Santa Barbara, CA. July XX, 2008 – An audience of expert speakers, Santa Barbara and Ventura County entrepreneurs and Women’s Economic Ventures staff and leadership recognized the Citi Foundation for its support during WEV’s Think BIG Conference and Business Expo on June 27th, 2008 at Fess Parker’s Doubletree, Citi representatives presented a $25,000 check to WEV . The grant will support WEV’s Think BIG series, which provides advanced training for entrepreneurs in the “grow” stage of their business lifecycle.
Citi and the Citi Foundation have supported Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) growth since 2002 through foundation grants and corporate sponsorship. Citi and WEV share two key goals in serving the community: 1) Small Business/Economic Development & Job Creation, and 2) Financial Education. Through Citi and the Citi Foundation’s support, WEV is able to assist entrepreneurs to prepare for business growth, and develop better understanding of the financial services that may be able to help them achieve their business goals.
“At Women’s Economic Ventures, we provide an array of services for women and men at every stage of the business lifecycle,” said Judy Hawkins, Executive Director, Women’s Economic Ventures. “Thanks to the support from Citi and our other dedicated sponsors, we can help small businesses expand and grow. In turn, these businesses provide jobs and economic development opportunities for individuals and families throughout the communities they serve.”
In addition to the Citi Foundation’s 2008 grant to WEV for its Think BIG program, the Citi Foundation and the Aspen Institute/FIELD’s Citi Microenterprise Researchers Program funded and trained a summer intern to participate in WEV’s Success Outcomes Project. WEV was one of only 20 organizations nationwide selected to participate in this prestigious research initiative in 2008. . The internship program is designed to help organizations collect extensive data on their clients that can be used to improve or identify gaps in services, fund-raise or advocate for entrepreneurship. These internships are also a way to introduce college students to the microenterprise field and help create the next generation of industry leaders.