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Week of Opportunity

Save The Date: VIVA! Women of Color Symposium in Los Angeles on November 7, 2011. Watch for your invitation!

This week, we take a rest from policy to bring you what seems like an avalanche of opportunities that could benefit micro – so here we go. In this week’s Must Know:

  • Take Advantage of Community Advantage Changes
  • COIN Advisory Board
  • Member Training: Press Releases from A to Z, October 25, 2011
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight includes two calls sponsored by the White House on the American Jobs Act. Scroll down for details.

Take Advantage of Community Advantage Changes

As you may know, the Community Advantage Program is a pilot initiative aimed at increasing the number of SBA 7(a) lenders that reach underserved communities. On Tuesday, October 4, the SBA announced a number of changes in the program because of feedback and input of AEO and others.

Two major changes include: 1) a 2% increase in the interest rate ceiling to Prime + 6% and 2) $100 million of loan capital committed by 13 commercial banks that will be available to Community Advantage approved intermediary lenders for technical assistance, loan loss reserves and warehouse lines of credit. For more information you can view AEO’s presentation Taking Advantage of Community Advantage.

COIN Advisory Board

As we’ve mentioned before, CAMEO has met with the Department of Insurance and encouraged them to include representatives from micro enterprise on their advisory board. And they listened. California Insurance Commissioner is looking for people to advise COIN on the best methods to increase the level of insurance industry capital in safe and sound investments while providing fair returns to investors and social benefits to underserved communities. And the Commissioner requests applications from representatives of our field.

Let’s help the insurance companies invest in micro by sitting on the Advisory Board. Find out more and apply. Applications are due November 21, 2011. And of course let us know you applied.

Member Training: Press Releases from A to Z

You have a new program, a new milestone, a report to issue, or perhaps breaking news that you want to announce to the community. You think to yourself “it would be great if Joe Reporter covered our news and be great if we hit a couple of blogs.” Press releases are a tool of the trade for any organization with information to share.

Join me for a webinar that will go through the nuts and bolts and best practices for writing press releases – when to issue a press release, how to create news, how to write a headline, other elements to include, who to send to, follow up, and more. We will also engage in interactive exercises to practice what we’ve learned.

When: Tuesday, October, 25, 2011, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Where: The comfort of your computer

Members can register for free. If you are not a member, become one! Email Shufina English for more information.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks since the last Must Know. A running tab of current Goodies is on the CAMEO website.

American Jobs Act calls: On Friday, October 14, 2011 there are two calls about the American Jobs Act. Call #1: AEO, Small Business Majority and other CAMEO friends are co-hosting a White House briefing call on how you will be affected by the American Jobs Act at 9:00 a.m. PT // 12:00 p.m. ET. You must pre-register. Call #2: The White House is holding a series of for state-specific calls on to talk about the American Jobs act and the FY2012 Budget. The California American Jobs Act Call is a 2:00 p.m. PT // 5:00 p.m. ET. The call in numbers is: (800) 230-1074.

Free Webinar: Not for Executive Director’s Only: Strategic Planning in the New Normal”, Thursday, October 27, 2011, 2:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Central/11:00 am Pacific. Space is limited. Learn more and reserve your Webinar seat now.

Microfinance Speaker Series at UC Berkeley: The six-week course explores how microfinance operations have grown to become sustainable models for financial services for developing countries. Comprising advice and best practices from successful practitioners and institutions around the world, the course gives an inside look into new technology ventures targeting the industry. Led by renowned Berkeley faculty and tied to the exciting venture capital environment of the Bay Area, the series is an excellent forum to learn about up-to-the-minute challenges and debates in the world of microfinance. The course is Wednesdays from 4pm-6pm PST, starting on October 26 – December 7, 2011. The regular price of the series is $1500, but non-profit organizations only pay $500! Register for the class or email Shufina English for more information.

Inland Empire Economy: Come hear some of the state’s most reputable forecasters – Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Econoimcs and Brad Kemp, the firm’s Director of Regional Research – deliver a new outlook for the U.S., California, and Inland Southern California economies. Then join a lively debate over the direction of jobs and employment in the Inland region. It all takes place on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the Riverside Convention Center; Registration and Breakfast 7:00 a.m., Program 8:00-11:00 a.m. Register today for the CAMEO discount.

For your clients: CARAT has funding from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) to provide technology training to small businesses in California. This is stimulus project funding through the US Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA). CARAT is collaborating with partners in six regions in California to administer the targeted technology training program for free. Check out the schedules for October and November.

Job Opportunities: MEDA, Renaissance Entrepreneurial Center and Global Partnerships are hiring. Check out the job listings offered by members and others in our industry.