Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 4:56 pm | Overcast 60º


Women’s Economic Ventures Selected as Partner for Maria Shriver Program

The California first lady's WE Invest is a new statewide women's economic empowerment initiative.

As part of her endeavor to create a powerful, unified community of women helping women, California first lady Maria Shriver, in partnership with The Women’s Conference, has launched WE Invest, a new statewide women’s economic empowerment initiative. Designed to promote financial security and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of women across California, the WE Invest program is partnering with Women’s Economic Ventures and two other nonprofit organizations in California to launch the initiative to help women move forward together on a path toward personal and economic well-being.

“We Invest will help all women have a seat at the economic table,” Shriver said. “Only when women and their families are financially secure, and their creativity, ideas and spirit unleashed, will California be able to achieve its full potential.”

As part of the partnership between WE Invest and Women’s Economic Ventures, WEV was invited to participate in the 2008 Women’s Conference. With more than 60 internationally acclaimed leaders and visionaries and 14,000 women in one arena, the Women’s Conference has grown from a small government initiative for working professionals into a far-reaching organization, a life-changing experience, and an international network of women from all walks of life, backgrounds and perspectives.

“Maria Shriver is known for her efforts to increase awareness of the needs of women and families in our communities. Through her growing family of innovative WE programs, she is helping to bring resources to organizations in our state that can actively meet these needs,” said Judy Hawkins, WEV executive director. “WEV is poised to partner with WE Invest as a trusted provider of business training and support services for women throughout the business lifecycle. WEV businesses boost the local economy, provide jobs and strengthen our entire community.”

Five WEV Self-Employment Training graduates with businesses of their own were invited to showcase their businesses at the 2008 Women’s Conference in Long Beach on Oct. 22. Three of the WEV graduate businesswomen had the opportunity to talk about their businesses and products with well-known leaders such as Shriver, news journalist and social entrepreneur Leeza Gibbons, celebrity chef Rachael Ray and actress Rita Wilson.

The WE Invest partnership will help link aspiring businesswomen with WEV’s Self-Employment Training Program, a 14-week, 56-hour training program for women who are starting or growing their own businesses. WEV clients also have access to business counseling, facilitated peer groups, personal development, literacy training, mentoring and start-up and expansion microloans.

WEV is one of only three WE Invest statewide partners, which also include The Women’s Initiative in Oakland and Community Financial Resource Center in Watts. Each program represents WE Invest’s core values and program objectives: to help women overcome social and economic barriers to their journey out of poverty.

At 18 months after graduation, 63 percent of WEV Self-Employment Training graduates are in business and household incomes increase an average of 43 percent. Graduates who were already in business when they came to WEV see their sales increase an average of 163 percent.

California has more female employers than any other state in the nation, and is home to 869,000 woman-owned businesses. Yet more than 2.2 million California women and families live in poverty.

Marjorie Wass is a publicist.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >