MicroLending Essentials


CAMEO created Microlending Essentials, an underwriting training for business coaching and lending organizations on the practice of microlending underwriting, to support access-to-capital programs for microbusinesses.  We cover underwriting criteria, credit memo structure and writing, credit history and global cash analysis – all designed appropriately for microlending.

What makes this training different?

  • The participants apply all the analyses they learned to three actual microloan application case studies.
  • We provide a structured credit memo form that walks participants through each step of the underwriting process.
  • We review the design and structure of a grid to create clear and consistent underwriting criteria.

MiLEs  is for both lenders who want better underwriting structure skills and for business coaches who want to increase their abilities to get clients access to capital. The course is a week-long virtual training, over 5 consecutive days, 3 hours each day.


May 2023

Microlending Essentials is an excellent course! It is definitely a great introduction for those unfamiliar to the world of underwriting and it’s a vehicle through which existing skills can be sharpened! The instructor/student interaction is an added plus for all levels.

Anita, Working Solutions

The Microlending Essentials was a great opportunity to review the basic terms and trends of this work. I enjoyed doing the practice of the case studies and having conversations with the other group participants. Understanding that no application has a black and white answer, rather it implies doing great research and development of lending guidelines for the organization, depending on your mission lenses, I learned that building a grid and process for the applicant can make the difference for providing an exceptional experience in the loan journey.


February 2023

Just got promoted to the Program Director position so this training was amazing; it helped me understand how the underwriting process for a loan is. I could realize how we can better our own microloan program.


May 2022

The MILES course was so helpful to me as a new lender! I appreciated the patient and thorough instructor, she answered all of our questions while keeping a steady but not overwhelming pace. Thanks!

Hannah, Arcata EDC

Wonderful program focused on microlending-specific underwriting. Opportunity to learn via hands-on through small business breakouts as well as connect with other organizations doing similar or complimentary work.

Lia, Community Fund of North Miami Dade

The course material was very helpful, class materials were excellent and I was given a basic overview of underwriting principles and how to write a credit memo, will use the template going forward to work with new businesses in help explain importance of financial and helping with business plan.

Victor, Access Plus Capital

January 2022

I started this session with minimal understanding of the underwriting process and am walking away feeling well-equipped to help my organization with our loan program. This course shed light on the importance of a structured process and has encouraged us to review how to scale our growth and impact.

Alejandra Garcia, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network

I believe that you taught us a golden rule that is often missed: As a lender (and more generally as a businessperson), we are actively trying to reach a ‘yes’ without compromising our standards.

Mohammed Al Ani, International Rescue Committee