Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, May, 2011 – What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Money? Luck? Hard work and long hours? The perfect idea? Hundreds of employees? You can find success stories, advice and tips, but how do you know if you have ‘what it takes’ to start or grow your own business?
Nonprofit Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) offers free one-hour orientations including an Entrepreneurial Self-Evaluation worksheet to help local women and men explore what it takes, and find out which WEV business training program might be a match. Since 1991, WEV has helped to create or expand over 2,000 local and national businesses based in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, creating or retaining over 3,000 local jobs.
WEV offers a continuum of programs for entrepreneurs at every stage, including the new 10-hour “Business Ready” workshop designed for the person who needs to define and refine their business concept before taking steps to open a business; the core 14-week Self-Employment Training (SET) course; and the accelerated six-week Business Plan Intensive (BPI) course, designed for business professionals who need quicker access to capital.
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.
To help you start thinking, WEV offers these Indicators of a Successful Entrepreneur: (more information at https://wevonline.org/component/content/article/14-toppanel/8-are-you-an-entrepreneur):
1. You are open to self evaluation
Identify which entrepreneurial traits are your strengths and which are your weaknesses: Independence, Self-Discipline, Creativity, Drive, and Time Management
2. You’re passionate about your business vision
What does success mean to you personally, for your business and how will you measure success?
3. You have or know how to find resources
Do you have or know where you can find Time, Money, Talent, Outside Support and Training?
WEV 2011 Summer and Fall Programs – Ready, Set, Go and Thrive!
Upcoming free one-hour orientations:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 6-7 p.m.
Thursday, May 19, 2011, 6-7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 12-1 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 6-7 p.m.
Orientation Sign-up: www.wevonline.org/classes-and-workshops/orientations
Business Ready Workshop (Starts June 11th in Ventura; June 14th in Santa Barbara)
Business Ready is a 10-hour workshop designed for the person who needs to define and refine their business concept before taking steps to open a business. If you don’t have one concrete business idea – or you have five – this workshop will guide you in the process of thinking creatively so you can develop a clear picture for your business. It will also help you ask and answer the right questions before you dive in, such as: What are my goals for starting a business? Do I have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Am I ready financially? Where can I go for additional assistance? Through the program, participants will come away with a clearer picture of what a feasible business idea is, what it takes to start a business, and get solid advice from real business owners.
Self-Employment Training (SET)
Starts in September in Ventura and Santa Barbara
WEV’s comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training (SET) program is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. Participants leave the course with a complete business plan including a marketing plan, a cash flow projection, an operations plan, and a core network to help sustain the 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. After the 14 week course, WEV SET graduates emerge with the most important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business.
Business Plan Intensive (BPI)
Starts May 31st in Ventura
In February, May and September, WEV offers Business Plan Intensive, an accelerated, six-week business plan writing course, designed for business professionals who need access to capital quickly. Business Plan Intensive is perfect for new entrepreneurs and current business owners who need to implement a launch or a growth strategy and need an infusion of capital to succeed. The course includes emphasis on financial intelligence and integrated marketing techniques, and a viability study. Participants complete a business plan, necessary to apply for a small business loan, and have the opportunity to simultaneously enter WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) pipeline.
Starts May 30th in Ventura and Santa Barbara
Roundtables were designed to meet the needs of WEV’s Self-Employment Training or Business Plan Intensive graduates, so that during the critical time they are preparing to launch (or have recently launched) their business, course graduates will still have the valuable support and guidance of instructors and classmates. Roundtable sessions begin two weeks after graduation and are comprised of one 3-hour session every 3-5 weeks for a total of four sessions.
Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF)
The goal of Small Business Loan Fund is to diversify and expand the local economy and create new jobs by providing start-up and expansion capital to small businesses that do not qualify for conventional bank financing. SBLF loans are targeted to low and moderate income men and women, minorities and others who have been traditionally underserved by lenders. Loan amounts ranging between $1,000 to $50,000 are available. All loans are subject to Loan Committee approval.
Thrive in Five
Rolling enrollment starts every 3 to 4 months
Thrive in Five provides long-term, individualized training, consulting and coaching for entrepreneurs who have already written a business plan and launched their business, but need assistance with stabilizing and/or growing their companies. Success is achieved through regular meetings with WEV staff, consultants and coaches who facilitate accountability to your strategic goals. Thrive in Five participants commit to working with WEV for at least 12 months (can be and up to 5 years).
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. 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.