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2013 Top Three CAMEO Microlenders

CAMEO’s microlenders made 2,049 loans last year, a 30% increase over 2012, but the majority of those loans came from the following three lenders:  Opportunity Fund, VEDC and Accion San Diego. Seventy-seven percent of all CAMEO loans came from three lenders, and over half came from Opportunity Fund.  Overall these three programs have seen significant growth from 2011, anywhere from doubling or tripling the number of loans they’ve made and increasing the dollars on the street – all while maintaining their portfolio’s quality.

This is snapshot of those organizations’ lending programs; for more information, visit the microTracker website, or see our forthcoming white paper on the 2013 Microenterprise Census.


Opportunity Fund has seen the fastest growth among CAMEO’s microlenders, almost tripling the number of loans they made in 2011. They account for more than half of the total lending activity among our member network, and made 1,067 loans in 2013 with a combined volume of $11.1 million; the average loan size was $10,381. This represents a 21% increase over the previous year’s 882 loans, and a 296% increase over 2011. Despite the size of their portfolio, their borrowers pay on time and consistently, with less than 1% of their loan dollars declared unrecoverable at year’s end. They served 1,481 clients.

Opportunity Fund reported $3.33 million in revenue for the microenterprise program last year, supporting 20 FTE staff and 8.9 FTE loan officers. Their average revenue per client was $2,251.

Learn more at Opportunity Fund’s microTracker profile.


The second largest lender in our network, the Valley Economic Development Center served 1,849 clients in 2013, 302 of whom received microloans totalling $2.3 million. Their average loan size was $7,616. VEDC has also grown substantially over the last three years, more than doubling their number of loans since 2012 while maintaining the quality of their portfolio; less than 3% of the loan dollars were declared unrecoverable last year.

The organization has an annual revenue of $925,000 that supports five full time employees or equivalent, four of whom are loan officers. This is a revenue per client of just $500.

Learn more at VEDC’s microTracker profile!



Accion San Diego has also seen consistent growth over the last several years, doubling their lending activity from 2011. In 2013, Accion served 710 clients, and made 206 microloans for a total of $2.5 million. Their average loan size was $11,915. Like our other top lenders, they were able to grow without a huge leap in loan defaults; only 0.6% of their total loan volume was declared unrecoverable in 2013.

Accion San Diego has an annual revenue of $2.02 million dollars, and has 14 full-time or equivalent employees working in its micro program, including 3 FTE loan officers. Their revenue per client ratio is $2,849.

Learn more at Accion’s microTracker profile!

WOVEN Logistics

Information about parking, nearby hotels and other logistics will be posted here.

WOVEN Speakers

Marsha Bailey
CEO/Founder, Women’s Economic Ventures
Chair, Association of Women’s Business Centers

Lunch Keynote: Introduction


Lisa photoLisa Baird
Business Designer

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Branding

Lisa has twelve years experience in finance and financial strategy. She is a business designer with a passion for new-venture design, and she has a particular interest in the interactive power of advanced financial models. Lisa believes that a well-designed financial model doesn’t look like a financial model at all — through beautiful design it empowers non-numbers people and bean-counters alike to imagine (and re-imagine) new businesses, products, services, and experiences.

Lisa started her career in investment banking in New York before moving into enterprise finance at two large public university systems in Texas and California. Immediately prior to IDEO, Lisa was a Senior Program Officer in the postsecondary education group at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Lisa earned her MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. Lisa is a luxury/fashion hobbyist, and in her free time, she runs a couple of small consumer-facing startups in the luxury and travel markets.


Karen Bates photoKaren Bates
Founder of Military Loans
President, The VApro Network

Lunch Keynote

Karen completed eight years of service as a Naval Air Traffic Controller and then became a Certified Public Accountant. In 2004, Karen combined her military background with her fi-nancial expertise and founded Military Home Loans. Her passion is to ensure Veterans never miss the opportunity to experience their American dream. In 2014, loaded with 10 years of knowledge and experience from closing over 600 VA transactions, Karen and her husband Ken created The VApro Network. The VApro Network offers an in-depth VA sales training course and coaching platform for women Veterans. These graduates can then provide exclusive VA training to their own agents and provide the value that agents are craving from their lending partners.

Karen is California’s 2013 Mortgage Professional of the Year and was featured on Yahoo Finance for earning and retaining $1 million as a female entrepreneur. Karen is devoted to her husband of 16 years and is blessed with their beautiful daughter Eliza-beth (8).


Valery BellosoValery Belloso
Business Development Officer
Accion San Diego

Morning Breakout: Microlending

Valery has worked with the organization for over eight years. As a BDO, she is instrumental in referral cultivation, partnership development, planning and executing Accion’s educational business events and raising awareness about Accion’s services in order to serve a larger number of entrepreneurs within San Diego County. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of San Diego and a Masters in Spanish Language and Literature from San Diego State University.


Betsy Densmore photoBetsy Densmore
Academies for Social Entrepreneurship (ASE)

Morning Breakout: Demystifying Entrepreneurship

As ASE’s Director, Betsy has counseled two hundred not-for-profit organizations, catalyzing over ten million dollars in new revenue for charitable ventures. Densmore is an entrepreneur herself, having founded three hospitality businesses, an insurance agency and two nonprofit organizations. In addition to running ASE, she is part owner of two Mexican restaurants. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Education and Psychology, where she teaches in their Social Entrepreneurship and Change Masters Program. Prior to launching ASE, she managed an office and lead programs for a global training and development organization for ten years. Her experience also includes a decade of service as the Executive Director of a community foundation, running an energy services social enterprise, and serving as the Manager of Consumer and Community Affairs for a Fortune 500 retailer. Born in Massachusetts, and a veteran of 25 years in the Midwest, she now serves on the Boards LA Social Venture Partners and the LA Chapter of Social Enterprise Alliance. She holds an MA in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Daniel Fernandez
Regional Manager, Los Angeles
Opportunity Fund

Morning Breakout: Microlending


DJ Healy headshotDaniel J. Healy
Centro Community Partner
Entrepreneur Readiness Program

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Business Planning

Daniel’s primary responsibilities include managing Centro’s entrepreneurship development programs and training entrepreneurs. Daniel has also been leading Centro’s efforts to innovate its educational content by designing interactive learning activities that develop entrepreneurs’ business competencies, analytical abilities and creative thinking skills. Daniel has more than eight years of experience in education and economic development. Before joining Centro, he worked as Peace Corps, Business English teacher, professional trainer, business advisor and social entrepreneur. He has a BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management.


Misa PhotoMisa Misono
Business Design Lead

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Branding

Since joining IDEO, she has led work across industries, ranging from education to beauty to food. She is especially interested in prototyping, connecting the physical with digital, and helping brands grow.  Misa previously worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble. She was a digital leader within the company, helping Secret Deodorant to win marketing innovation awards and receive national media attention from publications including The New York Times, CNN, and AdAge. Prior to P&G, Misa ran her own fashion design business, where she created custom clothing, bags, and accessories. She also ran a research group and public relations for two major universities.  She holds an MBA from Duke University and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Boston University. In her free time, you might find Misa behind a sewing machine, working on her latest clothing project, or planning her next dive trip.



Brandon Napoli photoBrandon Napoli
Director of Microlending

Morning Breakout: Microlending

Brandon holds an MBA in Strategic Management and has over seven years of economic development experience. He founded the microfinance club at Point Loma Nazarene University and has taught financial literacy to refugees at the International Rescue Center in San Diego. His passion for microfinance led him from Kenya to the Microfinance Summit in Nova Scotia before joining the Peace Corps in Latin America. Brandon’s work is focused on empowering small and medium businesses by providing quality alternative lending options.


Dr. Garnett Newcombe
Human Potential Consultants, LLC

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting

In 1997, Newcombe and Joyce Keener, established HPC as a unique resource to provide comprehensive employment solutions for federal, state and local governmental agencies. Services include support staffing and program management for individuals classified as having extraordinary challenges with re-entering the workforce. The company is one of only a handful that provides a wide range of diverse employment solution services. Newcombe has over 20 years of experience in community outreach, recruitment and working with individuals classified as having extraordinary challenges with re-entering the workforce such as persons with disabilities, veterans, dislocated workers and formerly incarcerated persons. Her expertise in research, program management and development; and, service delivery of various programs evolved while teaching as an Adjunct Professor at several Southern California Community Colleges and California State University, Dominguez Hills, for more than ten years.


Sandra Schneeberger
Sanderg Group, Inc

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting


Mike Sebellico
Executive Director
Disable Veterans Business Alliance

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting (moderator)


Jesse Torres
Regional Director, Los Angeles SBDC Lead Center
Chair, CA SBDC Leadership Council

Afternoon Breakout II: Financing for Growth

ACA Enrollment Starts November 15

The second year of Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges begins November 15th. That day will be the beginning of open enrollment allowing millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance for 2015. Californians can shop for 2015 insurance policies on Covered California.

Key dates:

  • November 15, 2014: Open Enrollment begins.
  • December 15, 2014: Deadline to enroll in health insurance plan for January 1 start date.
  • December 31, 2014: Coverage from ANY 2014 plan ends.
  • January 1, 2015: 2015 coverage begins for anyone enrolled prior to December 15, 2014.
  • February 15, 2015: Open Enrollment closes for 2015 coverage. Only those qualifying for ‘special enrollment’ will still be able to apply. Special enrollment requires one of the following events: marriage, birth/adoption, loss of coverage (including changing jobs). Medicaid/CHIP applicants, as well as any SHOP applicants, can enroll at any time throughout the year.

$$$: Penalties/Fees/Taxes

  • Beginning in 2014, Americans without health insurance are required to pay a penalty on the following years taxes. In 2014, the penalty was the greater of 1% of income or $95. This penalty should be paid on your 2014 tax return, most often filed in spring 2015.
  • In 2015, the penalty for not having coverage increase to 2% of income or $325, whichever is higher. This would be paid on your 2015 tax return, most often filed in spring 2016.
  • Tax Credit: Available to small businesses that purchase insurance through the SHOP exchange. This is retroactive (meaning you can claim if you paid for employee premiums).

More information on 2015 ACA  is available.

MMS Year End Report

We’ve come to the end of our first MMS program year and want to share the outcomes. We appreciate everyone’s participation in the program and look forward to working together in the coming year to further build success. Three organizations participated in the pilot — CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego, Women’s Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, and Working Solutions in the Bay Area.


In this first year all our participating organizations have:

  • Seen their lending activity increase, with one organization almost doubling the number of loans made over the 2012 program year.
  • Become proficient using the MMS program, including the Auto Review, Required Document List and communication with Accion Texas underwriting
  • Learned the MMS underwriting parameters, and have begun to identify modifications they may want to make to customize the underwriting criteria.

As a cohort, the three members of the program now constitute the fourth largest microlender in the CAMEO network with 85 loans funded. On average, lending by the cohort has increased 150% in first year of this pilot. A fourth organization, Opening Doors in Sacramento, has joined the cohort.  We can’t wait to see what they do!

Download the Executive Summary for more information.


CAMEO, Opportunity Fund Receive PRIME Grants

The U.S. Small Business Administration has released its list of PRIME grantees, and CAMEO, Opportunity Fund and PACE have received grant funds.  “PRIME grants are an important vehicle for the SBA to provide ladders of opportunity to underserved, economically disadvantaged small business communities. These micro-loans have a macro-impact by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and propelling small businesses forward,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

“PRIME funding is crucial to building the infrastructure that helps our small and microbusinesses start, grow and thrive,” Claudia Viek, CAMEO’s Chief Executive Officer, said of the program. “When businesses receive assistance from CAMEO members, they have an 80% success rate and create 2 additional jobs over 3 to 5 years.”

Full text of the press release below.

SBA Awards PRIME Grants to CAMEO and Opportunity Fund

Grants to aid organizations that help disadvantaged small businesses in Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the recipients of SBA’s Program for Investment in Micro Entrepreneurs Act (PRIME) grant awards, including funds for California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) to build capacity amongst local Micro-Development Organizations (MDOs) and Opportunity Fund to bolster its alternative loan program.

“PRIME grants are an important vehicle for the SBA to provide ladders of opportunity to underserved, economically disadvantaged small business communities. These micro-loans have a macro-impact by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and propelling small businesses forward,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

PRIME grants are intended to help qualified community-based organizations provide training to small businesses with five or fewer employees that are economically disadvantaged, and businesses owned by low-income individuals, including those who live on Indian reservations and tribal lands.

Twenty-four nonprofit organizations from 16 states and the District of Columbia were named this year. Grant awards ranged from $94,000 to $250,000 and totaled $3.5 million. The grants require a 50 percent matching funds contribution by each recipient organization.  CAMEO received a grant for $175,000 and Opportunity Fund received a grant for $150,000.

CAMEO is California’s statewide micro-business network made up of over 170 organizations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to furthering Micro-Business development in California. They expand resources and build capacity for their member organizations, which provide micro-entrepreneurs with financing such as loans and credit, technical assistance and business management training.

CAMEO was one of only four organizations selected for Track II PRIME funding, which concentrates on assisting qualified MDOs to build capacity by applying new technology.  CAMEO’s program will target 50 MDOs in California – to teach and support adoption of a business planning phone app and ACCION Texas’ Microloan Management Services platform. The goal is to increase organizational efficiency and decrease costs.

“PRIME funding is crucial to building the infrastructure that helps our small and microbusinesses start, grow and thrive,” Claudia Viek, CAMEO’s Chief Executive Officer, said of the program. “When businesses receive assistance from CAMEO members, they have an 80% success rate and create 2 additional jobs over 3 to 5 years.”

Opportunity Fund is an SBA-approved Micro-lender and provides direct financing and technical assistance services to entrepreneurs throughout Northern California.  A not-for-profit financial institution, Opportunity Fund advances the economic well-being of working families by helping them earn, save, and invest in the future.

Opportunity Fund will use its PRIME grant to bolster its EasyPay loan program. The EasyPay program is an innovative alternative loan product that enables underserved small business owners access to technical assistance and capital, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.  Loan payments are automatically deducted from their daily credit/debit card sales of the small businesses. Instead of making monthly installment payments, EasyPay borrowers base their loan repayment on their actual credit/debit card revenue by “splitting” a small, fixed percentage of each card transaction toward loan payments. Offered at low or fixed interest rates, EasyPay provides a convenient and efficient way to meet the capital and technical assistance needs of small businesses while helping these borrowers build a bankable credit history.

“EasyPay is designed to bring fair, transparent advice and capital to small business owners besieged by a growing number of high-cost, unregulated ‘alternative lenders,’” said Eric Weaver, Opportunity Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. “This grant will help us continue to expand access to affordable capital and the advice entrepreneurs in California need to invest in their businesses, create jobs, and stimulate the local economy.”

For more information on PRIME grants and a list of this year’s awardees, visit

CAMEO Members Host Etsy Classes in Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Sentinel featured a front-page story this morning on the Etsy classes offered by Santa Cruz County, and several CAMEO members were mentioned as supporting the event! There are over 400 Etsy sellers in Santa Cruz County, and more than 90 county residents signed up to take the classes.

Barbara Mason, Santa Cruz County’s economic coordinator, contacted Etsy after learning Santa Cruz County has 400 active Etsy sellers. She didn’t expect a call back from Chief Executive Officer Chad Dickerson. Bottom line: Santa Cruz County is the fourth in the nation to offer craft entrepreneurship classes.

About a dozen organizations including the Central Coast Small Business Development Center contributed funding or time to make the classes possible. … Pricing will be covered this week along with resources such as El Pajaro Community Development Corp., an incubator, Opportunity Fund, which makes loans of up to $5,000, and micro-lenders associated with the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity.

(read more)


Women’s Small Business Ownership Act

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has introduced the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014. The bill nearly doubles funding for Women’s Business Centers, increases federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses, and increases microlending.

From the bill summary:

Women’s Small Business Counseling:Currently, there are 107 local non-profit organizations that host the Women’s Business Centers located throughout most of the U.S., which help more than 150,000 clients annually and is overseen by the SBA Office of Women Ownership. This legislation would reauthorize the Women’s Business Center program through fiscal year 2019 and nearly doubles funding authorization from $14.5 million a year to $26.75 million a year, while establishing clear rules and metrics to evaluate the success of each center.

Women’s Small Business Contracting:This legislation would authorize sole source awards to women-owned small businesses, creating parity for the Women-Owned Small Business program in terms of federal contracting opportunities. Under current law, women-owned small businesses are not eligible for sole-source contracts from the federal government. The federal government has a goal of awarding 5% of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses. This goal has never been reached and this bill will help the federal government meet that target. Had the goal been achieved, is it estimated women-owned companies would receive another $4 billion in federal contracts each year.

Access to Capital: The legislation would allow lenders in the SBA Microloan to increase overall lending capacity from $5 million to $7 million and improve the program to better meet the needs of borrowers through offering more flexible loan terms, improved technical assistance, and reallocation of resources to high performing lenders. The SBA Microloan program allows intermediaries to issue loans up to $50,000. Current law limits micro lenders from spending more than 25% of the technical assistance on a potential borrower. This provision was originally included in the pilot program legislation to make sure intermediaries did not use all of their technical assistance funds to assist businesses that did not have the potential to become borrowers. Your legislation eliminates this requirement to better assist prospective borrowers and provides lenders with more flexibility.

You can help support the bill by following the Senate Small Business Committee on Facebook and Twitter.

Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship

Barriers-to-Women's-Entrepreneurship21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship
Majority Report of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Maria Cantwell, Chairwoman

Published 23 July 2014
Key findings from the report include:

Women entrepreneurs still face challenges getting fair access to capital. Only 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans goes to women entrepreneurs. The report proposes expanding microloans and makes SBA’s Intermediary Loan Program permanent to provide more capital to women entrepreneurs.

Women entrepreneurs still face challenges getting equal access to federal contracts. The U.S. Government has never met its goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned business. If they did, women-owned businesses would have access to marketplace opportunities worth at least $4 billion each year. The report proposes changing federal law giving women-owned businesses the opportunity to win sole source federal contracts.

Women entrepreneurs still face challenges getting relevant business training and counseling. Although Women Business Centers are in nearly all 50 states and they successfully provide specialized counseling and training to women business owners, these centers have not been re-authorized since the 1990s and funding has remained flat for the same time period. The report proposes reauthorizing and funding the centers to provide adequate training and business counseling to women entrepreneurs, especially low income women.

Read the report.

The report was the focus of a Senate hearing also held on July 23, 2014 – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs.

Women’s Economic Priorities

Women's-Economic-PrioritiesWomen’s Economic Priorities
U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Published July 2014

Women are an important force in America who have, for too long, been undervalued and underrepresented in political leadership and policy making.

Our multi-decade march into the American workforce, business ownership, household leadership and consumer spending has elevated women into true leadership of the American economy. And now, we are also The Majority Vote.

However, even with our sizeable contributions to and influence on the American economy, we recognize there is much left to do to support women’s economic opportunities, independence, security, values and family well-being.

The purpose of this report is to highlight the contributions of women to America, outline our current economic condition and state clearly the types of federal budget and policies that are vital to support Women’s Economic Priorities.

The new role for women’s economic and political leadership has begun as we focus or influence, detail specifically our contributions to America, our views and needs and strongly assert our influence through aligning our votes with those who support us. We call upon America’s political leaders to answer our call.

We are students, workers, mothers, business owners, retirees, consumers and The Majority Vote.

We are the New American Leadership.

(read more)