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About MicroEnterprise Collaborative
MicroEnterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California consists of a diverse coalition of community leaders dedicated to improving small business development in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and eastern Los Angeles county.
Over 700 banks, Chambers of Commerce, business associations, and nonprofits as well as universities and community college business departments, business programs, services, microlenders, and city and county agencies understand the importance of successful small businesses for the economy of the region and have signed on to become partners of MicroEnterprise Collaborative.
Micro-businesses—those with fewer than five employees—comprise 90 percent of all businesses and provide 23 percent of all jobs. These smallest of businesses create income for business owners and their families and well-paying jobs within the region. However, micro-business owners need the information, expertise, and capital to grow and succeed.
To assist them, small business service providers and microlenders provide training, counseling, and microloans and rely on our partners to refer small business owners who need their help. The purpose of the MicroEnterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California is to create and sustain business and jobs through micro-business development.
Our Mission Statement
The purpose of the Microenterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California is to create and grow sustainable small businesses and job development by supporting micro business development agencies.
Working Together to Strengthen Micro-Businesses in Inland Southern California
In 2012 a group of community leaders convened in Riverside to discuss what was needed to improve the field of microenterprise development in the Inland Empire. These stakeholders were concerned about conditions in the region that prevented small businesses and micro-businesses from starting or thriving including:
To address these issues, MicroEnterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California was formed. Bank of America provided seed funding, and in 2014 Project Manager Catherine Marshall, an expert in the field of microenterprise development and a specialist in coalition-building, was brought on board.
Today MicroEnterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California has grown to a network of over 700 partners. It has also provided a number of public education events, fostered collaboration, and built the capacity of service providers to meet growing demand. All of this has resulted in an increase in the number of small business owners using services and acquiring loan capital to grow their businesses.
Board of Directors
(Treasurer) – V.P. Community Development, AmPac Business Capital
Business Development Officer, Accessity, Southern California
President and CEO, Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services, Bank of America
Bank of America, Vice President, SBC–Admin AZ/SOCAL, Bank of America
Partnership Manager, Accion Opportunity Fund
Regional Director, Business and Entrepreneurship, Victor Valley College
(Secretary) – V.P. Business Development Officer, Pacific Premier Bank
(Chair) – Executive Director, Inland Empire Women’s Business Center (IEWBC)
Senior Project Manager, Community, and Economic Development, City of Riverside
Senior Community Loan Officer, CDC Small Business Finance
Ms. Deans joins the Collaborative with over fourteen years’ management experience in the Job Training and Workforce Development Field. Under her recent seven-year leadership as Center Director for the Center for Employment Training (CET), the center ranked consistently among the top performing centers. She was responsible for the center operations, program development including human resources, curriculum, program offerings, enrollment, placement, and overall student success during her tenure. Pamela’s nonprofit career experience has given her the opportunity to secure renewing grants from organizations like Edison, Inland Empire United Way, and Wells Fargo, along with many other organizations which helped numerous adult students achieve vocational training and improve their employment outlook in the Inland Empire overall. She brought new programming to CET including an Apprenticeship Readiness program to CET, developed by NABTU (North American Building Trades Union), and women’s empowerment programs such as “Weld-Like-a-Girl” and “Green-is-the-NEW-Pink.” She also secured a Dept. of Labor grant for full scholarships for women called WANTO (Women in Apprenticeships and Non-Traditional Occupations). She has been a member of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and an advocate for women’s professional development throughout her career.
Prior to her leadership roles in job development, Pam Deans worked in the travel industry as an instructor, helping hundreds become flight attendants and ticket agents. She also worked in both leadership and training roles for American Airlines, American Express Travel, Carlson Wagon-Lit Travel. In addition, she owned and operated her own travel agency for over fourteen years. She has traveled the world over and chooses the Inland Empire as her home. Pamela has served as elected secretary for SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) of the Inland Empire and consistently has served on various committees to improve the quality of life in the Inland Empire. Ms. Deans is the mother of two children, a daughter who graduated from Cal Baptist with a master’s degree in opera performance and a son, a graduate of CET, who is now an automotive technician and business owner.
Microenterprise Collaborative in Inland Southern Calfornia
With over thirty years of experience in the micro-business development field, Catherine Marshall has served the Microenterprise Collaborative since 2014, first as Project Director and then Executive Director. She now advises the Collaborative on organizational capacity building as the Program Manager.
Catherine has trained and counseled small businesses, founded her own micro-business nonprofit, and led California’s state association of microenterprise programs for over nine years. Over the past fifteen years she has helped launch or grow several micro-business state associations and asset building coalitions throughout the U.S.
Primary Partner Organization
AmPac Business Capital generously serves as a partner by providing an office location and administrative support for the Microenterprise Collaborative of Inland Southern California.