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:
2019 Faces of Entrepreneurship Winners
Ricardo Rocha, 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
- Mohammad, Tailoring and AlterationsMohammad fled Afghanistan with his wife and three children in 2010. They stayed in Turkey until they resettled in the United States in 2018. Despite the hardship he initially faced in the first two years, he built a successful family tailoring and alterations business in his new home of Sacramento. Mohammad overcame economic, cultural, and ...
- Pamela Marquez, Puzz E Gata JamaicaPamela founded Puzz e Gata Jamaica in 2020 to share the benefits of the sweetened, cinnamon-spiced hibiscus flower tea across Northern California. For a long time, she had been unable to find any product that matched the traditional recipes she had encountered in Mexico. This year, she began working with the California Capital Women’s Business Center to develop strategies for the sustainable growth and ...
- Lisa Henschol, Hyperion AcademicsLisa Henschol is the director of Hyperion Academics, a Kindergarten through 8th grade full curriculum, educational platform. Hyperion engages students with cognitive learning and gamification strategies. The teaching construct that Hyperion Academics utilizes around their platform aids in relieving overcrowded classrooms, especially in special education classes. Hyperion Academics is WCAG compliant.
- Reem Assil, Reem’s CaliforniaIn 2010, the dream of Reem’s was born at the doorstep of a street corner bakery in Beirut, Lebanon. Founder Reem Assil says, “The scent of za’atar, yeasted bread, and sweet orange blossom syrup right out of the oven and the sounds of laughter and chatter in Arabic all around me conjured up memories of ...
- Ahriana Edwards, Vaila ShoesWhen Ahriana Edwards landed her first corporate internship, she was thrilled—until it came time to shop for shoes. For Ahriana, the limited shoe options available to women with larger feet had been a source of frustration and insecurity since middle school.
- Ana Guerrero, FirstGen_ResilienceAna Yessica Guerrero is a social entrepreneur who dedicates her life to empowering first-generation Latinx students to reach their full potential. She is a proud immigrant from Mexico City and grew up on a ranch in Goleta, Calif. As a first-generation student herself, she had numerous aspirations and goals. Ana was an eager and determined scholar, yet she received ...
- Elfie Weiss, Hotcakes BakesElfie’s father used to work as a pastry chef when he was a young man in order to pay for his dancing lessons at the Paris Opera. Elfie’s father shared with her his love for preparing the essential bread and “sweets of life.” Elfie trained primarily with her father as well as in Paris’ renowned ...
- Ke’Anna Dodds, RUE KitchenKe’Anna Dodds is a classically trained private chef from Vista, California, who has worked for world-renowned chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and many others. Her business was thriving, and she was working with a growing number of regular clients.