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

  • Yordanos Asmelash Haile, Asmara CafeYordanos Asmelash Haile, Asmara CafeAsmara Cafe specializes in traditional brewed Eritrean and Ethiopian coffee and food such as chicken kilwa, foule and sambusas. Owner Yordanos Asmelash Haile is a first-generation American having immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea in East Africa. She aims to highlight her cultural flavors through the menu at her coffee shop.
  • Rafaela, Bayleaf MamaRafaela, Bayleaf MamaAs with many of us, Rafaela has always enjoyed cooking, cooking with her mother and grandmother especially, being a true family tradition. She has always worked to perfect her craft, be it through old family recipes or in new discoveries, so when times became a little difficult, it was in cooking and baking that she ...
  • Alicia Maria Kidd, Wine NoireAlicia Maria Kidd, Wine NoireWine Noire LLC., an import, export and wholesale distribution company based in Berkeley, CA. Launched in 2017, The Wine Noire specializes in helping winemakers who are women and people of color get their wines into the marketplace, as well as directly into the hands of consumers.

More Stories

  • Socorro Manzano, Tacos Manzano
    Ms. 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.
  • Jasmine Epperson, Epperson Consulting
    Jasmine 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 CALIFORNIA
    FRESH 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 ...