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Posted on April 18, 2014 | 11:18 a.m.

Citi Foundation Commits $50,000 to Support ‘WEV en Español’ Program

Source: Flannery Hill for Women’s Economic Ventures

Representatives of Citi recently presented Women’s Economic Ventures founder and CEO Marsha Bailey with a $50,000 Citi Foundation grant at the WEV office in Santa Barbara.

The funding will be used to support WEV en Español, WEV’s Spanish language entrepreneurial development program that provides business training and microloans to primarily low-income, Spanish-speaking residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“Citi and WEV share a strong commitment to serve our community through small business development, financial education and job creation,” Bailey said. “This grant from the Citi Foundation will help us make a considerable impact by providing entrepreneurial tools to a traditionally underserved population. We are excited about reaching more Spanish speaking entrepreneurs who are ready to start or grow their business.

“We are pleased to build upon our partnership with Women’s Economic Ventures and support residents of Santa Barbara and Ventura on their journeys from ambition to achievement,” said Rashi Kallur, Citi's community development officer. “Through valuable resources like WEV en Español, we are helping fuel economic growth by providing local entrepreneurs with the training and tools they need to open their doors, expand their businesses, and create jobs in their communities.”

Citi and the Citi Foundation have supported Women’s Economic Ventures’ growth for more than a decade, and with this recent grant, have contributed more than $500,000 to WEV through Citi Foundation grants and Citi corporate sponsorships. With support from Citi, WEV is able to assist entrepreneurs to prepare for business growth, develop a better understanding of the financial services that may be able to help them achieve their business goals and provide loans for qualifying candidates to start or expand their businesses. In addition to financial support, Citi employees have volunteered their time and expertise as guest speakers at WEV’s business training classes, imparting their real-life experience to course participants.

The WEV en Español Program includes a six-week business basics class, a 10-week Self Employment Training class, and loans through WEV’s Loan Fund.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing Women’s Economic Ventures.

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