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Women's Economic Ventures
updated: Sep 01, 2012, 11:00 AM
Women's Economic Ventures (WEV) is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through
economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. WEV aims to boost economic recovery and support
individual independence through the process of creating and supporting small businesses. Since 1991,
WEV has been providing self-employment training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily
low-income women. WEV gives individuals the tools to start, launch, grow and sustain their own
business. WEV's services include a comprehensive self-employment training program, advanced
training, business consulting and coaching, and networking opportunities. Courses are provided on a
sliding scale basis to allow people from all socioeconomic backgrounds access to WEV's resources.
WEV has helped local women and men start or grow more than 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining
an estimated 3,500 jobs. In fact, every dollar invested in WEV's programs generates a return of $12 to
the local Santa Barbara and Ventura County economies, the region where the organization serves.
WEV's Small Business Loan Fund provides start-up and expansion loans to pre-bankable
microenterprises that would otherwise have a difficult time attaining the money necessary to establish
or expand their business. WEV's loan fund has provided over $2.5 million in loans to local, pre-
Coming up this fall, WEV offers two of their business training courses: Self-Employment Training (SET)
and Business Plan Intensive (BPI). The flagship SET course is a comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour
program that is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or
expand a 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. 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. Through the SET program, graduates emerge with the most
important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business.
WEV's BPI course is 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.
Interested participants can attend a free orientation to find out which program is right for them. English
and Spanish language orientations are held in Santa Barbara, Buellton, Santa Maria, Thousand Oaks and
In 1999, WEV was designated a Community Development Financial Institution 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. Recently, WEV was named the 2012 winner of the Women's
Business Center of Excellence Award by the Small Business Administration's Los Angeles District Office.
For ways to get involved or to find out more about WEV's programs, visit www.wevonline.org or call
(805) 965-6073 for the Santa Barbara office or (805) 667-8004 for the Ventura office.
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