy

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 1:00-2:00pm, join us for a CALED-CAMEO webinar – Incubate Your Own Businesses – that explores why you need an entrepreneurship strategy, and the tools that ensure success. We’ll focus on new business incubator models: kitchen incubators, maker spaces, co-working spots and cooperative incubators. When we actively support small locally-owned businesses, we provide our communities with:

  • Economic diversity,
  • Local control,
  • Increased economic development capacity, and
  • Quality job creation.

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 Kudos: Congrats to Centro Community Partners, who will receive $100,000 from Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area for their mobile app along with 24 other community groups. They almost made it to the next level which is up for public vote. Four groups that receive the most votes will receive $500,000 in funding. Cast a vote for them by October 20.

Member Kudos: Congrats to the six CAMEO members who received CDFI funding this year: California FarmLink, Indian Dispute Resolution, OBDC, Opportunity Fund, Working Solutions and WEV!

New Data: The National Women’s Business Council published their new fact sheet on women-owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday: This year, on November 28th, stand up to be counted among the hundreds of organizations supporting small businesses across the country. Join the Small Business Saturday Coalition, the national grassroots effort supporting the campaign. As a member of the Coalition you will have access to special communications tools and be listed on

Professional Development: CFED, with the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is launching the Platforms for Prosperity Fellowship. This 10-month working Fellowship will engage six senior workforce development leaders in effecting change in their communities by integrating financial capability services into their organizations’ programs. Join them for a webinar on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 10:00-11:00am PDT // 1:00-2:00pm EDT to learn more about this opportunity. Applications are due October 26, 2015.

Federal Contracting: In order to provide as much impact as possible and to get women business owners together with federal buyers, ChallengeHER events are being held in several cities and states throughout 2015. ChallengeHER provides women with the most important, standardized knowledge and guidance in the federal marketplace. Attend their California event on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 8:00am – 12:30pm (PDT) at Cal State Fullerton.

Professional Development: Philanthropy University is a first-of-its kind educational initiative helps people working for social good deepen their impact and change the world. Attendees have the chance to earn a certificate in social sector leadership from Berkeley-Haas. Two classes begin in October: Global Social Entrepreneurship on September 29 and Financial Modeling for the Social Sector on October 13.

For Your Clients, Webinar: Our friends at the SBA and Small Business Majority are helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series this fall – What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business. The remaining October dates are 15, 29 in English and October 20th in Spanish.

Free Webinar: FIELD and the Responsible Business Lending Coalition is hosting a webinar to introduce small and microbusiness organizations, lenders, funders and investors to the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. Participate in a conversation about BBOR and learn about the ways it can help you educate borrowers and promote responsible lending practices on October 15, 2015 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET.

Opportunity: Betsy Densmore of Academies for Social Entrepreneurship announces the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge. The program will bridge the gap between venture philanthropists seeking financial and social impact AND well-vetted social enterprises that can deliver double bottom line returns. Contestants may be for-profit, not-for-profit or hybrid early stage social enterprises. Applications are due by October 30, 2015.

2015 OFN Conference: Register for the conference, November 9-12, 2015 in Detroit. This year’s curriculum offers sessions across 14 tracks reflecting the breadth of the CDFI industry’s financing sectors and issues, including small business.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Census Bureau recently released The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition. It’s a tool that allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new or expanding their existing business. These key data includes the most recent and/or relevant data that Census provides that are useful to small business owners.

Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.

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. For example, the current legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement 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 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.