Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program recently awarded a $300,000 grant to Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV).
The funds will be used to support the growth of WEV’s loan program, which provides startup and expansion capital for businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties that are unable to qualify for traditional bank financing.
This month, Wells Fargo & Company announced it has exceeded its initial $75 million commitment for the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program by awarding $13 million in lending capital and grants to 19 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the latest round of the program.
The CDFIs, which are nonprofit financial institutions, use the funds to deliver affordable financial products to diverse small business owners who do not typically have access to conventional financing.
“Rural small businesses and their diverse owners have different challenges than their urban counterparts, and we want to be part of a solution that helps remove those obstacles to growth,” said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations at Wells Fargo.
Women’s Economic Ventures provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well, and provides most services in English and Spanish.
WEV was founded by Marsha Bailey, a nationally recognized advocate for women business owners. She recently completed her tenures on the National Women’s Business Council and as board president of the national Association of Women’s Business Centers.
For more, visit www.wevonline.org.
— Regina Ruiz for Women’s Economic Ventures.