Women’s Economic Ventures of Santa Barbara has received a $250,000 EQ2 loan from Wells Fargo to fund its Small Business Loan Fund, which provides start-up and expansion capital to small businesses that don’t qualify for conventional bank financing.

“Wells Fargo has been a wonderful partner that shares our goal of diversifying and expanding the local economy and creating new jobs by providing capital to small businesses,” said Marsha Bailey, president, CEO and founder of Women’s Economic Ventures and the Small Business Loan Fund.

“Wells Fargo is the single largest investor in WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund, demonstrating their confidence in WEV’s products and the need for small business capital in our communities,” said Judy Hawkins, executive director of WEV and the Small Business Loan Fund. “With this investment, Wells Fargo will help WEV extend funding in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to create jobs for low and moderate income people, including women and minorities, and support business expansion of woman-owned and minority-owned businesses.”

WEV established its Small Business Loan Fund in 1995 with a grant of $75,000 from the city of Santa Barbara and $225,000 in matching funds from seven local banks. To date, WEV has made about $2.1 million in loans, helping small-business owners succeed with ventures such as construction, photography, fine art gallery, graphic design, transcription services, custom tailor, publishing, oriental medicine/chiropractor, senior assisted living services and more.

“EQ2 investments, especially for small-business loan funds, are not made every day,” said Byron Reed, head of Wells Fargo’s Community Development Group for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region. “However, we are impressed by WEV and its commitment to providing capital and training for start-up and expansion of micro-enterprises, and their capacity to deliver consistent and solid results.”

Marjorie Wass is a publicist.