Santa Barbara, June 30, 2011 – While empty storefronts are still commonplace on our downtown streets, three businesses bolstered by the help of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) are contributing to the local economic recovery. In an effort to build community and energize area businesses, WEV client businesses located in La Arcada will host a free “WEV Connects” networking event on Thursday, July 7th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm as part of First Thursday! The owners of Café Shell, Hampstead Village and one of the newest La Arcada businesses, Chocolats du CaliBressan, encourage WEV clients, alumni and all local business owners to stop by and “Energize your Enterprise” by connecting with other entrepreneurs and learning more about WEV.
Each of the three WEV client businesses will donate a percentage of sales from the evening to help support WEV programs. Event attendees can visit all three WEV client businesses for a chance to win a gift basket of goodies valued at $100.
The three businesses have one major thing in common—each owner had a dream of having their own businesses and turned to WEV for guidance and help to make their dream a reality.
Today these three businesses are integral parts of La Arcada. Shelley Shoemaker of Café Shell (formerly Barcliff & Bair) bought the restaurant in August 2007, Hampstead Village’s Angela Torin opened her fine British goods store in December 2010, and the Carres, Chef Jean-Michel and Jill-Marie of Chocolats du Calibressan chocolatiers officially opened their second location in May 2011!
“These businesses are great examples of how people with the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment can succeed when they are able to get the training, support and capital they need,” said Marsha Bailey, CEO and Founder of WEV. “I am so proud of our La Arcada businesses and every one of WEV’s diverse entrepreneurs. We are proud and grateful that they’ve chosen to support WEV so we can continue to help others in our community succeed.”
WEV offers a continuum of programs for entrepreneurs at every stage, including the flagship 14-week Self-Employment Training “SET” course, the accelerated six-week Business Plan Intensive (BPI) course, and “Business Ready,” WEV’s newest offering for those in the very earliest stages of exploring entrepreneurship. WEV also provides start-up and expansion loans.
Participants interested in signing up for one of these programs should attend a free one-hour orientation. WEV’s orientation will help you assess your business readiness. You’ll learn what WEV has to offer to help you start or grow your business.
WEV’s next free orientation takes place in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, July 19th from 12 noon to 1:00 pm.
Sign-up for an orientation online at www.wevonline.org or contact WEV at (805) 965-6073 for more information.
About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. 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 start, launch, grow and sustain a business. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Frazier Park. WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund provides start-up and expansion loans to pre-bankable microenterprises. WEV was designated a Community Development Financial Institution 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 Web site is at https://www.wevonline.org.
WEV is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.