Rural Initiative

CAMEO’s Rural Initiative aims to support and expand rural micro-business development programs.

CAMEO began the Rural Initiative in 2008 to support and expand rural Micro Business development program because rural communities face significantly different circumstances than urban areas. The program has grown from peer calls to advocacy to full blown programs.

In 2013, Rabobank provided the seed funding for the MMS program, an online underwriting platform, to increase lending in rural areas. The following year we created the Go to Market program centered around specialty foods. Our first one took place on May 28, 2014 in Watsonville. The program is designed to provide first class training in rural areas that otherwise wouldn’t have access to the information. Since 2014, we’ve held another Go to Market in Chico and will hold one in Fresno in 2017.

CAMEO’s Rural Initiative provides:

  • Advocacy:  Working at a State and National policy levels to create Micro Enterprise friendly policy and to increase the funding available through public programs.
  • Resources:  Collaborating with corporations, banks and foundations to develop rural Micro Enterprise initiatives.
  • Training: Providing access to training and webinars to build capacity and increase innovation.
  • Programs:  Developing member-led programs to increase collaboration, networking and access to resources
  • Networking:  Convening members in-person and virtually for exchange of ideas
  • Research:  Staying abreast of program developments, significant research and policy papers to build the case and visibility of rural Micro Enterprise

Join us in building a vibrant Rural Micro Enterprise community!

Annual Rural Conference: 
CAMEO devotes part of every Annual Meeting to Rural issues and networking.
Regional Meetings: 
CAMEO regularly holds regional member meetings throughout California so we can learn about your programs and tailor our services to meet your needs.
Organizational Technical Assistance: 
CAMEO provides individual assistance to members.
Legislative Meetings: 
Meet with your state legislator to build relationships, build visibility, and educate policy makers about Micro Enterprise.

CAMEO rural Micro Enterprise program managers convened in October 2008 to discuss the issues they face and brainstorm ways to address those issues. CAMEO’s Rural Initiative Action Plan was developed in January 2009 to address the needs of the group.