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MicroLending Academy

The MicroLending Academy helps microlenders expand their capacity, skills, capital resources and technology adoption.

CAMEO is committed to increasing microlending in California by supporting our members to expand their capacity, skills, capital resources and technology adoption. CAMEO is creating a new program — the MicroLending Academy.


  • Significantly increase microlending among its members. An aspirational goal is five-fold growth.
  • Assist members to increase capacity and knowledge of best practices.
  • Showcase and support the adoption of technology for operations efficiency and loan production.
  • Promote access to capital for disadvantaged entrepreneurs.


  • Microenterprise is a pivotal part of job creation and economic development in California.
  • Existing organizations meet only about 0.10% of current microfinance needs.
  • Microlending has been a high-touch, labor intensive endeavor, making it expensive, suppressing supply.
  • New internet-based technology is changing the microlending process, allowing for cost reduction, increased efficiency and volume.
  • The new technology is bringing new players into the field, increasing competition for loan ready borrowers.


Access to Capital: appropriate for microlending


Serving the Disadvantaged: commitment, practices and products


Technology: tools to lower cost and improve quality


Best Practices: build staff capacity and lending systems


Increased Number of Microloans!


  • E Newsletter: articles, resources, technology, success stories, interviews, big picture ideas on all Lending Academy features
  • CDFI Essentials: work with peers to strengthen your microloan program; share your insights and innovations
    • CDFI Essentials Monthly Call
  • Excellence in Lending (EiL): Developing industry wide metrics for California’s microlenders
  • Best Practices Training: training opportunities for staff development and lending systems improvement
    • Microlending Essentials Training: a 2-day comprehensive training on how to underwrite microloans including hands on case studies and loan analysis
    • Loan Policy Manual: Susan Brown, our microlending expert, created Phase I of a Community Loan Policy Manual Workbook to assist community lenders to create fully developed loan policies manual. Lenders of every stripe that address each topic and answer all the questions will have a complete loan manual that reflects a comprehensive approach to the details of running a high-quality program.
  • Individual Consulting: receive help to implement new lending processes and all aspects of the Lending Academy
  • Training Support: identify training opportunities and provide monetary support for travel expenses
  • Technology: CAMEO is partnering with technology developers to provide support and discount.