Santa Maria, CA, December XX, 2008 – Even in the midst of a national economic downturn, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) continues to energize the Central Coast business community. After 14 weeks of classes in finance, leadership skills, marketing and more through WEV’s Self-Employment Training program, 82 individuals are set to graduate in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Ventura and launch their unique business ideas and services.
On Tuesday, December 16th, 17 individuals will graduate from the program in Santa Maria with seven graduating from the English language program and ten from the Spanish language program. The ceremony will take place at the Veteran’s Memorial Center Auditorium in Santa Maria. During the ceremony, each graduate will be recognized for their achievements, and will announce their new business venture. The event will conclude with a reception and “business expo” where graduates will showcase their new or pre-launch businesses. Santa Maria’s latest WEV graduate businesses include a professional service company that helps small business owners throughout the Central Coast improve their operations.
“Economic transformation in the United States economy has historically been driven by the development of small business. They provide economic stability to their local communities by generating locally based taxes and they help keep money in the local community,” said Marsha Bailey, Founder and CEO, Women’s Economic Ventures. “At WEV, we will continue to help our clients achieve their dreams and support the Central Coast economy, through the Self-Employment Training program and other WEV services.”
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 honoring WEV’s Self-Employment Training program graduates
WHEN: Tuesday, December 16, 6 – 8 pm
WHERE: Veteran’s Memorial Center Auditorium, 313 West Tunnell Street, Santa Maria
WHO: WEV graduates, WEV executives and staff, community partners, friends, family and invited guests
MEDIA CONTACT: Marjorie M. Wass/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.
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, Oxnard and 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). English and Spanish language orientations are held in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks.
Self-Employment Training courses are part of WEV’s continuum of programs that help women entrepreneurs start-up, launch, grow, and sustain a business, including business counseling, advanced business training, quarterly conferences 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 counseling, 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 Oxnard. 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.