Success Stories

California’s Microbusinesses Create Jobs, Build Neighborhoods and Transform Lives

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.

CAMEO’s Faces of Entrepreneurship

Each year, CAMEO celebrates the invaluable contribution small and microbusinesses make to California by honoring the Faces of Entrepreneurship. Each recipient has worked closely with a nominating CAMEO member, and has made significant contributions to their community, giving back some of the help and support they received.

Abraham Lopez YucaTech 4Abraham Lopez, YucaTech Technology Solutions

Abraham Lopez immigrated from Mexico in 1998, and worked hard to master English and earn an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, all to further his dream of opening his own electronics repair store. Thanks to help from Renaissance Marin and their Small Business Development Center, he is now the proud owner of YucaTech Technology Solutions.

 

Toni Ricci Elite Dance 1Toni Ricci, Elite Dance and Performing Art Center

Toni Ricci had achieved her dream of owning her own dance studio, but she hit a wall: her finances were strained to breaking, and her credit didn’t qualify her for a bank loan. Luckily, she found VEDC, who were able to provide her a microloan and the business counseling she needed. Now, Toni’s credit is improving with every payment she makes, and Elite Dance has doubled its staff and tripled its students in the last three years.

 

Previous winners

California’s Microbusiness Success Stories

You can also view success stories by the following categories:

Men | Women | Regions | Veterans | Immigrants | Green Micro-Businesses

Faces of Entrepreneurship

2015 Success Stories

  • David Aragon, Araparts

    David Aragon loved cars from an early age, and had made enough money from reselling hard-to-find car parts — including one discontinued part that he’d had to re-produce himself — to open his own business. He was ready and eager to grow, but banks weren’t willing to lend to him due to his youth. He ...

  • Abraham Lopez, YucaTech Technology Solutions

    Abraham Lopez immigrated from Mexico in 1998, and worked hard to master English and earn an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, all to further his dream of opening his own electronics repair store. Thanks to help from Renaissance Marin and their Small Business Development Center, he is now the proud owner of YucaTech Technology ...

  • Toni Ricci, Elite Dance and Performing Art Center

    Toni Ricci had achieved her dream of owning her own dance studio, but she hit a wall when she couldn’t qualify for a bank loan. Luckily, VEDC was able to provide her a microloan and the business counseling she needed. Today, Elite Dance has doubled its staff and tripled its students.

  • Javad Yaghoubi, City Shade

    When a sunglasses cart in the mall went up for sale, Javad jumped at the opportunity. He purchased the business in November of 2014, but needed more capital for inventory. Opening Doors helped Javad create a strong business plan and cash flow projections, and in December approved him for an $8,000 loan.

  • Tara Cooper, ‘Ohana Organics

    Tara Cooper had the know-how to make fantastic organic butters and salves, but needed help with the business end of things. North Coast SBDC gave her the tools and assistance she needed, and introduced her to a group of local organizations who helped her grow her award-winning company.

  • Al and Tamanna Rahman, Garden of Roses

    Al and Tamanna Rahman got married and opened a florist shop. They needed $12,500 to buy a cooler, but were turned down by the bank. Luckily, CDC Small Business Finance was there with a microloan to help them grow.

  • Xochitl Guerrero, Taller Xochicura

    Oakland artist Xochitl Guerrero launched her Taller Xochicura in 2013, and bought the laptop she needed to expand thanks to a $2,000 savings match from AnewAmerica.

  • Catarah Hampshire and Shoneji Robison, Southern Girl Desserts

    Catarah and Shoneji were trapped in a series of predatory loans, paying 40% of their daily sales just to keep their business afloat. Thanks to an EasyPay loan from Opportunity Fund, they were able to break out of the vicious cycle and grow their business safely.

  • Michael Barriere, BarrierEnergy Associates

    Inspired by the economic downturn to diversify his development agency, Michael Barriere turned to Women’s Economic Ventures for the training and microloans he needed to launch BarrierEnergy Associates.

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