About Micro Business

Micro-business is a key job generating strategy.

• 4.2 million Californians employed by microbusinesses in 2007.
• 3 million microbusinesses have no employees.
• The multiplier effect for a small local business on a local economy is twice that of a national chain.
• The micro-businessperson is everywhere you are – the organic tomato farmer at the Saturday market, the childcare center at work, the technology service firm who fixes your computer when it crashes, your favorite neighborhood restaurant, or the new adult ice cream truck. Yes, those are local jobs.

Business technical assistance is the key to success.

• Microentrepreneurs that have gone through training programs and receive technical assistance from CAMEO members have an 80% success rate (versus the 50-80% failure rate of small businesses that don’t seek help.)
• Our members’ clients who start their own businesses also on average create two jobs in addition to their own, over a three-five year period.
• For every $3,000 in technical assistance provided, a company generates $70,000 in sales.
• The CAMEO cost of creating a job is the low average cost of $1,000 a job. That’s cheap when you consider a public works infrastructure project costs $50,000 a job.
• If half of the 4 million micro-businesses in California hired one person, we’d create 2 million jobs and solve our unemployment problem.

Micro-businesses create jobs and generate income.

Annually our members serve about 21,000 businesses with training, business technical assistance and loans. These firms, which are largely start-ups, create or support 37,000 new jobs in California.
• The businesses created a total of $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.
• We’ve seen $1 invested turn into a $30 Social Return on Investment (local multiplier effect, more tax revenue, less government assistance, etc.)
• Traditionally, CAMEO members have served the emerging majority, the underserved – women, minorities and low income – or those who have high barriers to entry into the business world.
• Because of the Great Recession, CAMEO members are serving new populations – struggling Main Street businesses and unemployed who have turned entrepreneurial and are the new free-agents.
• An estimated 120,000 unemployed (about 5% of unemployed) are potential entrepreneurs.