Taming the Wild West, the Op-Ed! Micro Census is OPEN!

  • New CAMEO Op-Ed – Taming the Wild West!
  • The Micro Census is Open
  • WOVEN in the Inland Empire
  • CAMEO-Credit Builders Alliance Webinar
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ initiative. AARP Foundation is requesting applications from eligible organizations to partner with the Foundation to host the workshop component. Applications are due August 26, 2016 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time and must be completed online.


HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Read and share Claudia's op-ed in American Banker – How to Tame the Wild West of Marketplace Lending.

Online alternative lenders offer a variety of advantages from their use of automation, big data and crowdfunding to reach small businesses. They offer quick loan decisions with a stripped-down application process. These firms assess risk immediately with efficient use of algorithms and technology. Money can be distributed in days, not months.

But for too many small businesses, getting financing from one of these lenders is like the Wild West.

The Micro Census is Open

For the past few years, CAMEO has partnered with FIELD at the Aspen Institute to conduct a census of California’s microbusiness programs using the microTracker platform.

It’s important to stand up and be counted. CAMEO members that fill out the Census by September 16, 2016 will receive $100 toward lunch for staff members, like Arcata Economic Development Center (see group selfie of Ross Welch and staff at Stardoughs) and others did last year. Email Andrew when you’ve completed your ‘free lunch’ as well as help on filling out the Census.

Note that you need to create a new account with a new user ID and password.

You rely on CAMEO to advocate on behalf of the sector. We rely on you for your data. This data fuels our advocacy and supports our members at the state and national level. The better data we have, the stronger our case is, and the easier it is to express the vital role MDOs play in the small business sector. In addition, the Census helps organizations to:

  • Organize your data to present to your Board, funders, and supporters. MicroTracker uses standardized data definitions to answer microbusiness program’s most common questions.
  • Raise your profile and manage valuable performance metrics from number of microloans disbursed to cost per client. Use this to sharpen and strengthen your program.
  • Enjoy a free lunch!

WOVEN in the Inland Empire

We’re excited to let you know that the WOVEN Inland Empire is on August 25 and 26 with a special 2-day Think Like A Negotiator workshop presented by Eldonna Lewis Fernandez! Eldonna spoke at our WOVEN conference in Orange County last year, and garnered rave reviews. Learn why everything is negotiable. Please pass on to any veteran women you know in Southern California. This is a unique opportunity for some top notch training!

Thanks to the team at Inland Empire Women’s Business Center for hosting and organizing!

CAMEO-Credit Builders Alliance Webinar

Join CAMEO and Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) for Credit Building Strategies for Entrepreneurs on August 31, 2016 at 2:00pm PT.

Credit building is a powerful tool that helps entrepreneurs take control of their financial lives, establish and grow their businesses, and pursue other asset building goals. In this webinar, CBA will introduce you to the services and support available through CBA membership. In addition, you will learn about the power of credit building for entrepreneurs and how you can incorporate credit building into your array of program and support services.

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!

Support CAMEO Member: For the month of August, every time you shop at any of the Whole Foods Market locations in San Francisco, you’ll be able to donate your reusable bag credits to La Cocina as part of the stores’ Nickels for Non-Profit program!

Free Fundraising Tool: Take the Leaky Bucket Assessment for Effective Fundraising. By taking this Assessment, a nonprofit will have a better understanding of their fundraising resources and see where they stand in relation to other nonprofits.

Crowdfunding Webinar: The final pieces of the JOBS Act are now in full effect, so businesses may raise up to $1 million per year through crowdfunding. Join Business Forward on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 10:30am PT for a conference call with the Securities and Exchange Commission to learn how businesses can take advantage of the new crowdfunding rule to raise capital.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority is hosting Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business every other Wednesday, the next one is August 24. They present an overview of alternative lending options including community development financial institutions, SBA’s loan guarantee program and reputable online options, key questions to consider when seeking funding, the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and helpful tools and resources.

Grant Opportunity: AARP Foundation is launching Work for Yourself@50+, a new initiative designed to educate low-income adults age 50+ about self-employment, including the factors that one needs to consider and first steps that one should take when deciding to work for themselves. This initiative includes the “Five Simple Steps to Get you Started” toolkit, Workshop, and interactive website. AARP Foundation is requesting applications from eligible organizations to partner with the Foundation to host the workshop component. Applications are due August 26, 2016 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time and must be completed online.

Free Webinar: Join OFN on Monday, August 29 at 10:00am PT for the next webinar in the Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series, CFPB Proposed Rules for Small-Dollar Loans: An Overview and What It Means for CDFIs. The CFPB recently released proposed regulations on small-dollar loans in an effort to curb predatory practices by payday and auto title lenders, and has extended an open comment period on the rules that will close on Friday, October 7.

For Your Women Business Clients: Fund and Fuel Your Dreams is a 2-day event on September 8-9 where you will get hands-on, expert training on how to raise money for your business. You will leave with a step-by-step plan and resources to take the plan forward. It is also a place to connect with like-minded mission-driven, heart centered women entrepreneurs in a supportive fun environment!

Attention CDFIs: The Department of Treasury (Treasury) is seeking your comments on the CDFI Program’s forms and applications. Federal agencies are required to give stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the agency’s forms and information gathering processes. Treasury is soliciting feedback on the Financial Assistance Application and the Technical Assistance Application. Comments are due by September 12, 2016.

Professional Development Opportunity: You’re invited to join the CFED Assets & Opportunity Network and Center for Financial Security for a new four-part virtual Listening & Learning Series on Financial Coaching & Counseling. The last one is on Wednesday, September 14 from 12:-1:30pm PDT. The A&O Network has also released Financial Coaching Census.

PayDay Lending Rules: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule aimed at reshaping the market for payday loans and other short-term credit. The proposal would require lenders to ensure that the consumer has the ability to repay the loan, provide notice that the lender is withdrawing funds from the consumer’s account and cease automatic withdraws if the consumer’s account is overdrawn. Comments on this proposal are due September 14, 2016.

OFN Conference: Registration is now open for Opportunity Finance Network’s annual conference – Rethink. It takes place October 24-27, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

Conference: Save the Date for the 6th Annual Asset Building SymposiumFostering Economic Equity in a Changing Bay Area on November 3, 2016.

New Report: Opportunity Fund released a very important research report, Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street.” Until now, we have been relying on stories to explain what’s happening with online lending. Now we’ve got some data on the loans and cash advances being offered to small businesses by short-term, high-cost alternative lenders. Cliff notes on findings: 94% interest rates; average payment is 1.78x income -YIKES.

New Report: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance issued a new report that suggests a troubling explanation for the dwindling ranks of small businesses. “Drawing on examples in pharmacy, banking, telecommunications, and retail, it finds that big companies routinely use their size and their economic and political power to undermine their smaller rivals and exclude them from markets.”

California Economy: Check out the Fast Facts on California Economy published by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE). The state has the 6th largest economy in the world with a $2.45 trillion GDP.

Webinar Resources: ICYMI, you can access the resources from Programs, Policies, Partnerships: Coming Together to Heal the Racial Wealth Divide, presented by CFED’s Assets & Opportunity Network and Racial Wealth Divide Initiative. The recording, slides, and handouts from the webinar are now available for download!

For Your Clients: The SBA launches certify.sba.gov to assist small firms doing business with federal government; streamline applications and eliminate documentation obstacles. This new website starts with a focus on closing market gaps for women entrepreneurs in the federal marketplace by featuring the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program.