October is National Women’s Small Business Month, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) Fundraiser Highlights Local Business Women

(September 28, 2020)

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) Fundraiser Highlights Local Business Women
Empowerment is Priceless, October 15

Featured clients at WEV’s 2020 Empowerment is Priceless fundraiser include (left to right): Elizabeth Gray Bayne, Gray Bayne Film and Media, LLC; Erica Morris, The Eco Store; Juliana Ramirez, JR Bookkeeping; Jennifer Walsh, Mesa Produce & Chuy Berry Farm, and Trailblazer Award recipient Brenda Allison, Coast General Insurance Brokers.

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) is  hosting the 15th annual Empowerment is Priceless fundraising event (virtually) on Thursday, October 15th from 9 – 10 a.m.  This year’s spotlight is on business owners facing the challenges of COVID-19 and the public is invited to attend the free event  by registering online at www.wevonline.org/eip.

“Empowerment is Priceless is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Women’s Small Business Month and the amazing impact women owned businesses have on  our communities and our local economy,” said WEV CEO Kathy Odell. “This year more than ever, women and minority business owners need our support to press on through these extraordinarily difficult times.”

At the event each year WEV presents the Trailblazer Award to recognize and honor  inspirational businesswomen in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties who have succeeded in challenging gender norms in society through sheer passion, commitment, vision and grit. This year, Brenda Allison, founder of two successful Ventura County insurance agencies and the Chief Executive Officer of Coast General Insurance Brokers, has been selected to receive the Women’s Economic Ventures’ Trailblazer Award.

Trailblazers are active community members and philanthropists whose accomplishments serve as an uplifting example to other women entrepreneurs and Allison definitely meets that criteria. She is a long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Ventura, serves as an executive board member and human resources committee chair for Casa Pacifica, is on the supervisory committee of the Ventura County Credit Union, is the founder and past chairperson of Latinos In Business at the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, and founder of the Cuban Culture Club of Ventura County.

“Women’s Economic Ventures is delighted to recognize Brenda Allison for her inspiring business and community leadership,” said Odell. “She has been a strong advocate for women in business and we invite the community to join us to see Brenda accept her award virtually.”

Major sponsors of the 2020 Empowerment is Priceless event are LinkedIn, American Riviera Bank, Bank of America, Coast General Insurance Brokers, County of Ventura, JP Morgan Chase & Co., La Arcada Courtyard, Montecito Bank & Trust, Pacific Western Bank, and Ventura County Credit Union. All proceeds raised will directly benefit client programs in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties including financial literacy training, Smart Entrepreneurial Training (SET), individual coaching and business advisory services, WEV en Español and WEV’s Loan Program.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. WEV serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to more than 17,500 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made over $5 million in business loans, and helped more than 4,500 local businesses start or expand.  WEV-supported businesses generate more than $300 million in annual sales revenues and have created nearly 9,000 jobs.  We are focused on the significant ways COVID-19 is impacting our community and are modifying our services and programs to assure WEV remains available to local entrepreneurs during this crisis.

WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  www.wevonline.org