CEO of CAMEO
Claudia Viek’s passion is to foster start-ups and micro-business. She has over 25 years of experience in business incubation, entrepreneurial training (think mini-MBA) and microfinance (loans under $50,000). Her satisfaction comes from watching the transformation of new entrepreneurs who, as they grow into successful business owners and leaders in their community, in turn transform their own neighborhoods and local economies.
Claudia is the CEO of CAMEO (California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity) a statewide network of 170 organizations and individuals committed to promoting economic opportunity and community well-being through entrepreneurial training programs and microloans. CAMEO’s members serve 21,000 businesses annually with training, business assistance and microloans. These very small businesses support or create 37,000 jobs.
Claudia’s leadership of CAMEO has increased recognition of the role that microfinance plays in stimulating new local business development, and has resulted in millions of dollars of capital and new grants flowing into nonprofit lenders in California.
Claudia is a pioneer in both the Micro Enterprise and business incubation movement in California. She founded the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco in 1987 and served for 14 years as its executive director. Renaissance is an award winning training, technical assistance and business incubation program. Claudia founded the Pacific Incubation Network of business incubators from Baja to Alaska.
Claudia is a board member of Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) and California Economic Development Lending Initiative (CEDLI). She is the chairwoman of the national State Micro Enterprise Association (SMA) network. She is a past president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners and has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Claudia is a recognized thought leader for micro-business. Her ideas have been published in outlets such as American Banker and The Washington Post. Her speaking engagements have included: The Federal Reserve Board, California League of Cities and the California Workforce Association.
She has a B.A. from William Smith College, has five sons and a large extended family, including eight grandchildren.