CAMEO is California’s statewide micro-business network made up of over 400 organizations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to furthering Micro-Business development in California with small and micro-business financing such as loans and credit, technical assistance and business management training. We build capacity and expand resources for our members. We also educate the public on the economic impacts of micro-business through public awareness and advocacy at the local, state and federal level to support the growth of micro-business, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Support start-up microbusiness, build wealth, and create strong California communities.

MISSION STATEMENTTo grow a thriving ecosystem of support for underserved entrepreneurs.
VISION STATEMENTAll entrepreneurs have access to the resources they need to succeed, creating family economic mobility and community prosperity.
Trusted Partner
Thought Leader

Annually, CAMEO members serve about 200,000 very small businesses with training, business and credit assistance and loans. These firms – largely start-ups with less than five employees – support or create more than 300,000 new jobs in California and generate a total of $15 billion in economic activity.


  • Federal taxes paid increased 35% over a five-year period.
  • Local small businesses have a multiplier effect on their local economies that is twice that of big national chains.

Source: Annual Member Survey

Microbusinesses are Job Creators.

Very small businesses create the jobs. Period. Firms with one to four employees, known as micro-businesses, are stronger than other sized businesses when it comes to job creation. We crunched the latest available numbers from the Small Business Administration and found:

  • From 2004 to 2012, U.S. micro-businesses created a net of 7 million jobs, while the largest businesses lost 3/4 million (774,410 to be exact) jobs during the same period.
  • Very small businesses created jobs every year and mostly created more jobs than any other firm size.
  • During 2009 and 2010, micro-businesses were the only firm size that created jobs.

It’s a New Era Workforce of Independent, Self-employed Entrepreneurs

People involved in alternative work arrangements that collect a 1099 account for 30 million workers or about 20 percent of the labor force; a number that is growing at a rate faster than general total employment. If you include people who do some very part-time independent work, you end up with about 70 million people involved in the new era economy, or 36 percent of the workforce.

Our members help the self-employed and entrepreneurs create their own jobs as well as jobs for others, help Main Street businesses survive and thrive during difficult economic times, revitalize neighborhoods through business development, and provide infrastructure that strengthens families.

Our video CAMEO Connects illustrates the power of locally-grown small businesses.