CAMEO has a Plan for President Obama's Call for an Agenda that Allows Small Business to Succeed - Support Entrepreneurial Training

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In last night's State of the Union, President Obama talked about easing regulations and tax relief for small businesses. What really works is teaching small and micro-business owners how to write a business plan, do cash flow projections and develop a marketing plan. CAMEO challenges the President and Congress to expand and invest in the existing infrastructure of entrepreneurial training programs and business assistance.

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Microentrepreneurs that have gone through entrepreneurial training programs and receive what some like to call a mini-MBA, have an 80% success rate.

Yes, the State of the Union concentrated on cooperation and responsibility. About a third into his speech, President Obama also challenged Congress to get him a small business bill. “Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow,” said President Obama. “Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs.” CAMEO, (the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity), challenges the President to ensure that the small business bill works for all small businesses – and that means investment in entrepreneurial training.

Of all businesses in the U.S., 99.7 percent are small businesses with fewer than 500 employees; 88 percent are very small businesses with fewer than 5 employees. Our economic policies need to support the entire range of entrepreneurs – from the home-based consultant to the food truck owner to the tech start-up.

“Our economic policies need to shift from old methods that may have worked in the past to new, innovative, creative and flexible methods that will work for today’s economy,” says Claudia Viek, C.E.O. of CAMEO. “In my 25 years of experience, the first step to success for these locally grown and start-up micro-businesses is business assistance. Then they are ready to get a loan and grow.”

"We have money to lend, but struggle to find loan-ready borrowers," says Emily Gasner, Executive Director of Working Solutions, a microlender who underwrites loans under $50,000. "Besides loans, 'access to capital' has to include the funds and programs that enable business owners to be loan ready, like have cash flow statements and a well thought out business plan that demonstrates a viable business model. We also need to support the businesses after they receive the loan with business advising services."

Company Information:

CAMEO’s mission is to promote jobs, economic opportunity and community well-being through entrepreneurship training, business coaching and microfinance. CAMEO is California’s statewide Micro Enterprise association made up of over 160 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering the fortunes of micro-businesses in California.


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Heidi PIckman
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