A list of current opportunities for trainings, conferences, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks.
Funding Opportunity: The SBA’s Aspire Challenge is a $1.2 million prize competition that will award up to 16 awards of $75,000 to organizations across the nation who can deliver entrepreneurial training to individuals who have been formerly incarcerated. The application deadline is February 12, 2017 with winners be announced no later than March 14.
Free Webinar: Credit Bureau Alliance will share the results of a new survey of CBA’s Reporter members about the benefits of reporting client loan data to the three major credit bureaus. Register for the webinar on February 16, 2017 at 11:00am PST // 2:00pm EST. This webinar is open to the public. Feel free to share this invitation.
Organizational Development: Join CAMEO member Catherine Marshall for a one-day workshop – One Page Business Plan for Non-profit Organizations Workshop on February 22, 2017 in Sacramento. Spend an afternoon to clarify your leadership plan and guide your mission’s work.
CDFI Conference: The CDFI Coalition will hold its 2017 Institute on February 28 and March 1 at the Capital Hilton Hotel, 1001 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. The agenda will include speakers and topics of interest and importance to the CDFI Industry. Panelists will include federal agency leaders and industry experts with topics ranging from the 115th Congress and Trump Administration priorities, to the CDFI Fund and other federal resources, as well as private sector sources of capital for CDFIs.
For Your Clients: Join a global community of impactful entrepreneurs with Stanford Ignite, a transformative program where innovators with military backgrounds learn core business skills such as prototyping, marketing, accounting, leadership and much more. Applications are due March 2, 2017.
For Your Clients: The U.S. SBA opened the third year of the InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Challenge (the Challenge), pursuant to the America Competes Act, for entrepreneurs to create a product or service that has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. Organizations that wish to host a local competition as part of the initial round of this Challenge must send a request to the SBA no later than March 10, 2017. (Click on first link in sentence and scroll half way down the page.)
Advocacy Day: This year, OFN’s Advocacy Day will take place on May 16–17, 2017. During Advocacy Day, your voice is needed to make the case to members of Congress and Administration officials about the importance of funding for the CDFI Fund, the industry, and our communities.
Funding Opportunity: OFN announced their NEXT Fund for Innovation, a pilot that will provide flexible capital in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to CDFIs with innovative ideas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis now through June 30, 2017. The fund is open to all qualifying CDFIs, including non-OFN Members and past NEXT Awards recipients.
New Report: Aspen Institute published a new white paper – “Bridging the Divide: How Business Ownership Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap.” Tweet it out!
New Report: CFED released “Administrative Actions to Close the Ever-Growing Gap.” This document describes seven administrative policy proposals President Trump could take that would help solve the problems of financial insecurity, wealth inequality and the growing racial wealth divide.
New Report: The US SBA’s Office of Advocacy released “Explaining the Emergence of the Immigrant Entrepreneur.” This report found an explanation for the growth in the number of immigrant entrepreneurs. Put simply, age is related to self-employment, and immigrants are getting older. In addition, as the native-born Baby Boomers age and retire, the number of self-employed will decline.
Funding Opportunity: Opportunity Fund recently launched its Community Partner Program. The program can supplement the missions and programs of other non-profits by serving as a microloan program for those who do not have one and complementing the services of those who do. Partners receive several benefits, including an in-depth look at the credit and underwriting criteria and a 5% commission on every qualified referral booked for loans between $5,000 and $50,000. If you have questions or are interested, please contact Robert Zapata by email or phone 323.506.3529.
New Poll: Small Business Majority has a new poll on small business owners’ views on the rising costs of prescription drugs. Cliff note: they’re too high!
Take Action: Sign on to ASBC’s #WeRespectAll campaign. For our economy and a civil society to succeed, it is important to reach out to diverse constituencies, support an inclusive culture, ensure that relevant voices of all people directly affected are heard and that the economy taps the capabilities, creativity, and industriousness of all Americans. We signed.
Take Action: Tell @BusinessForward your top business priorities for Congress (and tweet about it – add the URL – bit.ly/1tgpJDr)!
Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.
Take Action: American Sustainable Business Council started a petition from the business community in support of immigrants and refugees.
FOR YOUR CLIENTS
For Your Clients: The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the health insurance marketplaces is an unknown. In California, a lot of confusion and misinformation about what this means for the state’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, and enrollment options for 2017 is floating around. Small Business Majority sets the record straight on healthcare in California with a few key points to keep in mind. In a nutshell, if you signed up for 2017, you’re covered for 2017.
For Your Clients: The LA Business Portal provides you with all of the information you need to plan, start, manage, and grow your business. Try our Start Up Guide to quickly map out how to register your new business and be compliant. Explore a rich library of content and resources to help you manage and grow your business.
For Your Clients: The SBA launches certify.sba.gov to assist small firms doing business with federal government; streamline applications and eliminate documentation obstacles. This new website starts with a focus on closing market gaps for women entrepreneurs in the federal marketplace by featuring the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program.
For Your Clients: The California Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) has designed new mobile versions of fact sheets to help employers understand and follow labor, licensing and payroll tax laws. The fact sheets have been designed for employers in specific industries including: Agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Garment, Landscaping and Restaurant.
For Your Clients: The Obama Administration’s final overtime rule, published on May 18, will make an estimated 4.2 million new workers eligible for overtime pay. Salaried workers, making up to $47,476 annually, will get time-and-a-half payments for work over 40 hours in a week. The effective date is December 1, 2016.
For Your Clients: The Governor signed SB 269 (Roth). The bill gives small businesses (less than 50 employees) that hire a Certified Access Specialist time to take care of problems related to disability access before a lawsuit can be filed in California courts. It also allows some time to take care of problems with signage and warning strips. Note a suit in Federal courts is still allowed because a state cannot preempt the Federal government. It is hoped the Federal Court will take this as a good faith effort on the part of small businesses.
For Your Clients: On Monday, May 16, new SEC rules became effective allowing businesses for the first time to provide equity to investors through crowdfunding platforms. Given uncertainty in the funding market for startups, these new rules could be extremely useful to entrepreneurs. (Click for infographic published by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.)
For Your Client: OFN has a new small business borrower education platform – Venturize.
For Your Client: As of January 1, 2016 California employers are subject to nine new laws. Thanks to Cutting Edge for this post and keeping us all informed.
For Your Clients: The U.S. Census Bureau recently released The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition. It’s a tool that allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new or expanding their existing business. These key data includes the most recent and/or relevant data that Census provides that are useful to small business owners.
For Your Clients: Banks are issuing new chip-enabled payment cards that are more secure. The deadline for phasing in these cards is October 1, 2015. Businesses need to install new card readers to process the information on the chips. Those that do not have the new technology in place by then will be on the hook for any security lapses or fraudulent transactions, instead of payment-processing firms.
For Your Clients: Six million young Americans are both out of school and out of work – a staggering number that contributes to weak economic demand. At the same time, small business leaders are struggling to fill job vacancies that are critical to both individual company success and overall economic growth. Small Business Majority has identified some best practices that will help address this problem while also benefiting small employers. Have your clients pledge to help youth employment and check out our best practices.
For Your Clients: The Affordable Care Act or ACA enacted comprehensive health insurance reforms designed to ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance. Check out the provisions for businesses with fewer than 25 employees and the self-employed.
Healthcare Info: Thanks to Small Business Majority for healthcare resources. Small business owners and the self-employed need to know how the Affordable Care Act will bring down costs, create a greater choice of insurance options, and the opportunities it offers to expand coverage.
For Your Clients: Small, nonfarm businesses in 35 California counties are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. SBA because of the drought.
For Your Clients: Small businesses are always looking for potential clients. Joe Molina, a CAMEO member, can provide a ‘Targeted Leads List’ that has businesses contact info, targeted by zip codes, geographical areas, time in business and number of employees. Your clients can then effectively market to those businesses that will be more likely to purchase his/her product and/or service. Contact Joe directly: email@example.com.
microTracker Relaunches: FIELD at the Aspen Institute is thrilled to announce the new microTracker.org, their nationwide database on US microenterprise development organizations. MicroTracker gives you the ability to explore, analyze, and compare data on microenterprise programs across the country. The new site is updated to give flexibility, better navigation, and more ability for downloading analysis.
Entrepreneur Tracker: Join the seven CAMEO members who are using FIELD’s Entrepreneur Tracker. The tool offers a credible, affordable way to collect and understand outcomes achieved by small business and microbusiness clients. Such outcomes include: Business start and survival rates, jobs, changes in revenue, hourly wages paid to workers, and client movement out of poverty. To discuss pricing and learn more about EntrepreneurTracker, please contact Lavanya Mohan.
Free Fundraising Tool: Take the Leaky Bucket Assessment for Effective Fundraising. By taking this Assessment, a nonprofit will have a better understanding of their fundraising resources and see where they stand in relation to other nonprofits.
New Resources: The Federal Reserve has two new resources regarding their work in community development – 1) a new community development web portal with information, resources, case studies, research, regional efforts, etc. and 2) Federal Reserve Community Development Perspectives: A summary of activities, insights, and future opportunities.
New Report: The SBA’s Office of Advocacy has a new report – The Arrival of the Immigrant Entrepreneur. Over the last 20 years, the role of immigrant entrepreneurs has grown. The percentage of the self-employed who were born abroad more than doubled between 1994 and 2015, growing from 8.6 percent to 19.5 percent. This report shows that the growth was caused by three changes — an increase in the size of the population born abroad, an increase in self-employment among those born abroad, and a decrease in self-employment overall.
New Report: “The State of Small Business in America” was issued by Babson College fall 2016.
New Report: Opportunity Fund released a very important research report, “Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street.” Until now, we have been relying on stories to explain what’s happening with online lending. Now we’ve got some data on the loans and cash advances being offered to small businesses by short-term, high-cost alternative lenders. Cliff notes on findings: 94% interest rates; average payment is 1.78x income -YIKES.
New Report: Asset Funders Network recently published “Prison to Proprietor: Entrepreneurship as a Re-Entry Strategy.” The report features several programs that use business ownership to build skills, connections, and attitudes that strengthen the ability of formerly-incarcerated individuals to succeed as they re-enter their communities. Such programs improve chances of employment, reduce recidivism and benefit both the individual and the community. The expansion of business ownership and entrepreneurship opportunities may particularly benefit people and communities of color who are disproportionately affected by incarceration.
Dan Beam’s Report: The 2016 CAMEO Member Meeting Report by Dan Beam is a Must Read. CAMEO is ready for a whole new stage of evolution. Ushering in a new economic era carries both challenges and opportunity for CAMEO and its member organizations. Find out what’s shifting in the world today, and how CAMEO – and you!- can engage with the changes. We’d love your feedback from the Annual Meeting, the roles for CAMEO, and this report.
California Economy: Check out the Fast Facts on California Economy published by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE). The state has the 6th largest economy in the world with a $2.45 trillion GDP, July 2016.
New Report: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance issued a new report that suggests a troubling explanation for the dwindling ranks of small businesses. “Drawing on examples in pharmacy, banking, telecommunications, and retail, it finds that big companies routinely use their size and their economic and political power to undermine their smaller rivals and exclude them from markets.”
New Report: Seven Federal Reserve Banks (Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and St. Louis) released Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms. The three main findings: financing success improved in 2015; businesses most satisfied with small bank lending; and online lenders are popular—but they have lowest borrower satisfaction levels.
New Report: Civic Economics new report – Amazon and Empty Storefronts – looks at two broad classes of impact: Fiscal (relating to public revenue) and Land Use (relating to development patterns at the local level).
New Report: Our friends Carolyn Oeckels and Steve King at Emergent Research just published the 5th Annual MBO Partners State of Independence study. The self-employment trend keeps getting stronger and stronger. In the next five years, the number of independent workers will be almost 38 million.
New Report: Read FIELD’s new report Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs. They found that workers value the flexibility, fulfillment, and skill-building opportunities offered by their microbusiness jobs and 63% of respondents made wages at or above President Obama’s proposed increase to the minimum wage. They also found out that there’s a 1-5 cost-benefit ratio for micro business development (for every $1 of grant money spent on micro business development, $5 is created in economic activity) and microbusinesses create opportunity for those that struggle the most.
CFED Scorecards: California ranked 20th overall for the business and jobs category and 10th in microbusiness ownership. If we were performing as well as the best performing state (Florida) , then there would be 683,938 more workers owning microbusinesses! Download a complete California profile with a focus on microbusiness.
New Report: From Best Cities for Minorities: Gauging the Economics of Opportunity – “Today, the small business environment has become increasingly reflective of the country’s changing demography, with all three large ethnic groups expanding their entrepreneurial presence faster than the Anglo population…. Self-employment represents one of the clearest paths for minorities to improve their status…their share of firms and revenues still greatly trails that of Anglos.”
New Report: Small Business Majority released a paper examining the impact of freelancers on the economy, how emerging technologies are paving the way for more people to work for themselves and how the U.S. can update broadband policies that address the needs of this new workforce.
New Report: CFED released its new breakdown of national IRS data on the 2014 tax season, which shows that volunteers helped over 3.2 million taxpayers get $3.89 billion in tax refunds in the U.S>, $330 million in California. Filing an accurate tax return is critical to obtaining small business loans and other financing.
New Essay: Joyce Klein of Aspen Institute’s FIELD program writes how impact investments can be used to scale microlending. The essay appears in a larger publication – Bottom Line – that addresses how impact investment can improve economic mobility in the U.S.
New Report: FIELD, in partnership with the Citi Foundation, is pleased to announce the release of the newest findings from the Asset Building through Credit Pilot. The demonstration project worked with five microenterprise programs to test the delivery of secured card, combined with credit coaching, as a tool to help aspiring entrepreneurs to build their credit and move toward their business goals.
New Report: Accion’s The Orange Book 2014 – What’s on the minds of America’s small business owners? The Orange Book offers a timely and insightful look at the current state of the economy through the lens of “everyday entrepreneurs” — individuals who own very small businesses with less than five employees.
New Report: Would you value data on microenterprise jobs, job quality and the return on investment of microenterprise? Are you trying to make the case for supporting microenterprise? Visit FIELD’s site, Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs www.gainfuljobs.org, for the report and all the information you need to answer those questions.
New Report: Boku Kodama of Renaissance Marin spent his holiday break researching and writing about redefining entrepreneurship to open it up to those who hadn’t considered it before, yet had limited options. The result is a paper that frames the work he was doing with people with disabilities (Entrepreneurs Enable Forum), encorepreneurs (older workers locked out by age discrimination), and 18 to 25 year-olds. The paper is “5 Reasons to be an Entrepreneur” and provides a lot of food for thought and possible messaging for you and your programs.
New Report: CFED released Innovations in Microbusiness: Enhancing the Financial Security of Low-Income Entrepreneurs, which details what they learned from a year of partnership with Capital One and some of the microbusiness field’s most innovative organizations – and guess who is one of them! The report documents what they’re doing to help clients achieve financial security and explores strategies for these new approaches that could grow to scale.
New Report: CFED also released Enhancing Support for Lower-income Entrepreneurs through Major Public Systems. The report looks at the ways that policy systems support LMI entrepreneurs and identifies opportunities to expand and improve those services.
Webinar Resources: Access CFED’s Building Better Business Financial Capability Solutions webinar and/or download the slides. Download the Finding Common Threads brief to learn about the set of themes that define business owners; desires, values and behaviors discussed on the webinar.
New Data Source: The Federal Reserve has put together some nifty data for the following counties: Alameda, Humboldt, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco, and Tulare for their Vantage Point Community Indicators Project. Info includes demographic, educational, financial stability, employment, and housing measures for a sample of cities, towns, and/or zip codes in the county, with comparative measures included for the US, your state, and your county. The reports include presentation-ready graphs that you are welcome to use in your own work and share with your community.
Crowdfunding Primer: A new crowdfunding provision created in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (JOBS Act) allows businesses to sell shares of their company to a large number of small investors without the expense and reporting requirements associated with going public. Crowdfunding is already being used for charity fundraising and to provide seed money for projects that might provide a prize or reward to investors, such as early access to a music album or tickets to a charity event. But when the JOBS Act’s final provisions go into effect, retail crowdfunding, or the offer and sale of shares of private businesses to members of the general public (unaccredited investors), will also be permitted. Demystify crowdfunding with this primer.