Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) recently celebrated the accomplishments of 86 women and men who have successfully completed WEV’s Self-Employment Training program during a ceremony held at Montecito County Club. Fifty-six of the grads are from Santa Barbara County, 27 from Ventura County and 3 from Los Angeles County.
After 14 months of training on topics including finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan, these graduates emerged with the necessary tools and support needed to expand or start their own business.
Graduates range from first-time business owners to those who have turned to WEV to help expand their existing businesses. Some businesses and business concepts include a wine registry, eco-friendly swimsuits and a workshop to help widowers overcome loss.
During the ceremony, each graduate shared their new business venture through an “elevator pitch” that they have crafted and perfected through the course. The ceremony concluded with a reception and “business expo” where graduates showcased their businesses and shared their products with family and friends.
“After 14 weeks of commitment and hard work, these graduates emerge with the tools needed to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality, from brand new ventures to strategic growth of an established business, “said Marsha Bailey, CEO/Founder of WEV. “We are honored to welcome them to the WEV family and look forwarding to seeing where their accomplishments take them.”
Women’s Economic Ventures and the WEV Loan Program have provided entrepreneurial training and technical assistance to over 4,500 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, and made more than $3.7 million in loans to pre-bankable small businesses. Since 1991, WEV has helped more than 3,000 local businesses start or expand.
WEV’s 14-week Self-Employment Training course provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. The program provides week-by-week training on topics including finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan. Through the Self-Employment Training program, WEV teaches aspiring and new entrepreneurs the nuts and bolts of business, and empowers graduates with the confidence necessary to overcome the inevitable challenges business owners face. WEV clients are armed with the skills to run better businesses, employing 3.7 people on average, with a 92% business survival rate within 12-16 months of working with WEV.
The next Self-Employment Training (SET) course begins in February in Santa Barbara County. Orientation required to enroll. The next orientations will take place:
- Tuesday, January 5 from 6-7 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 13 from 12-1 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 20 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Location will be given at time of RSVP and is subject to change. For more information or to register for the free orientation, call (805) 456-2342 or visit the website at http://wevonline.org/orientations.
About 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 a continuum of comprehensive services – training, consulting and loans – to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria. WEV provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For more information, visit WEV’s Web site at http://www.wevonline.org.