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Women’s Economic Ventures Welcomes 56 Santa Barbara Entrepreneurs to the WEV Family

The most recent graduating class from WEV’s Self-Employment Training program included 86 individuals from around the Central Coast and Los Angeles. Click to view larger
The most recent graduating class from WEV’s Self-Employment Training program included 86 individuals from around the Central Coast and Los Angeles. (WEV photo)

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) recently celebrated the accomplishments of 86 women and men who have successfully completed WEV’s Self-Employment Training program during a ceremony held at Montecito County Club. Of the grads, 56 are from Santa Barbara County, 27 from Ventura County and 3 from Los Angeles County.

After 14 months of training on topics including finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping and business-plan writing, these graduates emerged with the necessary tools and support needed to expand or start their own business. 

Graduates range from first-time business owners to those who have turned to WEV to help expand their existing businesses. Some businesses and business concepts include a wine registry, an eco-friendly swimsuit company and a workshop to help widowers overcome loss. 

During the ceremony, each graduate shared their new business venture through an elevator pitch that they crafted and perfected throughout the course. The ceremony concluded with a reception and business expo, where graduates showcased their businesses and shared their products with family and friends.

“After 14 weeks of commitment and hard work, these graduates emerge with the tools needed to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality, from brand new ventures to strategic growth of an established business, “said Marsha Bailey, CEO/Founder of WEV. “We are honored to welcome them to the WEV family and look forwarding to seeing where their accomplishments take them.”

WEV and its loan program have provided entrepreneurial training and technical assistance to over 4,500 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and made more than $3.7 million in loans to pre-bankable small businesses. Since 1991, WEV has helped more than 3,000 local businesses start or expand. 

Through its Self-Employment Training program, WEV teaches aspiring and new entrepreneurs the nuts and bolts of business and empowers graduates with the confidence necessary to overcome the inevitable challenges business owners face.

WEV clients are armed with the skills to run better businesses, employing 3.7 people on average, with a 92 percent business survival rate within 12-16 months of working with WEV.

The next Self-Employment Training course begins February 2016 in Santa Barbara County. 

The next orientations, which are required to enroll, will take place: Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, from 6-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, from 12-1 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, from 6 -7 p.m. Location will be given at time of RSVP and is subject to change.

For more information or to register for the free orientation, call 805.456.2342 or visit the WEV website.

Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing Women's Economic Ventures.

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