Success Stories

When very small businesses succeed, they create jobs, they build their neighborhoods and communities, and transform lives so that California can thrive.

Annually CAMEO members serve about 21,000 very small businesses with training, technical assistance, and loans. These firms – largely start-ups with less than five employees – support/create 37,000 jobs for California’s economy.

When very small businesses succeed, they create jobs, they build their neighborhoods and communities so that California can thrive.

Find success stories based on the following categories:

Men | Women | Regions | Veterans | Immigrants | Minorities | Green Micro-Businesses  | Faces of Entrepreneurship


2019 Faces of Entrepreneurship Winners

Ricardo Rocha, RVS Technology Group

Ricardo Rocha of RVS Technology Group

When owner Ricardo Rocha was a teenager, he dreamt that he became a business owner. Years later, after immigrating from Mexico and working in the fields, he made his dream come true by opening a small computer service shop in Watsonville. Through El Pajaro CDC’s Business Incubator Program, RVS Technologies grew into a full-service provider that employs 12 people and works with small and mid-sized businesses.

Calvin Andrews, Lena’s Soul Food

Lena’s Soul Food has become a pillar in its community of East Oakland. Not only does owner Calvin Andrews employ dozens of people, including formerly incarcerated folks, but he also gives back by giving away unsold food to locals in need, many of whom are unhoused. Calvin is a client of Main Street Launch and one of CAMEO’s 2019 Faces of Entrepreneurship Award winners!


Our Latest Success Stories

  • Jon and Gila Kurtz, Dog Is Good Jon and Gila Kurtz, Dog Is GoodJon and Gila Kurtz launched their lifestyle brand for dog lovers, Dog is Good, in 2007. Gila, a professional dog trainer, saw an opportunity in the marketplace for fashionable clothing that expressed her love of dogs. Jon, a retired US Navy Captain was full of ideas for humorous, catchy phrases that playfully express the joy ...
  • Dinuka Ranasinghe, Kid Works Children’s Center Dinuka Ranasinghe, Kid Works Children's CenterDinuka Ranasinghe studied law and passed the New York Bar exam. But after realizing law was not her passion, she decided to pursue her dream: working with young children. She began studying early childhood development and in 2008 purchased a preschool in Long Beach, California called Kid Works Children’s Center.
  • Cinthya Flores, Utz Threads Cinthya Flores, Utz ThreadsCinthya Flores is the successful owner of Utz Threads in Oakland, CA. The name Utz Threads comes from the word “good” in Maya Quiché; the language spoken by the women weavers that create their product in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

More Stories

  • Amy Truby, Mt. Shasta Counseling & Neurofeedback When Amy Truby learned about neurofeedback and its potential to change people’s lives for the better, she decided it was time to open her own practice. But she barely knew anything about running a business – especially when it came to taxes and bookkeeping.
  • Cindy Greaver, Mrs. G’s Cindy Greaver and her husband, Kent, began Mrs. G’s over twenty years ago when she started making hot pepper jellies as gifts for friends and family. Since then, her heady, homemade confections have caught fire with customers and fans across the country.
  • Lindsey Ott, Mama Tong Ever since she can remember, Lindsey Ott has loved babies and everything that has to do with the miracle of childbirth. In her 20s, she studied to become a midwife. Then, she found herself traveling in Hawaii and settled in an organic farm in Maui. There, she started learning about growing plants for sustenance and ...
  • Lena’s Soul Food, Faces of Entrepreneurship Winner Lena’s Soul Food has become a pillar in its community of East Oakland. Not only does owner Calvin Andrews employ dozens of people, including formerly incarcerated folks, but he also gives back by giving away unsold food to locals in need, many of whom are unhoused.
  • RVS Technology Group, Faces of Entrepreneurship Winner When owner Ricardo Rocha was a teenager, he dreamt that he became a business owner. Years later, after immigrating from Mexico and working in the fields, he made his dream come true by opening a small computer service shop in Watsonville.