New Address: Two Embarcadero Center, 8th floor, San Francisco, CA 94111     

Power to Women Entrepreneurs!

  • Celebrating Women’s History Month
  • Save June 9, 2015 for our Annual Member Meeting in Sacramento
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes several upcoming member events in San Bernardino, San Diego and San Francisco. Scroll down for details.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Let’s hear it for women’s entrepreneurship!

First, the SBA is sponsoring webinars for women entrepreneurs:

  • How to Take Your Woman-Owned Small Business Global on Thursday, March 26 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET.
  • How Women Entrepreneurs Can Get the Funding They Need to Grow on Tuesday, March 31 at 12:00pm PT // 3:00pm ET

And don’t forget to tell your clients about the SBA’s InnovateHER project. Its goal is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%). Your clients need to apply by March 31, 2015.

This week’s success story comes from Opportunity Fund. Catarah and Shoneji, the owners of Southern Girl Desserts, were trapped in a series of expensive loans, paying 40% of their daily sales just to keep their business afloat. Thanks to an EasyPay loan from Opportunity Fund, they were able to break out of the vicious cycle and grow their business safely. We’ve posted more stories on women business owners on our website.

It’s because of businesses like Southern Girl Desserts that we are co-sponsoring SB 197 with Opportunity Fund. The bill will allow CAMEO’s microlenders to pay referral fees to consultants, non-profits (e.g. TA providers), and others who refer successful loans. It will give your clients more information about affordable lending products and enable microlenders to more easily compete with online alternative lenders. Download the SB 197 Support Letter Template and put it on your letterhead. Edit appropriately, then email to:, and cc and me! For more information check out the Must Know from February 19, 2015.

Finally, read Claudia’s recent blog about scaling up business assistance services to women-owned microbusiness – “Boosting Women-Owned Businesses Will Boost the Economy.” It’s getting noticed! NBC interviewed her about the post and we’re awaiting the airdate.

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: The Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners honored two CAMEO Members with their inaugural BRAVO Awards. Congrats to Innovator of the Year, Marsha Bailey of Women’s Economic Ventures and Philanthropic Champion, Judy Hawkins of Ruby Road Leadership!

Professional Development Opportunity: Aspen launches their Franklin Project Ambassadors Program, a year-long leadership development program and local engagement strategy that will catalyze support for the big idea in communities across the country. The California regions they are recruiting during March include: Central Valley, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose (Silicon Valley). Applications are due March 23, 2015.

Free Webinar: Our colleagues as American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) hosts Jeffrey Hollendar, ASBC founder, CEO of Seventh Generation, and founder of Sustain Condoms, a manufacturer of non-toxic birth control. This webinar will explore how stakeholders—consumers, investors and communities—are pushing companies to become more transparent and focused on the triple bottom line. Register for The Future of Responsible Business on March 25, 10:00-11:00am PT // 1:00-2:00pm ET.

innovate!socal 2015 Conference: Hear from experts who will lend their perspective on future technologies that will shape our world and strategies for strengthening our entrepreneur base in Southern California. Network with key decision makers, dealmakers, rule breakers and power brokers from around the region who are leading efforts to make Southern California one of the nation’s best hubs for innovation and entrepreneur success. Don’t miss NYT Best Selling Author of All In Startup Diana Kander, Intuit’s Jeff Zias, local artists, food trucks and more at innovate!socal 2015 on Thursday, March 26, 2015 8:00am – 5:00pm at The Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802. Registration is $99 now through March 25 – Save $51 ($150 on site).

Member Event: The Inland Empire and Coachella Valley Women’s Business Centers are pleased to announce the third Inland Prosperity Conference. The event mission is to bring regional focus to the opportunities available in every economy – visible to those in the right mindset. Registration for the day-long event on Saturday, March 28, 2015 is $77. The event takes place at CSUSB, Santos Manuel Student Union, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Small Business Administration Los Angeles District Office has launched the registration for its 2015 Emerging Leaders executive-level training series for Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Nationally, the Emerging Leaders Program has trained more than 2,400 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and its impact continues to expand in helping small businesses to grow and create jobs. Participant recruitment begins in February through SBA’s local district offices and classes typically begin in April. Learn more.

Impact Data: Do you need credible data on your organization’s micro and small business outcomes to support fundraising and program management? Aspen’s FIELD is signing up programs now to join the EntrepreneurTracker client outcomes survey process in 2015. Check out the one-page summary to get a visual idea of what EntrepreneurTracker is all about. Sign up ends April 3, 2015. To learn more about EntrepreneurTracker and how your organization can participate in 2015, please contact Tamra Thetford,

Economic Outlook: Forecast LA is an annual event that combines an economic forecast for the U.S., California, and Los Angeles, with original survey research to produce a comprehensive look at what lies ahead for Los Angeles County and its nearly 10 million residents. CAMEO members receive a $25 discount off the $175 ticket (use link). The event takes place on April 7, 2015, 8:00-12noon at Gersten Pavilion, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Member Event: The seventh annual San Diego Microfinance Summit is on April 15, 4:30 – 9:00 pm. Presented by the San Diego Microfinance Alliance, the event will take place at University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

Member Event: Tickets are on sale for Opportunity Fund’s Taste of Microfinance on April 16, 2015 at Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Celebrate entrepreneurship and microfinance in the local food scene.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) today announced the next funding round for CED and CED-HFFI grants. These are extremely competitive grants that supports social enterprises that create jobs for low-income individuals and require a considerable amount of pre-planning. Friedman Associates will partner with a limited number of CDCs and CDFIs to write successful proposals. The grant deadlines are April 24, 2015.

Business Conference: NAWBO California ‘Propel Your Business’ Conference takes place on April 27-28, 2015 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. The theme is Think Bigger- Grow Strategically-Network Statewide.

New Report: CFED released its new breakdown of national IRS data on the 2014 tax season, which shows that volunteers helped over 3.2 million taxpayers get $3.89 billion in tax refunds in the U.S>, $330 million in California. Filing an accurate tax return is critical to obtaining small business loans and other financing.