Success Stories

California’s Micro-Businesses 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.

California’s Micro-business Success Stories

You can also view success stories by the following categories:

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

2014 Success Stories

  • Harvey Ledesma, Ledesma OptometryThanks to a $25,000 microloan from CDC Small Business Finance and business training from Inland Empire SBDC, Dr. Ledesma was able to retain five jobs, increase inventory and generate an additional $200,000 in revenue at his small optometry business.
  • Bernardo Ayala, Napa Valley BistroAlready a successful chef, Bernardo Ayala got the technical assistance and one-on-one support he needed to open his own restaurant from Napa-Sonoma SBDC.
  • Davin Vculek and Joe Blanton, Krush BurgerKrush Burger has expanded to two brick and mortar locations plus a fleet of food trucks thanks to high-quality food, a robust social media presence, and a small business loan from CAMEO member SAFE-BIDCO.
  • Melvina Hill, Melvina Hill ConsultingAfter being laid off, Melvina Hill built her fledgling consulting business with a microloan from Accion San Diego and Kiva.
  • Connie Fledderjohann, Happiness CardsThanks to support from West Company, encore entrepreneur Connie Fledderjohann was brave enough to change her business model and launch Happiness Cards, her growing micro-business.
  • Melissa Elia, Mayssa FragranceMelissa Elia started working with Women’s Initiative in 1999, and today her microbusiness, Mayssa Fragrance, sells its products across the country.
  • Christy & Al Kroell, ChristyAl PlaquesThanks to training from an SBA SCORE chapter and a timely loan from Fresno CDFI, veterans Christy and Al Kroell were able to purchase the laser engraver they needed to launch their small business.
  • Gregory King, Postcards – Gregory King had an MBA and years of experience in the corporate world, but the help he received from Pacific Coast Regional helped take Postcards, his soul food truck micro-business, from idea to reality.

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