Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 3:57 pm | A Few Clouds 68º



New Group Giving Boost to Women-Owned Businesses

League of Extraordinary Women offers guidance, financial support

Sue Osborn, left, Bonnie Atmore, Judy Warner, Betsy Chess, Marsha Bailey.
Sue Osborn, left, Bonnie Atmore, Judy Warner, Betsy Chess, Marsha Bailey. (Women’s Economic Ventures)

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) recently hosted a group of women leaders from Ventura County at the kick off of its new League of Extraordinary Women.

Some 50 guests gathered at Atmore Ranch to hear speakers discuss how the new group will help to strengthen women-owned businesses and elevate women in the community.

“This was an extraordinary evening for all of us,” said Cheryl Heitmann, a co-chair of the event who serves on WEV’s Board of Directors. “The outdoor setting was beautiful and the information shared was important.

“While women now own 36 percent of all businesses, 71 percent of those businesses generate less than $25,000 in annual revenues. We need to support women in our community so they can be more successful.”

Already including more than 40 members, WEV’s new League of Extraordinary Women is designed to provide an opportunity for members to meet and combine efforts and resources to help strengthen women-owned businesses.

Along, with Heitmann, the event was co-chaired by WEV board member Elena Brokaw, hosted by Bonnie Atmore and featured Penny Henschel, owner of Ever After Designs, a WEV client business.

Henschel, who has been participating in WEV’s business consulting program Thrive in Five for three years, is exemplifies the type of business owner the league is working to help.

“Since joining Thrive in Five, my gross income has nearly tripled” said Henschel. “I’m in my third location and have gained some really great corporate clients. I like to say this is where preparation meets opportunity.”

Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of WEV said, “Women entrepreneurs have the capacity to grow U.S. GDP by 9 points or more.

“Unfortunately, neither our government nor private investors are banking on women in a big way so we must find other means to get them the capital and support they need,” she said.

”The league provides its members a great way to lend their voice, guidance and financial support to promote women’s business success,” Bailey said.

The League of Extraordinary Women is for business executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, artists and philanthropists living and working in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

To learn about how to become a member, contact Danelle Coyle, 456-2347 or [email protected]

— Alisa Robakowski for Women’s Economic Ventures.


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