National unemployment is still rising, stock prices are sinking and President Barack Obama has proclaimed in a recent report that “we still have a big hole to fill” to replace jobs lost during the recession. While slower-than-forecast job growth dulls optimism about our recovery, Women’s Economic Ventures continues to help turn economic uncertainty into opportunity for local entrepreneurs.

Since 1991, the nonprofit WEV has helped create or expand more than 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining more than 3,000 local jobs through training, loans and other resources to help local women and men start or grow a business.

WEV’s core small-business training programs, 14-week Self-Employment Training and accelerated six-week Business Plan Intensive, start in September in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Self-Employment Training

WEV’s comprehensive 14-week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training program is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. Participants leave the course with a complete business plan including a marketing plan, a cash flow projection, an operations plan, and a core network to help sustain the 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 finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan. After the 14-week course, WEV SET graduates emerge with the most important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business. 

WEV’s Self-Employment Training course is offered twice each year, with classes starting in February and in September. The class runs for 14 consecutive weeks, one evening a week for three hours, plus two full Saturdays. Classes are taught in Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

Participants considering the course are required to attend a free one-hour orientation workshop. These orientations offer a complete overview of the SET course and help clients assess whether self-employment is right for them. English and Spanish language orientations are held in Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

Orientation Dates
Click here or call 805.965.6073 to make a reservation

» South Santa Barbara County — English, 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 3

» North Santa Barbara County — English, TBD, check back on WEV website for August orientation dates; Spanish, by appointment only, call 805.965.6073

» Ventura — English, 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 4

— Candice Tang is a publicist representing Women’s Economic Ventures.