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.
In 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
- Farmer Veteran Coalition
- Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles
- National Asian American Coalition
- Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)
Veteran Micro-business Success Stories
- Christy & Al Kroell, ChristyAl Plaques
Thanks 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.
- Karen Bartlett, Veterans Home Team
Karen Bartlett participated in Veterans Business Outreach workshops and trainings to develop Veterans Home Team, her award-winning Sacramento-area business.
- Kelly Carlisle, Acta Non Verba
After returning home from the Navy, Kelly Carlisle started a farming project serving East Oakland youth and their families.
Send us your veteran micro-business success stories.
Veteran Micro-business Resources
- From SBA’s Office of Advocacy – Profile of Veteran Business Owners: More Young Veterans Appear To Be Starting Businesses, November 2013
- The Mission Continues awards community service fellowships to post-9/11 veterans, empowering them to transform their own lives by serving others and directly impacting their communities.
- CalVet 2011 Women Veterans Survey
- Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus™ – provides resources, including mentors, subject matter experts, and online connections to women veterans and military and veteran spouses to assist them in obtaining meaningful employment and a successful career of interest to them. CAMEO members can sign up online as mentors and subject matter experts on self employment and entrepreneurship. Please like Joining Forces on Facebook.
- Women Veterans Connect
- Press release for Veteran’s Day 2012: Veterans Day Present for Women Veterans
Veteran Micro-business Sponsors