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Small Biz Saturday Prep; Storytelling

Our hearts and thoughts go out to everyone who is affected by wildfires across the state. Right now, the priority is making sure that everyone is safe. Information on available support to businesses is forthcoming.

Small Business Saturday

Over the past seven years, Small Business Saturday has grown from a holiday shopping tradition to a nationwide movement celebrating the small businesses that unite our diverse local communities. CAMEO is proud to support locally grown businesses and encourage people to shop small. The first step is getting businesses involved! Your clients can visit to find:

  • Marketing Materials: Businesses can create customized marketing materials for their storefronts, websites, and social networks, and download them for free.
  • Merchandise: Transform store fronts and make an impression with free merchandise from American Express, while supplies last. Quantities are limited
  • Tips and Insights: Find more inspiration and ideas for businesses. Learn how to make the most of Small Business Saturday from fellow business owners.

You can encourage them to engage their followers on socialmedia using #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall.


Storytelling keeps popping up on my radar and it’s so important to the work we do. Stories need to tell us why we do what we do.

Why do we do what we do? Our clients. One of the first stories I heard when I started at CAMEO, was about a mother who started her own business and was able to keep her children out of foster care. Another was a tailor who sent her children to college because of the business training she received that put her business and finances in a position that her family could thrive. I remember a strawberry picker who instead of doing back-breaking work in the fields, now owns a small restaurant and supports her family. People are better off and, their lives are better because of what we do.

The CAMEO staff would love to hear why you do what you do. Please email me your stories, written up formally on your blog or just a few sentences that come to mind.

At last week’s Non-profit Technology Network regional conference in Portland, I was reminded of a few tips to make a good story.

  • Put your constituents first
  • Don’t make readers think (avoid jargon)
  • Tell stories, not policies
  • Start with ‘why’

A couple of resources to get you going:

And while we’re talking good communications, another useful tool is Wired Impact’s The Beginner’s Guide to Nonprofit Website Content.

Happy National Women’s Small Business Month

October is National Women’s Small Business Month. To celebrate this week, we have a couple of reports about women’s entrepreneurship from National Women’s Business Council and actions you can take to ensure women business owners thrive.


In Necessity as a Driver of Women’s Entrepreneurship: Her Stories, nine women discuss their entrepreneurial experiences in context of the new model of necessity entrepreneurship and provide new insights on when, and how, women launch businesses to respond to any number of concerns encountered in their professional lives. The case studies allowed researchers to evaluate the new model of necessity entrepreneurship. Highlights include:

  • Entrepreneurial motivations exist on a continuum.
  • Women may choose entrepreneurship due to gender-specific issues.
  • Entrepreneurship is unlikely to fully resolve concerns motivating business ownership.
  • A diversity of circumstances, beyond emergency economic need or a disruptive business idea, motivate women to become entrepreneurs.

Hispanic Women Entrepreneurship: Understanding Diversity Among Hispanic Women Entrepreneurs identifies the unique characteristics of Hispanic women entrepreneurs, reviews entrepreneurship training practices that work to encourage successful business, highlights specific programs that exemplify these practices, and suggests targeted tactics to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.


Our colleagues at WIPP are asking you to thank Senators Joni Ernst(R-IA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for standing up for women-owned small businesses! They introduced a bill (S. 1038) that asks the Small Business Administration to conduct a comprehensive study on all socio-economic group participation, including women, in these contracts. This is an important step to ensure that all small businesses have equal access to contracts, increasing opportunities for women-owned small businesses.

Fundera has a list of “20 Ways to Support Women-Led Businesses.” I’ll add number 21 – support Women’s Business Centers!

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!

CAMEO Tool: Susan Brown, our microlending expert, created Phase I of a Community Loan Policy Manual Workbook to assist community lenders to create fully developed loan policies manual. Lenders of every stripe that address each topic and answer all the questions will have a complete loan manual that reflects a comprehensive approach to the details of running a high-quality program.

Communications Tool: Wired Impact’s The Beginner’s Guide to Nonprofit Website Content.

New Report: The SBA issued The Retreat of the Rural Entrepreneur. In 1988, more than a fourth of the self-employed lived in rural areas. By 2016, that share had fallen to less than 1 in 6 as the US population shifted away from rural areas and the rural rate of self-employment fell. In fact, between 1988 and 2016, the rural rate of self-employment fell by over 20 percent. Despite that decline, the rate of self-employment has remained higher in rural areas than in urban and suburban areas. This speaks to the necessity of our work!

New Toolkit: Credit Builders Alliance has developed a new toolkit that provides a primer on the importance of credit building to establish businesses as financial assets for returning citizens, followed by a comprehensive and dynamic set of tools and resources to help practitioners work one-on-one with their clients to build credit in pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals. Download the executive summary – Achieving Credit Strength: A Toolkit for Supporting Returning Citizen Entrepreneurs.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority has several free webinars on access to capital and retirement: “Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business” is on October 18 at 11:00am PDT // 2:00pm EDT and “Money Now, Money Later: The ABCs of Financing Your Small Business and Building Your Retirement” is on October 24 at 11:00am PDT // 2:00pm EDT.

Financial Inclusion Webinar: Organizations across the country are developing solutions to address volatility and financial inclusion and to support households in managing cash flow and building savings, increasing credit and confidence along the way. Tune in on October 12 at 12noon to this free, one-hour Connecting Communities webinar to hear from leading experts as they engage in dialogue about research, current initiatives and best practices to help address the challenges low-income households face in the financial marketplace.

New Report: Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies look at the racial wealth divide at the median over the next four and eight years in The Road to Zero Wealth. They find that if you examine median wealth trends over the past three decades, the racial wealth divide will only continue to grow—into perpetuity—and it will do so at an accelerated rate. Join them for a webinar on October 17, 2017 at 11:00am-12:30pm PDT to discuss this crucial issue and what can be done to address this problem.

Professional Meeting: Registration is now open for CRC Member Meetings. Connect with colleagues about experiences in the field and to share updates on CRC campaigns and recent policy changes that impact communities. Lunch will be provided and registration is now open. If you have any questions, please contact Liana Molina.

For Your Clients: The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Majority Access are presenting an access to capital webinar in Spanish on October 24, November 21, and December 14 at 10:00am PT // 1:00pm ET. Click the links for registration and information in Spanish.

Economic Policy Event: Join UC-Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting & Development for “Re-imagining Economic Growth in the Inland Empire” on October 25, 2017from 12:00-4:00pm. CAMEO members receive a $25 discount with the code “cameo17.”

Industry Conference: OFN will hold the 2017 Western Regional Meeting Wednesday, November 1 in San Francisco at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Industry Conference: Join Bay Area funders, nonprofits, public agencies, and policymakers on November 2, 2017 in Oakland for a day of ideas, information-sharing and connecting with other innovators in the asset building field. Register for 2017 Assets Matter Symposium. CAMEO will be speaking about the New Era Workforce.

New Report: The California Reinvestment Coalition released Small Business Owners Struggle to Access Affordable Credit, a new report focused on the challenges small business owners and entrepreneurs face when trying to get a loan to start, maintain, or grow their businesses.

Industry News: The SBA launched Lender Match, the SBA’s online referral tool connecting small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. Lender Match is an upgrade to LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), introduced as a pilot in 2015.