New Address: Two Embarcadero Center, 8th floor, San Francisco, CA 94111     

500 California’s Microbusinesses Boosted

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Heidi Pickman, 310-392-0211,


500 California’s Microbusinesses Boosted

FHLBank San Francisco’s AHEAD Program provides $500,000 for entrepreneurial training and

access to capital so that very small businesses can start and thrive

San Francisco, CA – More than 350 businesses will benefit as a result of grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s (FHLBank San Francisco) AHEAD Program.  CAMEO, the statewide network of entrepreneurial training programs and microlenders, and 10 of its members received $352,000 to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.  An additional $120,000 went to other microbusiness development programs in California.  The money will be used to provide business coaching, access to capital, and connections to markets for underserved populations, i.e. minorities, rural, low-income, or women.  See Table 1 for a list of projects.

“CAMEO and its members are a wonderful example of how small and microbusinesses create jobs that can help bridge the wealth gap, said Marietta Núñez, Vice President, Director of Community Lending at FHLBAnk San Francisco. “The Bank is glad to be supporting CAMEO’s Go-To Market Program, which helps rural micro enterprises in the specialty foods and craft business, get off the ground with a 2016 AHEAD grant.”

“The FHLBank San Francisco Ahead program provides funding to support nonprofit work in our communities, said Nancy E. Brown, Director, Community Development for Charles Schwab Bank. “We are honored to collaborate with our community partners to build the local economy by creating and growing small businesses.”

“This program shows that when financial institutions team up with local organizations, small businesses feel a huge impact,” said Claudia Viek.  “When business owners get coaching, they are 80% more likely to be in business in five years and will create two jobs.”

CAMEO’s grant was sponsored by Charles Schwab Bank.  The grants, which are made through FHLBank San Francisco’s member financial institutions, range from $20,000 to $50,000 and are used by nonprofit organizations to for initiatives that aim to create or preserve jobs, support a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or deliver social services and education to benefit low- and moderate-income communities.

This year, the FHLBank San Francisco reviewed 197 applications requesting nearly $9 million in funding. The Bank awarded $1.5 million to 51 projects that will boost economic development activity and promote community stability and self-sufficiency in communities throughout Arizona, California, and Nevada. In California the program will fund 40 projects for a total of $1.25 million.



CAMEO’s mission is to promote jobs, economic opportunity and community well-being through entrepreneurship training, business coaching and microfinance. CAMEO is California’s statewide microbusiness network made up of over 170 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering the fortunes of micro-businesses in California.

Annually, CAMEO members serve about 20,000 very small businesses with training, business and credit assistance and loans. These firms – largely start-ups with less than five employees – support or create 35,000 new jobs in California. And generate a total of $1.5 billion in economic activity.



The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members are headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada and include commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions.