What We Do

Women's Economic Ventures (WEV) helps Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents start and grow small businesses through training, loans and consulting. WEV's mission is to create an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women.

Free Orientation!

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Attend a free 1-hour orientation to learn about WEV's Self-Employment Training (SET) course and other programs to help you succeed in business!

Featured Client

Lisa Gaede

Lisa Gaede, founder of Carlyle Salon, has turned her dream of owning her own business into a thriving reality, utilizing the SET program, a WEV Loan, and now Thrive in Five®Click here to read more!


WEV is a non-profit. Why do you charge for services?

A non-profit corporation is supported by a variety of income sources including grants, donations and fees. WEV charges fees for two reasons: 

1) We believe that clients will be more committed to successfully completing our programs if they have invested their own money in their training and
2) Program fees are an important component of WEV's income and sustainability - we couldn't survive without fee income.
The difference between a non-profit and a for-profit corporation is that the non-profit exists for the benefit of the public. There are no shareholders in a non-profit and although we may show a "profit" at the end of the year, any excess earnings cannot be distributed but must be kept in the non-profit coffers to serve the organization's mission.

Can WEV help men, too?

Yes, WEV's services are open to women and men.

Where can I find WEV's calendar of events?

Training events are listed on the appropriate program webpages (such as orientation dates on the Orientation page, or SET course dates on the Course Description page). A list of other events (such as SET graduation or WEV Connects) is available on the Upcoming Events page.

I heard WEV offers grants and free money, is this true?

WEV does not give grants or free money, but we do offer business loans. It has come to our attention that some publications have printed this erroneous information. We hope you didn't "pay" for it!

I live outside of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties; can you direct me to an organization like yours in my area?

Please click the link to search for an association in your state who can direct you to an organization in your area:
Search AEO members by state
Search for SBA District Offices & Resource Partners by Zip Code

Do you have any local statistics on my field of business?

Great information can be found in your public library. Also visit the Market Research category on the Useful Links page of our website.

Does WEV offer networking opportunities to local businesses?

By getting involved in some of WEV's programs and events, you will find yourself not only networking, but making friends and having fun. Perhaps you could be a guest speaker at one of our classes, attend a graduation ceremony, or WEV Connects event in your region! If you have not already done so, sign up for our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook so you can stay up to date on all of WEV happenings!

Can I buy a copy of the SET workbook?

The current version of the SET workbook is available to the public for $100, or $35 for an older version. You may purchase one by calling your regional WEV office, subject to availability.

Do you have a list of WEV client businesses?

Yes, WEV's client business directory showcases local businesses whose owners are SET/BPI graduates, Small Business Loan Fund recipients or Thrive in Five® clients in good standing. Support your local economy and fellow WEV business owners by searching the directory before making purchases of goods and services!

Can I retake the SET course?

We permit graduates to retake the course; scholarship eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you graduated more than 1 year ago, we do require that you attend an orientation and fill out an application to enroll. Call your regional office or visit our Orientations page to sign up. 

Quick Links

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WEV Gotta Blog!

What if?

By Marsha Bailey, WEV CEO and Founder

What if women believed they could do anything and be anything? At WEV’s "Empowerment is Priceless" event in May, Marsha Bailey shared her hope for women to have access to business education, capital, and support networks so they can create successful businesses and pursue their dreams.

Read more & join the conversation!


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Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Color Certified CDFI LogoWEV has been a certified CDFI since 1999. CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions that are dedicated to providing financial services to meet the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals within underserved communities.

Association of Women's Business Centers

 AWBC logoThe Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC) works to secure ECONOMIC JUSTICE and ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES for women by supporting and sustaining a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBC) such as WEV.

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