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National CDFI Academy

National CDFI Academy

Microlending CDFIs around the nation need access to robust, best-in-class training specific to their impactful work providing lending capital to BIPOC and low-income entrepreneurs. However, few (if any) resources exist that provide ongoing educational opportunities and skill development to staff and board members of microlenders.

Last year, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2022 Meeting, CAMEO committed to launch a National Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Academy to provide professional training and resources to thousands of CDFI staff members.

CAMEO is in an ideal position to fulfill this need given our track record delivering training. For the past five years, CAMEO has developed training as part of its CDFI Incubator for California microlending organizations that consistently sell out and have waiting lists. Each year an increasing number of microlenders around the country register for our classes and reach out to us for additional training resources to start new CDFIs or grow existing ones.

CAMEO committed at CGI to provide microlending best practices information, education, and training to more than 5,000 staff members of more than 400 CDFIs over three years. CAMEO anticipates that this professional training will allow CDFIs to increase their lending five-fold—deploying $500 million to 20,000 entrepreneurs over the three-year commitment period. 

CAMEO is partnering on this project with Appalachian Community Capital (ACC), led by Donna Gambrell, a former CDFI Fund Director. ACC is a membership network of 30 CDFIs in 13 states which has invested $20 million in micro/small business CDFIs. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

CAMEO seeks sponsors for course development and delivery to be created and implemented by CDFI experts and
consultants using the latest technology. The catalog is comprised of 45 courses. The budget to build out the new courses and deliver them at least once exceeds $1 million. Each course is a 2–3-hour session with an initial investment from CAMEO.

Our investment: CAMEO has invested over $500K the past 5 years to develop curriculum, consulting, and resources for CAMEO’s Academy including its signature Microlending Essentials (underwriting training) and CDFI Essentials (a year-long training cohort introducing key microlending and risk mitigation topics). This includes investment in our online Learning Management System. We are poised to include new courses that are vital to the sustainability and impact of microlending in the U.S. We invested additional funds in 2022 to develop and offer the first two new courses of the Academy.

Sponsor Levels

– Support the Academy’s
outreach, promotion, and
delivery infrastructure plus
course evaluation, ongoing
trainer recruitment, training,
and onboarding and participant

– Discounted course pricing and
access to advance registration
before it’s made available to the

– Listing as a Lead Sponsor.
– Sponsor one full set of one
functional series in a course
catalog including any additional
new courses within the same

– Discounted course pricing and
access to advance registration
before it’s made available to the

– Listing as a Visionary Sponsor.
– One or more courses in
the course catalog may be sponsored for $15K per course.

– Sponsoring a course supports
the curriculum development
and first-time delivery of the

– Listing as a Course Sponsor.


Past Courses

All past courses can be found and purchased via CAMEO Academy, our online learning platform.

  • CDFI Fund Certification Basics 101Delivered August 24, 2022
    • Learn the basics about the CDFI Fund including an overview of the CDFI industry and a deep dive into CDFI Fund certification requirements, benefits of becoming certified, CDFI grants and awards opportunities, and compliance and reporting.
  • SBA Microloan Program Basics 101Delivered September 28, 2022
    • Learn about the benefits of becoming an intermediary lender in the SBA Microloan Program. We share what you need to know about the application process to the SBA, lending capital loans, and technical assistance (TA) grants.
  • Strategic Management Framework SeriesDelivered March 15 – April 5, 2023
    • SMF 101: Overview of a Strategic Management Framework for CDFIs
    • SMF 102: Strategic Goal Setting
    • SMF 103: Multi-year Projections
    • SMF 104: Annual Operating Plan & Functional Feedback Loop

Upcoming Courses

  • CDFI Governance Structure Coming soon!

For more information, including a copy of the course catalog, please email Emily Gasner.


Interested in more CAMEO trainings?

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