Tag Archives: WEV

Women’s Economic Ventures Selected for $50,000 Award to Invest in Contract Workers, Small Business Owners of Color Hardest Hit by COVID-19

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) will receive $50,000 in funding to assist minority entrepreneurs and 1099 workers as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant, awarded by Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system and NALCAB – the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, will also provide technical assistance and training as part of WEV’s work to provide culturally relevant support to low-wealth entrepreneurs and 1099 contract workers of color.

“The pandemic has been particularly challenging for minority and women-owned businesses”, said WEV CEO Kathy Odell.  “WEV is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with NALCAB and Kaiser Permanente to provide much needed training and capital to minority-owned businesses in Ventura County. This innovative program will provide forgivable loans and targeted training to help them move forward with confidence and build successful, sustainable businesses.”

Through a competitive process, organizations in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC were eligible to apply for grants up to $60,000 administered by NALCAB. The grants will support resiliency among entrepreneurs, including adapting their business model more effectively to the constraints of public health guidance, and assistance in navigating and accessing federal, state and local government, as well as philanthropic, emergency relief and business assistance resources.

Through its commitment to foster economic opportunity for traditionally underserved communities, Kaiser Permanente has also designated $15 million in grants to increase access to formal training, business networks, and recovery and growth capital to help businesses led by Latinos and other groups to overcome systemic economic disadvantage.

“With the understanding that a return to ‘business as usual’ is still far off, it is urgent that the small businesses and entrepreneurs of color who have suffered disproportionate financial setbacks during the pandemic receive aid and assistance to maintain their vitality,” said Stephanie Ledesma, interim senior vice president for community health programs at Kaiser Permanente.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), www.wevonline.org

Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women.  WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills. WEV provides small business training, advisory services, financial literacy programs and small business loans in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV’s focus is on women, it welcomes people of all gender identities into the WEV community. Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business advisory services to more than 19,000 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made more than $6.4 million in small business loans and helped more than 5,000 local businesses start or expand, generating an estimated $770 million in annual sales and creating nearly 12,000 local jobs.  WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center and Microlender, as well as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

About NALCAB 

NALCAB – National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders – is the hub of a national network of more than 130 mission-driven organizations in 40 states, DC and Puerto Rico that that serve ethnically diverse Latino communities across the US. Members of the NALCAB Network invest in their communities by building affordable housing, addressing gentrification, supporting small business growth, and providing financial counseling on issues such as credit building and home ownership. Our mission is to strengthen the economy by advancing economic mobility in Latino communities. The NALCAB Network serves hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income people, the vast majority of whom are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Local Civil Rights Activist Lupe Anguiano named 2021 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Rock Star: Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship (SOE) Awards, presented by Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), is thrilled to announce that Lupe Anguiano will be honored as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Rock Star: Lifetime Achievement Award. Anguiano is an entrepreneur and activist known for her work on women’s rights, the rights of the poor, and the protection of the environment who has founded two impactful nonprofits. She will be recognized at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards event, which will be held virtually on May 21.  Information at www.soefoundation.org

In 1978, Anguiano founded an organization called National Women’s Employment & Education (NWEE) that offered a model program removing many of the barriers faced by women on welfare. By the early 1990’s NWEE had placed 3,000 women in jobs. Forty years later, still going strong at 75-years-old, she founded and directed Stewards of the Earth, a non-profit organization committed to protecting the west coast environment from agricultural pollutants, fracking and the downsides of development.

Lupe Anguiano

Anguiano, the daughter of Oxnard fieldworkers who will celebrate her 92nd birthday in March, has led a remarkable life that has included organizing grape boycotts for Cesar Chavez, developing a program for gang members in East LA, and founding a powerful women’s political group with Gloria Steinem. As an education specialist in the Johnson administration, Lupe worked on the nation’s first bilingual education bill and went on to hold various positions in the Nixon, Carter, and Reagan administrations. She worked closely with President Reagan and received a President’s Volunteer Award from him in 1983 for her work with NWEE.

Anguiano is the 11th recipient of WEV’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Rock Star Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made an indelible impact on our community and who serves as a role model for women. Previous recipients include Lynne Tahmisian, Sara Miller McCune, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Betty Hatch, and Carol Duncan.

“Lupe Anguiano is truly deserving of this lifetime achievement award since she has been working hard to make our world a better place for more than 70 years,” said Kathy Odell, CEO of WEV. “This is the first time we have recognized the founder of a nonprofit with this award so it’s an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of this type of entrepreneurship in our society. Lupe’s pioneer work with NWEE changed the lives of thousands of women and created a model that is still being used.” 

WEV’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards also celebrate outstanding businesswomen from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in ten industry categories.  Nominations are now open and community members are encouraged to nominate a woman entrepreneur (including themselves) to be recognized at the May 21 event.  Nominations are due by February 21, https://soe.awardsplatform.com/.  

For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Kate MacNaughton at kmacnaughton@wevonline.org or (805) 908-0091.

To arrange interviews with Lupe Anguiano, SOE Committee Members, past winners, or to request high-resolution photos or collateral, please contact Lysa Urban at 805.456.2356 or lurban@wevonline.org.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)www.wevonline.org

Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV provides training, consulting, and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and thrive in business. WEV serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to more than 19,000 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made over $6.4 million in business loans and helped more than 5,000 local businesses start or expand, generating an estimated $770 million in annual sales and creating nearly 12,000 local jobs. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center and Microlender, as well as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

Women, a Smart Investment

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) was founded in 1991 when women earned 56 cents for every dollar earned by a man. A male college graduate earned almost twice as much as a female college graduate. Women weren’t routinely viewed as managers or executives, let alone entrepreneurs. There were only a handful of organizations in the entire country devoted to helping women start businesses. WEV was a pioneer in the arena.

Fast forward to 2020. WEV has provided business training and consulting to more than 17,500 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and made over $6 million in loans to local businesses. More than 5,000 businesses have started or grown with WEV’s help, creating or sustaining an estimated 9,400 local jobs. And for those interested in ROI, every dollar spent on WEV results in $12 in tax revenue and jobs created.

Charlotte Andersen, The Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant

Small business owners have grown to depend on WEV not only to learn how to write a business plan or secure a loan, but to find a community that encourages and supports them in their personal and business growth. 

If you are invested in creating a better world for your children and grandchildren and are concerned about the economic stability of our country in general, then you should be interested in women’s entrepreneurship and women’s leadership. The cost of not caring is enormous. A seminal 2015 study by McKinsey & Company found that the global economy would grow by $28 trillion by 2025 if women reached parity with men in the workforce. That’s $7.5 trillion more than U.S. GDP.

If macroeconomics doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, think local quality of life. “WEV is helping to create a pipeline of sustainable entrepreneurs who build businesses that are the heart of our communities,” CEO Kathy Odell says. “The businesses we rely on daily for fresh juice, dry cleaning, childcare, staying healthy and fit, personal care services, dining out – businesses that enable our prized lifestyle.” 

Now that is something worth investing in.