Women Business Owners Take Center Stage

  • Women Business Owners Take Center Stage at Senate Hearing
  • Member Kudos
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlights include a bunch of job postings. Scroll down to see who is hiring.
  • The deadline for completing this year’s Micro Enterprise Census is next Thursday, July 31st! If you haven’t already, fill out the microTracker census with your 2013 impacts. Email Andrew with any questions.

Women Business Owners

Women’s entrepreneurship and business ownership took center stage in DC yesterday at a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Hearing:

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Understanding Successes, Addressing Persistent Challenges, and Identifying New Opportunities

Thanks to all of the CAMEO members – the 11 California WBC’s – who attended the hearing and helped to pack the house.

Among those testifying were the SBA’s Maria Contreras-Sweet and Barbara Cochran from ABC’s Shark Tank. My favorite story came from Veronica Davis. She had good credit, owned a home, but couldn’t get a bank loan to start her own environmental engineering firm. Senator Jeanne Shaheen spurred some discussion on how to “get banks to give more support to women and look at them more favorably.” Veronica ended up with a loan from a local community bank that also provides her with quarterly business assistance to make sure her firm is on track. She said that the business assistance is crucial because “at the end of the day I’m an engineer, not an accountant.” Senator Ben
Cardin replied, “You are absolutely right that technical assistance is needed.”

We are thrilled at the direction the hearing took. Also at the hearing the Committee released a report, 21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship. The report finds that women entrepreneurs still face challenges getting fair access to capital, getting equal access to federal contracts, and getting relevant business training and counseling. CAMEO strongly supports the next steps for Congress suggested in the report:

  • Increasing funding to the Women Business Center program.
  • Modernizing and improving the SBA Microloan Program and reauthorizing the Intermediary Lending Program to expand access to capital for women for up to $200,000; and
  • Enacting legislation to allow sole source contracts to be awarded to women-owned small businesses through the WOSB Procurement Program.

Stay tuned to help us advance these policies in the coming year!

Member Kudos

Pamela Patterson, CAMEO board member and CEO of West Company, published an article in the Huffington Post about investing in the talent that exists in rural counties.

My sense of belonging to a rural community resides in the sustainable practices that help communities strive and thrive. I see many rural areas becoming diverse economies with leading industries such as niche manufacturing, management and innovation services and specialty agriculture, food, and beverages.

Liz Perez, our Veterans’ Outreach Consulatant, was chosen by the California Department of Veterans Affairs to keynote the CalVet Summit on Women Veterans on August 24th. Her address will focus on women successfully transitioning from the military to successful careers, business ownership opportunities, and community service. These topics are of great importance to the hundreds of women expected to attend the 7th annual Summit on Women Veterans. Learn more about the Summit, “Bridging Gaps, Breaking Barriers,” which will be at the Sacramento Sheraton Grand Hotel on August 24 – 25, 2014.

The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) will start lending in January 2015 with their innovative Mission Community Loan Fund (MCLF)! The initial aim will be business microlending, with a focus on small businesses that are launching with the assistance of coaches in MEDA’s free Business Development Program. That program helps Latino entrepreneurs, who are often recent immigrants, turn their business dreams into a reality. The MCLF will be a catalyst for making this process faster by combining technical assistance with direct lending and furthers MEDA’s vision of service integration. A big CAMEO welcome to Nathanial Owen who will spearhead the MCLF. Nathaniel launched Accion Texas’ Tennessee micro-lending program

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!

Grant Opportunity: The SBA has issued an RFP for new Women’s Business Centers. California is one of 11 states that can apply. The deadline is July 30, 2014.

Manage Your Money Week (MYMW): MYMW is a project of the State Controller’s Financial Literacy Advisory Committee. You are invited to attend an MYMW orientation session for the San Francisco Bay Area region where you will be joined by other organizations to plan for this upcoming week of events. At this meeting, we will survey our regional inventory of resource providers, brainstorm ideas for marketing and building broad coalitions, determine gaps in delivery, and establish a framework for moving forward. Register for the planning meeting that takes place on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 101 Market Street.

Healthcare Webinars: The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the webinar series What the Healthcare Law Means For Your California Small Business . It’s every two weeks in English and monthly in Spanish. The next ones are on July 30, 2014 at 10:00am and August 20, 2014 at 1:00pm respectively. Note the Small Business Health Option Program’s online enrollment function is on hold and will be back online in the fall. Businesses can still purchase insurance through the traditional paper process, working with your Certified agent or the SHOP Service Center. A recent survey by Transamerica Center for Health Studies revealed six in 10 small businesses are aware of SHOP, but only 56 percent of them feel very informed about their company’s options for health insurance. Check out this new online guide of small business health plan options and costs through SHOP.

Healthcare Info In Spanish: Our friends at Small Business California helped create a new Spanish-language website to help Latino business owners and employees learn how to comply with the health care law along with The California Endowment and Health Law Guide for Business.

Webinar: IEDC hosts Tourism Resources & Strategies for Your Community on August 12, 2014, 11:00am – 12:30pm PT // 2:00 – 3:30pm ET. Does your community take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the travel and tourism industry? Is tourism part of your economic development strategy? The webinar is $95 for IEDC members, $135 for Non-members.

Take Action: Our friends at ASBC are conducting a campaign to ask Governor Brown to sign SB 1272. This important legislation will place an Advisory Measure before the People of California in November 2014, calling on the US Congress to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and “all applicable judicial precedents”. Download the template small business-oriented letter.

For Your Clients: Six million young Americans are both out of school and out of work – a staggering number that contributes to weak economic demand. At the same time, small business leaders are struggling to fill job vacancies that are critical to both individual company success and overall economic growth. Small Business Majority has identified some best practices that will help address this problem while also benefiting small employers. Have your clients pledge to help youth employment and check out our best practices.

New Resources: The Federal Reserve has two new resources regarding their work in community development – 1) a new community development web portal with information, resources, case studies, research, regional efforts, etc. and 2) Federal Reserve Community Development Perspectives: A summary of activities, insights, and future opportunities.

CAMEO White Paper: Download Do-It-Yourself Economic Growth: How Communities Can Cultivate Their Talent and Thrive. Read it. Use it as a resource. Share it. The Do-It-Yourself Economy is built on a foundation of small, locally-owned, diverse businesses. CAMEO’s white paper focuses on why we need a new approach to economic development, explains the reality of small business and self-employment labor market trends, and delineates some of the tools that local economic developers can use to create a sustainable future for their regions.