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Women's Economic Ventures
updated: Aug 21, 2010, 8:30 AM
About Women's Economic Ventures (WEV)
Women's Economic Ventures (WEV) is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing self-employment training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily low-income women. Today, WEV offers a continuum of programs to help women (and men) succeed at every stage of the business lifecycle. Services include comprehensive self-employment training program, advanced training, business consulting, coaching, and networking opportunities to help individuals to startup, launch, grow, and sustain a business. WEV's service area includes north and south Santa Barbara County and Ventura County with offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura. WEV's Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) provides start-up and expansion loans to pre-bankable microenterprises.
Self-Employment Training (SET)
WEV's comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training (SET) program is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. Participants leave the course with a complete business plan including a marketing plan, a cash flow projection, an operations plan, and a core network to help sustain the business. The program is offered in both English and Spanish, and provides week-by-week training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business. Topics include finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan. After the 14 week course, WEV SET graduates emerge with the most important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business.
Since 1991, WEV has helped to create or expand over 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining over 3,000 local jobs.
The Self-Employment Training course is offered twice each year, with classes starting in February and in September. The class runs for 14 consecutive weeks, one night a week for three hours, and includes two full Saturdays. Classes are taught in Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. Participants considering the course are required to attend a free one-hour orientation workshop, offered in the month of August (and first of September). These orientations offer a complete overview of the SET course and help clients assess whether self-employment is right for them.
Business Plan Intensive
In late September, WEV will offer Business Plan Intensive, an accelerated, six-week business plan writing course, designed for business professionals who need access to capital quickly. Business Plan Intensive is perfect for new entrepreneurs and current business owners who need to implement a launch or a growth strategy and need an infusion of capital to succeed. The course includes emphasis on financial intelligence and integrated marketing techniques, and a viability study.
WEV was designated a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in 1999 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2005, the Small Business Administration recognized WEV as the most productive Women's Business Center in the nation. For more information or to sign up for a free orientation in August, please call 805-965-6073 or visit our website.
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