Women’s Entrepreneurship: Growth Despite Obstacles

  • Women’s Entrepreneurship: Growing Despite Obstacles
  • Be Counted – Fill Out the microTracker Census and Win A Free Staff Lunch
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is AEO’s 2015 Microbusiness Learning Conference, September 24-25 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Women’s Entrepreneurship: Growing Despite Obstacles

Women-owned businesses are big business! The 9.4 million firms owned by women make up 30 percent of our country’s businesses and generate about $1.5 trillion in revenue. American Express recently published the fifth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. These businesses employ an additional 8 million workers. Last year, women launch 887 businesses every day, a rate 1.5 times that of the national average. And leading that growth… minority women.

That’s the good news, but it could be even better. What’s getting in the way of even higher growth rates for women-owned businesses? Capital Access.

Toni Ricci, one of our Faces of Entrepreneurship winners, received several loans from VEDC to start, and now grow, Elite Dance and Performing Arts Center. That’s after she tried the banks. Toni’s loans are part of the 4.4% of commercial loan dollars received by women. To address the large gender capital access gap, our colleagues at Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) recently released a policy platform, Breaking the Bank: Women Entrepreneurs & the Need for Capital, designed to address the capital access gender gap. WIPP categorized eleven recommendations into three areas: changing capital infrastructure, supporting small lending institutions, and strengthening government investments. Some of the recommendations include: investing more in WBCs and the MicroLoan TA program, ending a one-size-fits-all approach to lending, and updating credit scoring. We’re excited to work with WIPP and others to increase capital access for women entrepreneurs.

Be Counted – Microenterprise Census

Every year, CAMEO partners with FIELD at the Aspen Institute to conduct a census of microenterprise programs using the microTracker platform.

It’s time to stand up and be counted. CAMEO members that fill out the Census by July 17, 2015 (next Friday!) will receive $100 toward lunch for staff members, like Asian Business Association (at Egg Slut in LA’s Grand Central Market) and others did last year. If you’ve already filled out the census, email Andrew for more information on your ‘free lunch’.

Need help? Tamra Thetford of FIELD presented this user-friendly guide to completing and understanding the microTracker Census. And again, email Andrew, he’ll walk you through it if necessary.

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!

Member Kudos: Congrats to VEDC who celebrated the grand opening of the Pacoima Entrepreneur Center that will help revitalize and create new jobs in this economically distressed community.

For Your Clients: The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) is holding a series of California Competes Tax Credit technical assistance workshops throughout the state starting July 14, 2015.

Wealth Gap Webinar #1: Our colleagues at Asset Funders Network present Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap Through Business Ownership on Thursday, July 16, 2015, 10:00-11:00am PDT. One of the primary ways in which households build wealth is through business ownership. However, racial and ethnic minorities have historically been challenged to access the resources (capital, information, markets) needed to start and grow businesses. Micro and small business development strategies and programs, which have historically targeted minorities, are tools for narrowing the racial wealth gap.

Wealth Gap Webinar #1: Thursday, July 16, 2015 must be the unofficial wealth gap webinar day. At 12:00-1:00pm PDT, the Federal Reserve hosts Racial Wealth Inequality at the Metropolitan Area and National Levels: Findings and Implications.

Professional Development Opportunity: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund have two remaining workshops in their Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Capacity Building Initiative training series July 22-23, 2015 in Denver, CO and August 19-20, 2015 in Kansas City.

Funding Opportunity: The third-annual PG&E Economic Vitality Grant Program launched this week (June 1). This shareholder-funded program will support local job creation, workforce training, business development and other innovative programs that support local economic vitality and growth. It’s geared toward local government organizations, educational institutions and 501(c)(3) nonprofits throughout their service area. The online application is due July 31, 2015.

AEO Conference: Registration is now open for AEO’s 2015 Microbusiness Learning Conference, September 24-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference is designed for front-line microbusiness professionals, and will focus on training, professional development and capacity building. The agenda is coming soon. Stay tuned! CAMEO will be offering scholarships, contact Shufina English for more information.