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Must Know: CAMEO shines at AEO

In this week’s ‘Must Know’:

  • CAMEO shines at AEO
  • CAMEO’s Annual Survey and the U.S. Micro Enterprise Census
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is the CAMEO Annual Member Meeting and Legislative Day. You should have received your invitation yesterday.

Washington Update

As you probably know, CAMEO spent much of last week at the AEO conference in Washington, D.C. We were joined by about 35 CAMEO members from all over the state. CAMEO members made their presence known, whether in the town hall meetings, workshops or on the dance floor.

WIB Workshop: Claudia and CAMEO board member Judy Hawkins put together a standing-room-only workshop (left) that made the case for partnering with Workforce Investment Boards to provide entrepreneurial training to the unemployed. Cassandra Tobey of Goodwill of Orange County shared her experience on partnerships with WIBs along with several other participants. The workshop demonstrated how to break into these established systems, structure agreements, develop pricing and cost structures that are profitable, and deliver performance and outcomes that are good for budding entrepreneurs.

Advocacy Fundraising: After a nice dinner and a glass of wine, another CAMEO board member, Pamela Patterson of West Company pledged $1,000 to our advocacy fund and her excitement for the work that we’re doing raised a total of $3,900 from other members for our advocacy work. If you’d like to donate to the advocacy fund, email Shufina English.

CAMEO on The Hill: On Wednesday, many of the CAMEO members along with 150 of their colleagues heard from administration officials about their cross-departmental efforts to help very small businesses. As always, CAMEO will inform you of the new opportunities that may arise. Afterwards, CAMEO hosted an intimate and engaging legislative briefing for congressional staffers. About a dozen CAMEO members talked with staffers from their districts about the opportunities, successes and challenges of our industry. Claudia moderated a panel discussion (above) with Lorrie Williams from Women’s Initiative (and board member!) and Blong Lee from Fresno CDFI who told the client stories that inspired them. Engaged congressional staffers asked good questions, offered support for appropriations and we made it abundantly clear on how important technical assistance is for job creation through small business.

All in all, it was a successful conference. And to sneak in another reminder of the other important conference – our Annual Member Meeting is June 22-23.

Special Shout Out

The 2011 U.S. Micro Enterprise Census and the CAMEO Annual Survey

It’s time to stand up and be counted! And it’s time again for CAMEO’s annual survey.

As an industry, we must measure our impact in order to better advocate for Micro Enterprise and make our case to policy makers and funders. You, in turn, can use the data to help you secure funding and improve your programs and client services.

This year, we’d like to make it a little easier for you to complete our survey. We’re working with Aspen and FIELD on designing our survey so that you can prepare for two surveys at once, i.e. the questions will be very, very similar. Christine is almost done designing our survey. In the meanwhile fill out the 2011 U.S. Microenterprise Census.

The Goodies – trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, etc.

CAMEO Annual Member Meeting and Legislative Day: June 22-23, 2011 in Sacramento. The focus of this year’s meeting is on creating and promoting a powerful message about our work. Sign up! Please make your hotel arrangements early (discounted rate deadline is June 1). Call the Sheraton at 1-800-325-3535 to make reservations and mention “CAMEO event” to receive the reduced rate.

Funding Opportunity: Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the FY 2011 Funding Round of the Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program. The BEA Program encourages Insured Depository Institutions to increase their levels of loans, investments, services, and technical assistance within Distressed Communities, and financial assistance to CDFIs through grants, stock purchases, loans, deposits, and other forms of financial and technical assistance, during a specified period. The application is due on June 23rd, 2011. The CDFI Fund will also be hosting a conference call on June 1st, 2011.

Grant Opportunity: Discretionary Funds for Refugee Childcare Microenterprise Development Project. This grant initiative will provide Micro Enterprise business opportunities to refugee women focusing on childcare mentoring programs that will facilitate integration into the U.S. cultural norms and State Childcare requirements. The deadline is July 05, 2011.

Grant Opportunity: Attention rural members, SARE is a USDA competitive grants program that supports agricultural systems that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible. The grant just opened up and pre-proposals are due in June.

Another Rural grant opportunity. Tell your clients! The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a US Department of Agriculture program that helps farmers and ranchers who want to protect natural resources on their farms. Producers can apply for funds and technical assistance through this program.

Competition:The eBay Foundation and Ashoka’s Changemakers have launched a collaborative on-line competition called “Powering Economic Opportunity: Create a World that Works.” The competition seeks innovative, market-based solutions from around the world that create economic opportunity and generate employment for disadvantaged populations. Five winners will receive $50,000 each, and the competition deadline is June 15, 2011. Learn more about the competition.

Contest: The Verizon Small Business Center has launched a contest to recognize mothers across America who run their own business.The grand-prize winner will receive $5,000, a year of free cleaning service valued at $2,400, and other valuable prizes. Dads – you’ll have to wait until Father’s Day.

Until next week,

Heidi Pickman
Communications Manager