This program was active from 2013-2014.

The Small Business Administration found that veterans are 67% more likely to be self-employed compared to civilians. With the passage of the American Jobs Act and government procurement set asides for women and disabled veterans, there has never been a better time than now for veterans who want to be entrepreneurs to continue to serve their country by building new businesses.

Because CAMEO is in the business of supporting entrepreneurs that have barriers to start up or growth, CAMEO saw an opportunity to serve veterans with a program specifically tailored to their needs.

In 2010 CAMEO pioneered a pilot project with support from AT&T and Citi – the ‘Disabled Veterans Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program.’ Our members served disabled veterans with business assistance programs ranging from farming to procurement in their own communities. The results exceeded our original expectations. Over two years, we served 329 veterans and 115 businesses that created 117 jobs and generated 9 loans of over $1.5 million. Read more about this effort that served veteran entrepreneurs.  This intensive community-based referral program was the first of its kind in California and has the potential to become a national model.

LizPerezIn 2013-2014, we expanded our programming to meet the growing needs of California’s veteran population by hiring Liz Perez (see photo left) as our Veteran Outreach Consultant.

Liz is ramped up our veterans program, driving outreach efforts and facilitating referral relationships between traditional veteran serving organizations and CAMEO member organizations that specifically serve veterans.  The result was WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network, held in November 2014.

Members with Veteran-specific Programs

Veteran Micro-business Success Stories

  • Don & Jake McPeck, Mess Hall Canteen

    Don McPeck started his business with only an idea. His gourmet food truck, Mess Hall Canteen, got started thanks to The Food Network. An appearance on the show Food Truck Faceoff gave Mess Hall Canteen a vehicle — in more ways than one.