A Brand New Year: Are you ready?

A Brand New Year: Are you ready?

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By Marsha Bailey, WEV CEO and Founder

The end of one year and the beginning of another is a natural time to pause and take stock of the past twelve months and make plans for the next. I love the feeling of wiping the slate clean and starting afresh, building on the successes but also analyzing the failures of the prior year. Because let’s face it, life is filled with both and it’s what we learn that really counts.

At WEV, we’re committed to setting goals and measuring outcomes – both for ourselves and our clients. Every December, we have an all-staff retreat where we review how well we met our program and organizational goals and then set new ones for the year (or years) ahead. Those goals go into our strategic business plan. Our long-term strategy is to help women grow their businesses to provide greater income and stability.

WEV has three major long-term goals:

  1. Increase training and consulting to help businesses grow
  2. Increase access to capital for low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs
  3. Increase services to Latino clients

In 2014, we had three major themes: STABILITYEFFICIENCYEXECUTION.

Here are some highlights from 2014:

  • Launched our Spanish language newsletter, served 51 clients in our Spanish language business training programs, held our first bi-lingual WEV Connects mixer with record attendance, and received funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation to hire a bilingual program coordinator and extend microloans to low-income Latinos in North Santa Barbara County.
  • Our core Business Training Programs (SET and BPI) provided between 36 and 54 hours of training to 208 clients. We launched Plan for Success, a free workshop offered prior to SET to help clients hone their financial skills and expectations.
  • Served 77 clients in our SET to Launch and Thrive consulting and training programs for start-up and existing businesses
  • Deployed $309,000 in microloans to pre-bankable businesses
  • Launched WEV Gotta Blog and have been posting every week.
  • Expanded Board membership and engagement at both the governing and advisory levels.

And some objectives for 2015:

  • Increase Spanish language program participation to 93 clients, an 82% increase.
  • Increase loan deployment to $425,000, a 38% increase
  • Hold enrollment in core training programs steady at 210 clients
  • Upgrade WEV’s accelerated business curriculum (BPI/Business Plan Intensive)
  • Expand training and consulting options for Thrive in Five® clients
  • Assess licensing opportunities for WEV training programs.

We hope you’ll share some of your accomplishments and goals with WEV. On behalf of the staff, board and volunteers at WEV, I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

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