Claudia Viek won the 2013 Public Policy Award from Women Impacting Public Policy. Ms. Viek won the award for leading advocacy efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. on behalf of very small businesses, especially women-owned ones. Ms. Viek is one of three women receiving awards at the WIPP Congressional Luncheon on October 10. These annual awards recognize top women industry leaders who have shown themselves to be innovative and accomplished in their line of business or whose work has directly benefited the women’s business community.
“We are proud to acknowledge the top women leaders in the public and private sectors for their incredible success in business and their commitment to the women’s business community,” said WIPP President & CEO Barbara Kasoff. “We are in the midst of a large shift in economic history and rely on our WIPP leaders for their advice and their strong voices on behalf of women entrepreneurs.”
“I am so grateful to WIPP for recognizing CAMEO’s long history of serving women entrepreneurs,” said Claudia Viek, CEO of CAMEO. “The founders were, and still are, advocates for low an moderate income women. The organization was formed to assist women to become self-sufficient, small business owners. We serve as the unified voice that represents many small enterprises in the halls of power.”
Under Ms. Viek’s leadership, CAMEO has worked to increase funding for women entrepreneurship programs through various government agencies, e.g. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Labor (DOL). For example, during the FY2012 budget debate, SBA programs were facing budget cuts. CAMEO was instrumental in maintaining the Women’s Business Centers (WBC) budget and securing $23.5 million for micro-business programs.
Ms. Viek is a spokesperson on behalf of the self-employed and micro-businesses and has met several times with leaders from the DOL and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. CAMEO’s persistence paid off in 2010, when the (DOL) released directives encouraging Workforce Investment Boards to integrate entrepreneurial training as a vital workforce development strategy.
CAMEO is California’s statewide Micro Enterprise association made up of over 160 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering Micro Enterprise development in California. CAMEO members serve about 21,000 businesses with training, technical assistance and loans annually. These firms, which were largely start-ups, support/create about 35,000 new jobs and generate about $1.5 billion in economic activity– raising state revenues, decreasing demand for government services and putting more money into local and state economies. Federal taxes paid increased 35% over a five-year period.
About Women Impacting Public Policy:
WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million business-women including 75 business organizations. WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and provides a collaborative model for the public and private sectors to increase the economic power of women-owned businesses.