Obama’s Entrepreneurship Legacy; Shop Local Gift Guides

  • Obama’s Legacy on Entrepreneurship
  • Shop Local – Part II
  • Save the Date for our annual MicroLenders Forum – February 1, 2017 in San Francisco.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is California Competes Tax Credit workshops and webinars throughout the state through December. All businesses are encouraged to attend. The online application can be accessed starting January 2, 2017

Obama’s Legacy on Entrepreneurship

And The Senate Legacy That Wasn’t

The Obama Administration released a Top 10 list of President Obama’s most significant specific actions to promote American entrepreneurship, as well as announcing new efforts to build on these successes. The full list is worth a read, but here are a few highlights:

  • Signed permanent tax incentives for startup investment.
  • Cut red tape for entrepreneurs.
  • Seeded startup accelerators in diverse communities.
  • Prioritized inclusive entrepreneurship.

While much of the activity has been focused on high-tech start ups, generally speaking American startup activity is rebounding and growing more inclusive of historically underrepresented groups and regions. Positive trends include:

  • Reversing a downward cycle that began during the Great Recession, U.S. startup activity ascended last year, representing the largest year-over-year increase in the last two decades, while measures of startup revenue and employment growth have rebounded across industries as well.
  • Rates of entrepreneurship have increased for Latinos, African Americans, and immigrants between 1996 and 2015.
  • Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms is estimated to have grown at a rate five times the national average, including a more than doubling of the number of firms owned by African American women and Latinas.
  • The number of U.S. startup accelerator programs increased from fewer than 30 in 2009 to over 170 in 2015, providing mentorship and early funding to thousands of startups across 35 states plus D.C. and 54 metro areas.

We really hope that when President Obama met with President-elect Trump that the emphasis on inclusive entrepreneurship was an easy transfer and will continue. It will be up to us to ensure that it does!

While the executive branch was able to move forward, the legislative branch stood still. The Senate Small Business Committee tried to move a package of bills but couldn’t. Among the bills were modernization of the SBDC program and the Microloan TA program and the re-authorization of the WBC program. For a full list, read our blog post Small Business Package of Bills Not Delivered. It is possible that individual bills will move forward. Needless to say, we are disappointed – this package reflected the work that CAMEO and Madison Services Group has done in Washington. (And don’t worry, the WBC program isn’t going away, but will continue to exist through the appropriations process.)

And one more thing from DC: Trump met with former World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon in NYC yesterday to discuss her serving as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She is a professional wrestling executive and former contender for a Connecticut U.S. Senate seat.

Shop Local – Part II

Nationwide, Small Business Saturday was a big success with an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses, a 13 percent increase from 2015. We hope that you will continue to #ShopSmall throughout the season and all year round.

If you have put together a gift guide of your clients, please email me with the link and I’ll disseminate it far and wide. For some inspiration, check out gift guides from Main Street Launch and Accion San Diego’s guides (Imperial County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and San Bernardino County.)

Also, last week, I called out for writers of local op-eds to tout the benefits of shopping local for the holiday season. Email me if you’re interested in writing an op-ed and getting free PR.

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 in the News: Through Pacific Community Ventures and BusinessAdvising.org, the tech industry has donated thousands of hours to help disadvantaged business owners and worked to create many thousands of quality jobs in under-served communities across America.

Funding Opportunity: Opportunity Fund recently launched its Community Partner Program. The program can supplement the missions and programs of other non-profits by serving as a microloan program for those who do not have one and complementing the services of those who do. Partners receive several benefits, including an in-depth look at the credit and underwriting criteria and a 5% commission on every qualified referral booked for loans between $5,000 and $50,000. If you have questions or are interested, please contact Robert Zapata by email or phone 323.506.3529.

For Your Clients: Join Go-Biz for California Competes Tax Credit Workshops throughout the state during November and December. Webinars are also available. Each 45 minute workshop/webinar includes an overview of the program, program goals and evaluation criteria, and step-by-step instructions through the application process. All businesses are encouraged to attend. The online application can be accessed starting January 2, 2017.

Member Event/Advocacy: Nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology (nLIFT) are launching on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 6:30-8:00pm at Capital One 360 Cafe, 101 Post Street in San Francisco. nLift consists of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, Commonwealth, Earn, The Financial Clinic, myPath, Mission Asset Fund, all organizations that increase financial inclusion through technology-driven platforms. In 2017, with the Aspen Institute serving as the convener, they will work to advance technological solutions that tackle the many financial challenges faced by our communities.

Professional Development: Applications are being accepted for OFN’s Opportunity Fellows Program. The program will train a diverse cohort of CDFI leaders to create transformational change and address inequities in access to capital in underserved communities. A webinar on the program, its requirements, candidate selection criteria, and curriculum will be held on December 5, 2016 at 12:00pm PT // 3:00 pm ET. The due date to apply for the 2017 cohort is December 23, 2016.

Election Re-cap Webinar: Join Connie Evans, AEO President & CEO and Ann Sullivan, President of Madison Group Services and the AEO Government Relations team for a recap of the 2016 election outcomes and what they mean for the new year. The webinar takes place on December 7, 2016, 11:00am-12:00pm PT. They will also discuss 2017 strategies for working with policymakers on the Hill and the Administration to drive momentum on issues affecting underserved entrepreneurs across our country.

Free Webinar: U.S. DOL and Small Business Majority host “Workplace Benefits and High Road Employer Practices for California Small Businesses”, a webinar about high-road employer practices, including equal pay, paid leave and a host of workplace benefits programs and policies impacting California small businesses. Register for the webinar on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 9:30-10:30am (PST).

Help a Member Out: Working Solutions is up for a Yelp Grant in the Bay Area. They are competing with two other Bay Area non-profits, none of them in the small business space. Help them get over the top by voting everyday from now until December 9, 2016.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) announced a $300,000 funding opportunity for women and veteran-owned businesses through its Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program. Successful applicants will be organizations with a demonstrated history of providing successful entrepreneurship training to women veterans, women service members, and women spouses of service members and veterans. Applications must be received by December 12, 2016.

Federal Reserve Micro Study: They need your help in distributing an important national survey of small business credit to your loan applicants and business assistance clients. When you register (click on the link), The Federal Reserve System will then send you the communications tools you’ll need to invite small businesses to participate. The survey has an extended deadline and will be open now through December, so sign up, get the toolkit and communicate with your clients.

Women’s Business Center Comments: The US SBA is seeking comments on this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program. The deadline for comments is January 23, 2017.

Funding Opportunity: The Local Crowd pleased to announce an opportunity for up to 10 U.S. rural communities to become Demonstration Sites that use crowdfunding as an economic development tool. This will be the fourth and final RFP to become a demonstration site. Local economic development organizations are invited to respond to the Request For Proposals. These responders may be local or regional economic development groups, SBDCs, chambers of commerce, Main Street programs or other organizations. Deadline to respond is February 1, 2017.

For Your Clients: Participate in LendingTree’s $50,000 Small Business Grant Contest. Eligible entries will be judged by a panel of Sponsor executives or judges who will select the winners on the basis of originality and creativity. For more information and eligibility requirements click on the link. The deadline is February 17, 2017.

microTracker Relaunches: FIELD at the Aspen Institute is thrilled to announce the new microTracker.org, their nationwide database on US microenterprise development organizations. MicroTracker gives you the ability to explore, analyze, and compare data on microenterprise programs across the country. The new site is updated to give flexibility, better navigation, and more ability for downloading analysis.

For Your Clients (and all trainers!): NerdWallet recently released a special report on the merchant cash advance industry and a new MCA educational portal.