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Profile – Accion San Diego

Combining Growth and Mission

Susan Brown, CAMEO’s microlending guru, interviewed Elizabeth Schott, CEO of Accion San Diego and CAMEO’s board president for the first installment of our series profiling California’s most prolific microlenders: Accion San Diego, Opportunity Fund, and VEDC. Here’s Susan’s profile:

We have averaged 15-30% portfolio growth over the past several years and project continued growth for the next five years…. We don’t make loans. We change communities and local economies. –Elizabeth Schott

This impressive growth is combined with her commitment to a high-touch lending process that amounts to “more of a movement than a set of transactions.”

Accion San Diego is a member of the Accion Network, worldwide leaders in micro-enterprise development. Launched in May of 1994, Accion San Diego’s mission is to create economic opportunity for primarily low-to-moderate income business owners who lack access to traditional sources of credit. Through business loans and support services, the lender strengthens the roots of emerging entrepreneurs and helps them to thrive in their communities, creating social and economic change.

Accion offers two main products to entrepreneurs in San Diego County:

  1. The Quick Loan, $2,000 or less, has a 48 hour turn-around time.
  2. The Complete Loan, from $2,001- $75,000, has a turn-around time of approximately 2-3 weeks.

They closed 209 loans in 2013, and will close around 270 in 2014, with an average loan size between $11,000 – $12,000 and a current portfolio of $4.4 million. Their self-sufficiency ratio (percentage of operating expenses covered through earned revenue) has increased from 38% in 2007 to approximately 60% in 2014.

Schott saw an opportunity to meet increased market demand in 2008-10 — when banks tightened lending to small entrepreneurs. This has become an ongoing strategic objective. She notes three organizational pillars she has pursued to support this objective:

Increased focus to raise program revenue and loan capital. A growing portfolio, along with 10%-19% interest rate, has provided increased earned revenue to support operations, as reflected in their nearly doubled self-sufficiency ratio. Schott has also focused on building successful and diverse relationships with key stakeholders and funders providing a broad base of grant revenue for operations and programs. As for increasing their loan fund capitalization, ASD has received four back-to-back CDFI loan fund grant awards.

Investment in technology and infrastructure. ASD has upgraded their portfolio management system to offer more-detailed, real-time reporting which informs management and outreach decisions. In addition, the staff, now out-fitted with remote technology (smart phones and laptops), are not tied to their desks, but rather spend their time in the field generating deals while still responding to new inquiries, answering borrower questions and gathering loan documents. ASD is also participating in a pilot with the Accion Network to automate some of the assessment and underwriting process, “without losing the personal touch” so critical to their mission. This in-the-field approach combined with remote technology generates high productivity, with approximately 17 deals closed per FTE staff member in 2014.

Investing in The Team. “We have invested a lot in our people, which has a direct correlation to our growth,” says Schott. ASD provides all staff flexibility accessing training opportunities for professional growth. They have restructured their staffing to provide career ladders within ASD and they plan to continue building this as future growth occurs.

“People can join ASD at an entry position, and see a next step for their career path within the organization,” says Schott. They also invest in ongoing, bottom-up team building activities, offering opportunities for staff at all levels to design and lead activities to build employee engagement and highlight those who have gone above and beyond. “Managers underestimate the power of small things that can lead to an increase in productivity and retention of valuable staff.”

a next step for their a career path within the organization for themselves right here,

When asked what she sees as important future focus for the CDFI microlending industry, Schott notes, “We have to invest in tracking data capacity to demonstrate our effectiveness. I can’t tell you how often funders comment that they love to see all the results we pack into our annual report. This is what will set us apart when competing for future funds.”

Excellence in MicroLending Step One

by Susan Brown

CAMEO’s long-standing commitment to building California’s microlending sector is the force behind many of our recent programs: Kiva and Accion Texas partnerships, the training series last October, Claudia’s many successes in building resources for lending, to name a few.

Our latest program, Excellence in Lending (EiL), focuses on the program elements needed for a high-quality loan fund poised for growth. Using Kiva’s Field Partner metrics as a starting point, we created an assessment that included:

  • Marketing
  • Product Design
  • Technology Use
  • Portfolio Management
  • Underwriting
  • Approval Process
  • Servicing
  • Risk Management
  • Earnings, Liquidity, Capitalization
  • Delinquencies and Collections

Fifteen of CAMEO’s 28 lending members responded. We compiled the aggregate answers, and have created confidential reports to each responding organization so they can see how they stand compared to their peers.

We will use the assessment responses for the morning portion of our 2015 Microlending Forum on January 15. The assessment yielded rich content for discussion. Some topics that show a wide variety of standards and practices are:

  • Use of technology
  • Staff time in the field
  • Servicing practices
  • Loan volume per FTE staff
  • Portfolio at Risk definitions
  • Use of State Guarantee programs
  • Risk rating practices
  • Interest rates charged

At the Forum participants will discuss what they think of the results: Are there areas that the industry as a whole should address or improve? Are there areas where establishing performance metrics make sense? What needs to be in place for a CDFI to successfully scale up to, say, 200 loans per year?

Ginger McNally, Senior Vice President for Strategic Consulting at Opportunity Finance Network, will join us to give us her take on the results, relative to the CDFI small business lending trends she sees around the country.

We look forward to our members’ participation in this discussion to digest the results and plan future direction for meeting the need for small and microloans in California.

Who Are MMS Borrowers ?

With the first year of CAMEO’s MMS program completed, and our users having made over 100 loans, we’re taking a closer look at what MMS borrowers look like. MMS offers a robust set of demographic tools, and CAMEO will be taking fuller advantage of these program features in the coming year.

Most MMS borrowers are young businesses, with 70% of loans going to businesses less than three years old.


Borrowers serve a variety of industries, from accounting services to fashion design. The top three industries were personal/design services, retail, and restaurant service.


Most loans were for $15,000 or less, with a median loan size of 15,000.


The three most common reasons for needing a loan were working capital, start up costs, and leasehold improvements. The majority of approved loans were for working capital, which was most commonly used to purchase inventory.


Sonora – DIY Economy in Action

IMG_1813On December 17, the CAMEO staff took a field trip to visit Larry Cope, the head of economic development in Tuolomne County, at his office in Sonora. After chatting with him for a few minutes, it was clear to all of us that the work Larry and his team do represents the epitome of a DIY Economy.

Shortly after Larry started his job in March of 2009, Sonora (the county seat) lost 4,500 jobs from the closure of Mervyn’s, Gottshalk’s, and Sierra Pacific. He had his work cut out for him.  So he set his team to work.

Not wanting to lose more companies, they focused on business retention for the first three years – and entrepreneurship. They weren’t planning on beefing up the latter, but he found out that all of the entities that provided business assistance were duplicating services. And in a rural area with a small economic development budget, that needed to change. He sat everyone down at the table – Columbia College, SCORE, the SBDC and other stakeholders – and created the Business Alliance of Tuolome County. They streamlined their offerings and each entity concentrated on what they did best.  They organize 25 basic classes a year in workshop format in everything from business plan basics to marketing to social media; and they started an enhanced counseling program with CDBG funds for businesses in the city of Sonora.

In 2012, Larry organized the Central Sierra Economic Development District that includes Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolome, and Mariposa counties as well as a handful of cities. They share resources and provide classes. This year their main goals will be to expand broadband connectivity outside the towns and expand support to microbusinesses.

IMG_1825In another effort, Larry and his team marshaled resources and leveraged relationships to open the InnovationLab in September 2014.  They partnered with UC Merced and others, raised just $35,000, negotiated very cheap rent with the county, and cut the ribbon on a collective space that includes a networking/co-working space, a computer lab, an electronics lab, a hard tool workspace, a 3-D printing lab and more. They should break even in six months and after two months are well on their way.

Before Larry started, the county’s economic development strategy was based on chasing smoke stacks, or business attraction.  The idea of business attraction needs to be reformed, and alternative incentives need to be developed. Cash and tax give-aways aren’t the only thing.  Larry and his team are using free rent in vacant government properties and connecting potential businesses with local investors. They’re beefing up the STEM curriculum in the high school and community college. Attraction at any cost has to go” says Larry.  “We need to think of the types of businesses that would provide sustainable, long term economic growth for the community.”

The type of businesses Larry and his team try to attract to Sonora are small technology companies and family-based businesses that are squeezed out of the Bay Area. Family-based businesses aren’t worried about shareholder value; they have a stake in their community and have an expanded sense of what it means to be successful. If a business is all about the bottom line, then at some point or another, that business is bound to leave.

IMG_1831It’s not all about hi-tech. Larry helped Mountain People Organics, an organics buying club, find space in the old National Guard building for 20 cents a square foot. Two days a week, the space holds MPO’s buying club, as well as a farmer’s market with organic food producers and craftspeople – collectively called The Farmory. Larry and his team connect the microbusiness owners with the resources the county and city have to offer. I couldn’t resist supporting at least a couple of the local businesses.

Over lunch, I asked Larry how successful Tuolomne’s economic development strategy is in terms of jobs and businesses. After letting us know that the occupancy rate is 98%, he laughed and said “we know we’re doing a good job when the owner of the restaurant bakes you cookies.” All kidding aside, Larry says that the challenge is to develop metrics that truly reflect the improvements in business and the improved entrepreneurial ecosystem so that businesses are committed for the long haul.

The Bottom Line: Investing for Impact on Inequality in the U.S.

bottomlinecoverThe Bottom Line: Investing for Impact on Inequality in the U.S.
by The Aspen Institute

published on December 17, 2014

The Bottom Line: Investing for Impact on Economic Mobility in the U.S. recognizes the importance of learning from all sectors in tackling any challenge. Specifically, it builds on opportunities in the growing impact investment field. The report draws on the lessons from market-based approaches to identify tools and strategies that can help move the needle on family economic security. In this report, you will find the following:

  • „„Case studies – An opportunity to go under the hood on deals with the Bank of America, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Acelero Learning, and others;
  • Point of view essays – Insights and lessons from leaders in the field;
  • Deals at a glance – Snapshots of impact investors and what they have learned, including the Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, and the MacArthur Foundation; and
  • Survey results and lessons learned – Trends among active and emerging players in the U.S. impact investment field and the lessons that can be applied to economic mobility in the U.S.

(read more)

Paid Sick Leave in California

From the California Employers Association:


The Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) was signed into law in 2014.
The basic intent of the law is to provide all employees with at least three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave each year.

What does this mean for you as an employer?
Effective January 1, 2015 ALL employers must post a Paid Sick Leave Notice in their place of business. Effective July 1, 2015, ALL employers, both public and private, will be required to provide paid sick leave to all of their employees, with a few exceptions (unionized workers, home health care providers and airline flight crews).

Employers are not required to pay out accrued sick time at termination.

What does AB 1522 mean for employees?
Under AB 1522, ALL employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a calendar year will earn paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked! This accrual method begins as of 7/1/15 and employees must be allowed to use any accrued time after 90 days of employment. (Former employees that are re-hired within one year are entitled to have previously accrued and unused paid sick days be reinstated.)

Employers will be allowed to limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to three (3) days per year and can cap accrual of paid sick leave at six days.

Another option to the accrual method described above is to give employees all of their paid sick leave up front. This has been called “front loading”, “the lump sum method”, or “granted leave”. In each case, employers are permitted to grant three or more days of paid sick leave at the start of the year to their employees to avoid the administrative burdens of tracking accrual and carry over.

When can employees use AB 1522?
Employees can use AB 1522 to take paid leave for themselves or a family member for preventive care or care of an existing health condition or for specified purposes if they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Family members include the employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling. Preventive care would include annual physicals or flu shots. For partial days employers can require leave be taken in two hours increments, but otherwise the determination of how much time is needed is left to the employee.

Existing law already requires employers that provide paid sick time to allow employees to use half of their yearly allotment for “kin care” (care of their sick child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner). The new law does not repeal “kin care” but expands it to include grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.

Employers with more generous plans will have to allow employees to use 1/2 of the annual sick leave entitlement for Kin Care.

Posting, Notice and Record Keeping Requirements
In addition to accounting for and providing the accrued leave, employers are required to:

  • Display a Paid Sick Leave Poster as of 1/1/2015
  • Include the amount of paid sick leave accrued on employees~itemized wage statements
  • Retain all paid sick leave records for three years
  • Use the revised Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice on or before 7/1/15

What if I already provide paid sick leave for my employees?
California employers who already provide at least three days of paid sick time, will now have additional administrative requirements, including:

  • Recording an employee’s sick leave balance on itemized wage statements, or another writing, on each pay day.
  • Carry-over of accrued sick leave with the cap of six days.
  • Documentation showing hours worked as well as paid sick days accrued and used by an employee.
  • Rate of Pay

Employees should be paid their regular rate of pay for sick leave. However, if your employee is paid different hourly rates, is paid a commission, is paid by piece rate or flag rate, etc. then you must “Divide employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total hours worked in the full pay period of the prior 90 days of employment” to determine an hourly rate to be paid for sick leave.

Where to find help

California Employers Association is here to assist you in navigating this new law. We have webinars dedicated to this topic in December, February and again in June. We can assist you in developing a Paid Sick Leave Policy that fits your company’s needs. By July 1, 2015 you will be informed and ready to address this new law with your employees and in your employee handbook.

Recommendation and Source Information
Don’t change your policy or create a new one just yet! This bill was just passed and there are still many unanswered questions. A list of frequently asked questions was released the first week of December, and we anticipate there will be more to come. For now, get informed, ask questions and watch for our updates.

Paid Sick Leave FAQ’s
Paid Sick Leave Poster
Updated WageTheft Notice

Webinars (click to register)

Thursday, December 11th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, December 17th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, February 4th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, June 10th – noon to 1:00 pm

Student Debt Among Young Entrepreneurs

studentdebtStudent Debt Among Young Entrepreneurs
by Brian Headd
SBA Office of Advocacy

published November 2014

A quick run down of the ways that student debt and entrepreneurship interact. Some key findings:

  • Student debt is rising.
  • Student debt might affect career choices.
  • Student debt is rising among the relatively young, while self-employment is declining.
  • Households with a self-employed member and student debt were less likely to apply for business loans.
  • Business owners with student debt had smaller ventures.
  • The self-employed and non-self-employed have similar rates of student debt.
  • Student debt for the self-employed differs among races and ethnicities.

(read more)

Task Force to Improve Workforce Education and Promote Job Creation

California Community Colleges Board of Governors Creates Task Force to Improve Workforce Education and Promote Job Creation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Seeking to make community college workforce education even more responsive to the state’s economy, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors today established a task force to develop policies that will prepare more students for existing high value jobs and promote job creation with workforce training that sparks small business development and lures out-of-state business investment in key industry sectors.

“The Board of Governors is committed to improving our students’ employment prospects and growing the state’s economy,” said Manuel Baca, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. “The California Community Colleges has served as an economic springboard for many Californians and it must enact smart and thoughtful policies in the future for it to continue in that role and I look forward to hearing the recommendations the task force develops.”

The Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy will be comprised of representatives from the California Community Colleges, business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policy, and community based organizations.

“Community colleges serve as the workforce training engines behind California’s regional economies,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris. “The task force commissioned today will meet with industry leaders, college faculty and staff, elected officials, and other important members of the community to determine what our college system must do to help us achieve the best for our students and state.”

The task force will conduct its work in three separate phases. The first phase, set to begin this December, will involve holding meetings with community college practitioners to surface strategies and prioritize workforce training policies and practices that engender flexibility to respond to the changing labor market, regional responsiveness, partnership with industry, and ensure student degrees, certificates, credentials, and coursework are universally honored by colleges and have value to employers.

The second phase will start in February 2015 and involve town hall meetings in regions across the state with elected officials and leaders from business, economic development agencies, K-12, labor, and other community organizations to vet and build on ideas and practices that bring stronger alignment between community colleges and key industry sectors. The town hall meetings will include interactive discussions focused on how the community college system can act as a catalyst for growth in California’s regional economies.

The final phase involves meetings of the full task force itself. Members will deliberate over information and issues identified at the regional meetings and develop a set of recommendations by the end of summer 2015, which will be proposed for adoption by the Board of Governors.

Throughout the spring, the broader community would be invited to respond to the draft recommendations via the task force’s website.

The task force will build upon other initiatives that the California Community Colleges has undertaken to increase individual and regional economic competitiveness by providing the state’s workforce with relevant skills and quality credentials that match employer needs and fuel a stronger economy. .

In August, the California Community Colleges announced a goal of increasing student completions by nearly 250,000 statewide to help meet the needs of the labor market and to ensure more Californians have access to higher education.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework and the Student Success Initiative provide the foundation to launch this task force and have also been working to increase workforce and economic competitiveness.

These measures are necessary in light of statistics indicating that there will be 6.3 million job openings in California through 2020, of which 2 million jobs will require a post-secondary certificate or associate degree.

Furthermore, studies show that the labor market is increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce. Whereas in the 1970s 28 percent of jobs required more than a high school education, by 2020 it is estimated that 65 percent of job openings in the United States will require some postsecondary education or training.

To see the calendar of events for the task force, go to:

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit

Implications of 2014 Mid-Term Elections

Written by Martin Feeney, Madison Services Group

In case you hadn’t noticed, Republicans won big on election night last week. In the biennial tradition of Congressional elections, changes are coming to the House and Senate. The following is an overview of the mid-term elections and what changes to expect when the new Congress convenes this coming January.

The Elections – Big Changes Set for 2015

In the Senate, Republicans gained eight seats, giving them control of the upper chamber come January. Pending the outcome of a run-off election in Louisiana between incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy in December, Republicans will have at least 53 seats to the Democrats’ 46. In the House, Republicans increased their majority by 12 seats, their largest majority in the House since 1930. In the states, the GOP won outright control of nine state legislatures and defended 24 Governors’ mansions and added two more.

The California Congressional delegation lost two stalwarts of the House, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) to retirement this year. Serving a combined 80 years in Congress, both were elected in 1975 and rose to lead the House Education and Workforce and Energy and Commerce Committees, respectively. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will retain the top spot for Democrats in the House as will House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-CA).
Two incumbents, Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Jim Costa (D-CA) were both locked in races that were not called until November 19, more than two weeks after the elections. Neither of California’s two Senators were on the ballot this year.

A couple of noteworthy observations from last week’s elections: once again, women made up the majority of voters, making up 51% of the vote. Broken down, 51% of women voters supported Democratic candidates and 47% voted Republican.

There were a number of firsts: the election of the first black Republican Senator from the South since Reconstruction, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) from South Carolina and the first black Republican woman elected to the House, Mia Love from Utah. There are also 100 women in the Congress for the first time ever, while the number of black women in in Congress will rise to 18.

New Committee Chairs Take Over in the Senate and House

Focusing on the Senate, the shift in power sets up a whole new Committee structure. CAMEO works closely with the Chairs and Ranking Members of many Committees that impact the microbusiness industry. The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is of particular importance to CAMEO’s work. Changes in that Committee will see the Chair switch from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to Senator David Vitter (R-LA). The Ranking Member will shift from Senator James Risch (R-ID) to either Senator Cantwell or Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).

With respect to the Appropriations Committees that oversee government funding, there are changes as well. The new Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and the new Ranking Member will be Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who has led the Committee for the last two years. The Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee – the one that oversees the Department of Labor and its workforce training system – will be likely chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the Ranking Member could either be Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).

Although the parties did not switch in the House, the Republicans have long had a rule that Committee Chairs can only serve for a total of 6 years. This was instituted in 1994 to allow opportunities to switch the leadership of the Committees. As a result of being “termed-out,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) will step down from his Chairmanship of the House Small Business Committee. The Republican Steering Committee, the arbiter of Republican Committee slotting, has already tapped Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) to serve as Chair in the new Congress. The Ranking Member will remain Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY). The Chairs of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), and the Education and Workforce Committee, Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will remain the same.

Leadership Changes: Titles Change, but Faces Don’t

At the leadership level in the Senate, there will be many title changes, but few new faces. When the new Congress convenes in January 2015, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be Senate Majority Leader and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) will be Senate Minority Leader. The Democrats made one notable change—they added Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to their leadership team to liaison with the progressive wing of the Democratic party. In the House, the leadership changes came mostly on the Democratic side. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) elevated two women – Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to head the powerful Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. In addition, she chose a relative newcomer, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) to head the Democratic Congressional Committee. The Republicans kept most of their leadership team the same.

What to Expect: New Policy Priorities

These major shifts in power bring new opportunities to CAMEO and our members. First, we have an opportunity to talk about microbusinesses to a whole host of new Members and their staffs. Second, Republicans are pledging a more orderly and predictable budget and appropriations process given that they will control both Houses of Congress. That would be exceptionally good news for our policy work because of the importance of PRIME, the Microloan Program, the Community Advantage Program, the CDFI fund, Women’s Business Centers, Boots to Business Program, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

Republicans have outlined comprehensive tax reform, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and reducing regulations and fiscal restraint as the path toward economic growth. In the Democratic-controlled Senate, the list was not the same. Senator Cantwell, and Senator Landrieu before her, were focused on entrepreneurship and ways to strengthen tools available to them. Both also focused heavily on the wealth gap and barriers for women entrepreneurs. It is doubtful that incoming Chair Vitter will have the same priorities. Chair Graves in the House, made procurement reforms for small businesses a priority—the new Chair is not likely to have the same priority.

Small business issues, however, are not particularly partisan. Republicans and Democrats share a willingness to help businesses start, grow and succeed. While they have traditionally championed lowering taxes and reducing regulations, we know those alone are not enough. AEO research has shown that with training and counseling, business success increases, both in terms of business success rates and increased average revenues. Similarly, the SBA’s loan programs have been essential to filling the lending gap in the private sector since 2008, as have CDFIs, which provided more than 24,000 business loans last year. CAMEO’s advocacy for these programs contributes directly to the success of microbusiness businesses in California. Investment in small business is a theme both parties can rally around.

In the coming months, please take a moment to reach out your elected officials, whether they are freshman Representatives or long-time incumbents. Educate them on the work you do and the importance of microbusinesses to California’s economy.

Micro Lending Academy: Credit Reports

Micro Lending Academy: Credit Reports

Always review a client’s credit report before sending her off to a lender. Learn how to assess the strength of your client’s past use of credit and help them address problems before applying for a loan.

Watch and listen to the Webinar (60 minutes)

About the Presenter

susan-brownSusan Brown‘s job is to provide you with facilitation, guidance, information, support and collaboration to make your work effective, connected to your values and aligned with your goals. Economic justice and values-driven economic development have been her primary focus during her entire professional life.  She brings these long-standing passions to her work along with an eclectic set of life experiences to provide a mature, in-depth perspective to individual and organizational change and growth.