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

  • Socorro Manzano, Tacos ManzanoSocorro Manzano, Tacos ManzanoMs. Socorro Manzano is the owner of Tacos Manzano, a cozy and proud establishment that started just when the pandemic crisis erupted in 2020. But Ms. Manzano rose to the challenge, and, looking for all the help she could get she received a special contract from the city of Los Angeles where she could prepare ...
  • Jasmine Epperson, Epperson ConsultingJasmine Epperson, Epperson ConsultingJasmine Epperson is a Mendocino County bookkeeping business owner working with client businesses located anywhere. We just chatted about her expertise, challenges that businesses have with their finances, and what’s changing for her while participating in the StartUp Mendocino program.
  • Albert Patterson, FRESH FROM CALIFORNIAAlbert Patterson, FRESH FROM CALIFORNIAFRESH FROM CALIFORNIA is a lifestyle brand & creative studio led by graphic designer Albert Patterson. Recently, FRESH launched a new set of branding-specific services that are ideal & valuable for new small businesses trying to figure out their business’ identity and for existing businesses needed some TLC.

More Stories

  • Lupita Vidals, Producciones Arcoiris
    Dreams like those of Lupita and many more; resilient, brave, hard working women who fight every day in solidarity so that their cooperatives and/or businesses can continue to move forward, and as a result transform their lives and the lives of their community.
  • Charlie Mercado, Gamepoint Basketball
    Gamepoint Basketball based out of Oceanside, California is an elite youth basketball club founded by Charlie Mercado in 2004 and serves young men ages 9-17. Charlie founded the business to give back to his community and stay connected to the sport he loved playing growing up and in college. Currently heading into its 18th season ...
  • Charina Vergara, Titas of Manila
    Charina Vergara began her culinary career as a food vendor at local night markets where she offered original Filipino cuisine. In 2019, she was offered a business opportunity to take over an existing Filipino restaurant. Ms. Vergara & her business partner jumped on the chance and became the new owners of Titas of Manila in ...
  • Ken Granderson and Dale Dowdie, Black Facts
    BlackFacts.com is the longest-running data-driven repository of Black history on the internet. BlackFacts.com was created in 1997 by Ken Granderson and Dale Dowdie, two black technologists, who saw there wasn’t a place to get facts about African-Americans online, so they built a place for Black communities to be in control of their narratives. A labor ...
  • Marcos Murrilo, Tapa the World
    Marcos Murrilo came here from Mexico in 1996. His first job in the U.S. was working at Tapa the World restaurant in Sacramento. There, he was the executive chef for 11 years. Marcos created several of the specialty dishes that are still on the menu today.