June 13, 2018
A celebration of entrepreneur graduates and business resiliency filled the Hilton Santa Barbara Resort Wednesday evening May 30th, 2018. The Women’s Economic Ventures’ event featured a graduation, awards presentation and a shop local market.
The People’s Choice Award went to Jean-Michel & Jill Marie Carre of Chocolats du CaliBressan, who have shops in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. They were recognized for showing resilience to stay in business, through the difficult times our community faced during recent disasters. Last month, the entire WEV community was invited to vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
The event also featured two business owners inducted into the Million Dollar Club. These businesses have reached $1 million dollars in annual revenue at a given point, which is a milestone achieved by less than 2% of woman-owned businesses, and less than 4% of male-owned businesses in the U.S. The inductees included: Gabrielle Moes of Seasons Catering. Moes took WEV’s SET class in 1999, launched her business in 2000, and now at times has up to 75 staff members on payroll. The honor also went to Margaret Townsend of Animal & Insect Pest Management Inc. Townsend has been receiving support in the growth of her business through WEV’s Thrive & High Growth programs since 2014.
Dozens of students graduated from the Smart Entrepreneurial Training program. It’s a 14 week course with night and some weekend classes. 80 % of students submitted their business plan upon completion.
Attendees were able to browse through the shop local market before and after the graduation ceremony. Women’s Economic Ventures will soon be launching its Love Your Local Business campaign to continue raising awareness about the importance of shopping local.