WOVEN Recap; Diversity in Lending

WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network – Recap

Happy National Veterans Small Business Week! This week we honored women veteran entrepreneurs who continue to serve our country by creating new businesses and jobs. We held our second annual WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network November 4 in Santa Ana.

2015 WOVEN was a huge success. Everyone learned a lot; people were furiously scribbling notes, nodding their heads, laughing, connecting, and enjoying themselves. We had a great turn out of all of the stakeholders – women veterans, Southern California’s CAMEO members, veteran serving groups, the local SBA, our amazing speakers – Debbie, Eldonna, Karen, and Kim – Jesse Torres at the governor’s office, Lindsey Sin at CalVet. We were thrilled to have Barb Carson, Director of Veterans Programs for the SBA come out from DC. And of course thanks to our Advisory Council and major funders – One West Bank, First Republic, Union Bank, Pacific Western, and AT&T–for making it all happen.

The WOVEN 2014 and 2015 events were just the beginning. CAMEO wants to expose and encourage as many female veterans and/or their spouses to business ownership. With the help of the Jonas Project, a national mentoring and loan program for veteran entrepreneurs, we are developing an ongoing community of women veteran entrepreneurs through community-based programs. To start, we’ll hold three workshops in 2016 at the following locations: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center, Rise Financial Pathways, and South San Diego Small Business Development Center. And from there we’ll build. Women veterans want to continue to serve their country by starting businesses and contributing to the economy. In turn, we want to serve them.

One person who serves our veterans is The Jonas Project’s founder, Teri Kelsall. She was chosen by L’Oreal Paris as a Woman of Worth 2015. This award recognizes women that are making a beautiful difference in the world. As a recipient, Teri was given $10,000 for The Jonas Project and has an opportunity to win an additional $25,000. Vote for Teri the National Women of Worth honorees! You can vote once a day, every day until November 20.

Diversity in the Capital Markets

African Americans own approximately 1.9 million (7%) small businesses nationwide, and are the fastest growing segment. However, business loans to them have not rebounded since 2008. Wells Fargo and Gallup published a series of reports on diversity in lending earlier in the year. Two new initiatives are meant to address that issue and increase capital to minority owned businesses.

Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced Wells Fargo Works for Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program, a three-year initiative that will deliver $75 million in grants and lending capital to CDFIs. In addition to lending and grant capital, the program will provide social capital programs to CDFIs to help increase their capacity to lend to diverse small businesses including mentorship programs, knowledge networks, consulting, and other collaborative efforts.

Register for Wells Fargo’s information session that will discuss the program guidelines and answer questions on November 17, 2015, 1:00-1:45pm PT // 4:00-4:45pm ET.

Interest Forms for Diverse Community Capital are due December 1, 2015. Friedman Associates can help you develop your Interest Form and application.

Additionally, VEDCand JPMorgan Chase announce a $30mm loan fund for African-American entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago. The National African American Small Business Loan Fund will boost economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses in these cities and help them serve low-income communities by providing them with greater access to capital, technical assistance and financial consulting.

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!

CAMEO in the News: Read CAMEO and Opportunity Fund’s op-ed on SB 197 in the Sacramento Bee.

Member Kudos: MEDA’sAdelante Fund closed their first two small-business loans last week, a $100,000 loan to Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas and a $35,000 loan to El Buen Comer! To boot, La Cocina worked with both these entrepreneurs for many years, serving and nurturing them with food-industry expertise.

Member Kudos: More than 7,100 jobs were created and preserved at 440 small businesses that received more than $800 million in SBA financingprovided by CDC Small Business Finance in fiscal year 2015, ending September 30.

CAMEO Co-hosts: American Sustainable Business Council and CAMEO (among others) host Don’t Let the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Control the Policy Debate! on Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm PT in San Francisco, CA. We’ll talk about how important it is to have small business at the table.

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. Upcoming webinars are November 12 in English and November 17 in Spanish.

Veteran Event: Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (DVBA) 2015 Veterans Day Breakfast is on November 13, 2015 from 8:00-11:00am (PST) in Beverly Hills, CA. This celebratory event honors the service of all veterans past, present and future as well as others who have made significant contributions towards helping our veterans.

Small Business Saturday: It’s that time of year to join CAMEO and be counted among the hundreds of organizations supporting small businesses across the country on Small Business Saturday, November 28th. Join the Small Business Saturday Coalition to support the campaign. As a member of the Coalition you will have access to special communications tools and be listed on www.ShopSmall.com. And now it’s got DC’s stamp of approval. This week, the Senate unanimously agreed to a Resolution designating November 28, 2015 as Small Business Saturday.

AEO National Conference: Save the date May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC to celebrate 25 years!