Women Entrepreneurs on the Move!

Positive Trends for Women Businesses

First, the National Women’s Business Council analyzed the latest Census data and found great news. As of 2012, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses – a 27.5% rate of increase from the last time this survey was done in 2007. Women-owned businesses account for $1.6 trillion in revenue and employ 8.9 million people. California has the highest number of women-owned firms. Since 2011, African American women-owned businesses grew by 67.5% and Hispanic women-owned businesses grew by 87.3%. Download their fact sheet on women-owned businesses.

Second, effective October 14, federal agencies will allow contracting officers to award sole source contracts to women-owned companies through the program. Ann Sullivan, our advocate in DC, has been working with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) for 15 years to increase the number of women who received government contracts. Congratulations for this big win. Ann says,

… we fought for eleven years to establish a program that gives a government buying preference to women-owned companies whose industries have been underrepresented. Not an easy fight – we had plenty of Congressional and White House opponents – it wasn’t until the Obama Administration came into power that the program was established. At the time, SBA Administrator Karen Mills made it her number one priority, which we will always be thankful for. We had strong Congressional proponents – Senators Cantwell and Shaheen and Representatives Speier and Graves.

In order to provide as much impact as possible and to get women business owners together with federal buyers, ChallengeHER events are being held in several cities and states throughout 2015. ChallengeHER provides women with the most important, standardized knowledge and guidance in the federal marketplace. Attend their California event on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 8:00am – 12:30pm (PDT) at Cal State Fullerton.

SB 197 on Governor’s Desk! We Need You to Take Action!

We’re trying to contain our excitement and biting our nails! The California Senate passed SB 197 (Block) on Thursday, September 10 (co-sponsored by CAMEO and Opportunity Fund). That means the only step left is for Governor Brown to sign the bill into law and we’re taking it day by day on when he’s going to do it. There’s still time to tell Governor Brown to sign the bill. It only takes a couple of minutes to get your letter to me by Monday, September 28, 2015. Thanks to those of you who have chimed in already!

  1. Download the Brown Signature Letter Template.
  2. Put it on your letterhead.
  3. Personalize to your organization (and feel free to edit).
  4. Save as a pdf.
  5. Email it to me! And I will deliver letters to the governor.

Anyone can write a letter. Ask your staff, your board. The more, the better.

SB 197 is crucial to California small and microbusinesses, especially underbanked ones, as they may not be learning about and receiving the most appropriate financing available. The bill will remove a competitive disadvantage that currently affects licensed commercial lenders in California. The bill will allow them to pay referral fees to those from whom they receive business, subject to certain restrictions intended to promote responsible lending.

For more information check out the Must Know that featured it.

Member Kudos

CAMEO Board Vice-President Stacey Sanchez, CDC Small Business Finance, was heavily quoted in Forbes! Read Micro-Loans Make Sense For Many Small Businesses.

Roberto Barragan, president and chief executive officer of VEDC, was chosen to sit on the Federal Reserve’s new Community Advisory Council.

Big congratulations to the California organizations that received a share of the U.S. SBA PRIME’s $5 million (PRIME = Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs).

  • Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association
  • Ampac Tri-State CDC
  • Fresno Community Development Financial Institution
  • OBDC Small Business Finance
  • Pacific Asian Consortium In Employment (PACE)
  • Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
  • Valley Economic Development Center
  • Vermont-Slauson LDC, Inc.

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!

For Your Clients: The California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) is developing a tool kit for California businesses regarding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, we need to know more about what information business owners and operators have and do not have about disability access, what resources businesses need and want, and how CCDA can best serve the California business community. By distributing and/or taking this survey by September 30, you will provide fellow California businesses with a relevant and valuable resource. Take the English CCDA survey or the Spanish CCDA survey.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Census Bureau recently released The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition. It’s a tool that allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new or expanding their existing business. These key data includes the most recent and/or relevant data that Census provides that are useful to small business owners.

Small Business Saturday: This year, on November 28th, stand up to be counted among the hundreds of organizations supporting small businesses across the country. Join the Small Business Saturday Coalition, the national grassroots effort supporting the campaign. As a member of the Coalition you will have access to special communications tools and be listed on www.ShopSmall.com.

Free Webinar: The Federal Reserve’ Connecting Communities® presents Small Business’ Perceptions and Understanding of Online Alternative Loan Products: Findings from Online Focus Groups on September 29, 2015 at 12noon PT // 3:00pm ET. Description: The marketplace for small dollar lending to small businesses is transforming as access to capital moves to online sources. Online alternative lenders (e.g., CanCapital, OnDeck, Lending Club, Kabbage, PayPal) offer small dollar, small business products including cash advances, online lines of credit and a variety of short-term loans. Technology and online platforms are changing virtually all small business lending processes from underwriting, to loan pricing, to loan delivery, to loan servicing. To help shed light on this growing, crowded and potentially confusing marketplace, an online focus group of small businesses that are potential online borrowers was asked about their perspectives and understanding of this relatively new marketplace.

Professional Development: CFED, with the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is launching the Platforms for Prosperity Fellowship. This 10-month working Fellowship will engage six senior workforce development leaders in effecting change in their communities by integrating financial capability services into their organizations’ programs. Join them for a webinar on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 10:00-11:00am PDT // 1:00-2:00pm EDT to learn more about this opportunity. Applications are due October 26, 2015.

For Your Clients: The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) is holding a series of small business summits throughout the state to help small business owners and entrepreneurs access resources to help them expand and add jobs. The GO-Biz “Grow California Business” Summit kicks off on October 13, 2015 in Clovis, CA from 8:00am – 12noon. A second summit will be held in the first week of December 2015 in San Francisco, CA. Future summit dates for 2016 are to be announced later this year.

2015 OFN Conference: Register for the conference, November 9-12, 2015 in Detroit. This year’s curriculum offers sessions across 14 tracks reflecting the breadth of the CDFI industry’s financing sectors and issues, including small business. Early bird registration ends September 30.

Professional Development: Philanthropy University is a first-of-its kind educational initiative helps people working for social good deepen their impact and change the world. Attendees have the chance to earn a certificate in social sector leadership from Berkeley-Haas. Two classes begin in October: Global Social Entrepreneurship on September 29 and Financial Modeling for the Social Sector on October 13.

For Your Clients, Webinar: Our friends at the SBA and Small Business Majority are helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series this fall – What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business. The October dates are 1, 15, 29 in English and October 20th in Spanish.

COIN Tax Credit Investments: The second 2015 COIN CDFI Tax Credit cycle is now open. There are still $9.3 million in COIN CDFI Tax Credits available to support $46.5 million of private investment into COIN Certified CDFIs. The COIN team is available to help answer your questions, so please feel free to reach out to them. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, October 2, 2015 by close of business. CAMEO Members 3CORE and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) received COIN investment this year. See photo of Marc Nemanic (3CORE), Stacie Olivares-Castain, Managing Director for COIN, and Devon Johnson (WEV).

Free Webinar: FIELD and the Responsible Business Lending Coalition is hosting a webinar to introduce small and microbusiness organizations, lenders, funders and investors to the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. Participate in a conversation about BBOR and learn about the ways it can help you educate borrowers and promote responsible lending practices on October 15, 2015 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET.

Opportunity: Betsy Densmore of Academies for Social Entrepreneurship announces the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge. The program will bridge the gap between venture philanthropists seeking financial and social impact AND well-vetted social enterprises that can deliver double bottom line returns. Contestants may be for-profit, not-for-profit or hybrid early stage social enterprises. Applications are due by October 30, 2015.

Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.

Take Action: The Senate is considering legislation passed by the Senate Small Business Committee that would change the SBA Microloan program. While some of the changes are beneficial to intermediaries, counselors, and entrepreneurs, the bill fails to include critical reforms that program participants have requested. For example, the current legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement to be issued by SBA. This is unnecessary paperwork and the requirement should be removed all together. Providing business assistance that supports entrepreneurs should be at the lenders discretion. AEO and CAMEO believe that microloan reform legislation without important changes will not best benefit the program and its users. We urge you to add your organization in support of this letter to tell the Senate to include these reforms in their legislation. If you are willing to sign on, please email our Government Relations team member John Stanford.