Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, CA, December 15, 2009 – Despite this year’s challenging economy, people in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties continue to follow the powerful dream of owning their own business.
After 14 weeks of classes in finance, leadership skills, marketing and more, graduates of Women’s Economic Ventures’(WEV) flagship Self-Employment Training Course are ready to launch or to grow their businesses and turn their entrepreneurial dreams into exciting reality. An additional six women have successfully completed WEV’s new business training program, Business Plan Intensive.
On Wednesday, December 16th, 78 individuals will graduate from the English and Spanish language Sef-Employment Training and Business Plan Intensive programs in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Ventura County. Twenty-three of the graduates are from Santa Barbara; 23 are from Santa Maria, 26 are from Ventura. The six ‘grads’ of WEV’s new Business Plan Intensive program hail from Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and Newbury Park. The ceremony will take place at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara, 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard. During the ceremony, graduates will be recognized for their achievements, and will announce their new business venture. Graduates who have completed their business plans will be awarded signature WEV pins. The event will conclude with a reception and “business expo” where graduates will showcase their new or pre-launch businesses.
WEV’s latest SET graduate businesses include a healthy fast food restaurant and other specialty food businesses, an artist co-op program, eco-friendly home accessories design, and a range of professional services and retail companies. Seventeen Santa Maria SET graduates are owners of new or growing childcare provider businesses, and are participating as part of a collaboration between WEV and the Santa Barbara Family Care Center, which utilizes SET as a requirement for certification and training for childcare providers.
“Women’s Economic Ventures is committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams – and support the Central Coast Economy,” said Angel Cottrell, Client Services Director, Women’s Economic Ventures. “We recognize the hard work and accomplishments of each of our SET graduates, and we will continue to provide them with the tools and support they need to move their businesses forward.”
There are now more than 1,000 businesses throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties owned and operated by graduates of WEV’s Self-Employment Training program or recipients of small business loans through WEV.
WHAT: Graduation ceremony, reception and business showcase honoring WEV’s Self-Employment Training (SET) program graduates
WHEN: Wednesday, December 16th, 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara
WHO: WEV graduates including class speakers, WEV staff and Board Members, community partners, friends, family and invited guests
MEDIA CONTACT: Candice Tang/Juliana Minsky, 805-687-3322
WEV’s comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training program is targeted at women, (and also serves men) to provide guidance on how to start, operate and 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 personal leadership skills, personal finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, cash flow projections, and writing a business plan. WEV’s Business Plan Intensive is a 6-week intensive course, designed primarily for people who are currently already in business. Participants in Business Plan Intensive will also be made eligible to enter WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund pipeline.
The Self-Employment Training course is offered twice each year, with classes starting in September and February. The class runs for 14 consecutive weeks, one night a week for 3 hours, and includes two full Saturdays. Classes are taught in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, , Thousand Oaks and Ventura. Open enrollment for the course means that participants can sign up at any time throughout the year, after attending a free one-hour orientation workshop. (See below for orientation dates).
Self-Employment Training courses are part of WEV’s continuum of programs that help entrepreneurs start-up, launch, grow, and sustain a business, including business consulting, entrepreneurial coaching, advanced business training, and small business start-up and expansion loans.
About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women across the globe. Since 1991, WEV has been providing self-employment training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily low-income women. Today, WEV offers a continuum of programs to help women succeed at every stage of the business lifecycle. Services include comprehensive self-employment training program, advanced training, business consulting, coaching, and networking opportunities to help individuals to startup, launch, grow, and sustain a business. WEV’s service area has grown to include north and south Santa Barbara County and Ventura County with offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura. WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) provides start-up and expansion loans to pre-bankable microenterprises. WEV was designated a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in 1999 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. The WEV website is at www.wevonline.org.