As 2014 comes to an end, the staff at WEV has been reflecting on the past year and our clients’ many great accomplishments. We are continually inspired by the men and women who come to WEV and work diligently and passionately to start, grow and stabilize their businesses. WEV’s work is driven by our clients who overcome enormous obstacles to develop their businesses which go on to contribute back to the local economy.
Thanks to the unwavering support of our clients, donors and staff, WEV serves over 800 women and men annually in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Since our inception, we’ve served over 12,000 clients, made over $3.5 million in microloans, and helped start or sustain an estimated 3,000 businesses supporting more than 4,000 local jobs.
Here are some additional results from interviews with nearly 700 WEV clients over the past five years, which provide a tangible understanding of the work we are so passionate about.
Community Economic Impact – over the last five years, WEV-assisted businesses have:
- Created a total of 1,145 new jobs in the community.
- Sustained an additional 1,407 jobs.
- Generated an estimated $6.6 million in tax revenues for state and local economy.
While only 12% of woman-owned firms nation-wide have employees, 50% of WEV-assisted businesses have paid employees besides the owner with an average number of 3.5 workers per business and a median wage paid of $14 per hour.
Personal Economic Impact – within 18 months of receiving services:
- 46% of pre-business clients have started a business, and 60% of new business owners are taking a median draw of $21,000.
- 92% of clients who were in business at intake are still in business with average sales increasing by 50%, and owners’ draw increasing by 28%.
- 44% of all clients report increased household incomes with an average of 29%.
- 81% of clients in poverty at intake have moved out of poverty.
- 70% of clients who were unemployed at intake have started a business or secured a wage job.
Impact that Lasts – longitudinal studies of WEV clients show that five years after receiving services from WEV:
- 63% of pre-business clients have started a business, and 81% of existing businesses are still in business.
- Average sales of existing businesses have increased from $15,889 to $215,844 and owner’s draw has increased from $5,163 to $21,000.
- 45% of clients have increased their household income by an average of 46%.
- 85% of clients in poverty at intake have moved out of poverty.
WEV is so encouraged by these outcomes that clearly and consistently illustrate the power of small businesses – not just for our clients, but for everyone in the communities we serve. We hope you stay connected with us as we continue in our mission to create an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women in 2015.