The Invest in Women Entrepreneurs Initiative wants every woman entrepreneur to have the resources she needs to start and grow her business and build wealth.
CAMEO is a statewide network of 200 nonprofits, individuals and agencies that supports the growth of micro business development through capacity building programs and advocacy. CEO is recognized thought leader creating policies and programs to advance entrepreneurship in low and moderate income communities, both urban and rural; advocate with federal and state agencies and legislature, promoting economic impacts of micro sector and generating new resources to build the field. Presents and publishes extensively to increase public awareness of self-employment trends and impact on local economies.
Developed one of the country’s first micro-enterprise programs from a single training class to a nationally recognized model for growing inner city businesses. Programs target women and minority entrepreneurs and comprise intensive business skills training, business support networks, Financing Resource Center and the first Business Incubator in Northern CA.
Increased annual budget ten-fold; worked with banks and private donors to purchase first facility in 1997; recipient of several national awards for excellence.
Operated community center serving low-income residents of the Tenderloin neighborhood. Programs included a drop in center, fine arts studio, street youth outreach and the Tenderloin Times newspaper; increased budget 500%.
Claudia Viek has a passion for fostering start-ups and micro-business. With over 25 years of experience in entrepreneurial training, business incubation, and micro lending, she finds nothing more satisfying than seeing new entrepreneurs, especially women, grow into successful business owners and leaders in their communities, transforming their own neighborhoods and local economies.
In 2018 she launched the national Invest in Women Entrepreneurs Initiative, a coalition of women business leaders seeking to significantly increase resources for women business owners, through business coaching, capital access and connections to market opportunities.
While serving as CEO of CAMEO, the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity, Claudia built a statewide network of 160 organizations and individuals committed to promoting economic
opportunity and community wellbeing through entrepreneurship programs and micro-loans. CAMEO’s members now serve 50,000 businesses with training, business assistance and micro-loans every year.
As 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. Today, Renaissance is an award winning training, technical assistance and business incubation program.
Claudia also founded the Pacific Incubation Network of business incubators from Baja to Alaska to facilitate the growth of a robust micro-business economy along the West Coast.
As a recognized thought leader for micro-businesses, her ideas have been published in outlets such as the Huffington Post, the American Banker and The Washington Post, and heard on NPR’s Morning Edition. She is a highly sought-after speaker, and has addressed prestigious groups such as the U.S.
Senate Banking Committee, The Federal Reserve Board, the California League of Cities and the International Economic Development Council.
Claudia also serves on the Community Advisory Boards of Union Bank and First Republic Bank; she is co-chair of the American Sustainable Business Council’s Working Group for Women and was a long-term board member of Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). 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.
She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently, Champion of Women Businesses in Los Angeles region, 2016, and Urban Fire’s Honorary Igniter, 2017.