National unemployment is still rising, stock prices sinking, and the President has proclaimed in a recent report that “we still have a big hole to fill” to replace jobs lost during the recession. While slower-than-forecast job growth dulls optimism about our recovery, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) continues to help turn economic uncertainty into opportunity for local entrepreneurs.

Since 1991, nonprofit WEV has helped to create or expand over 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining over 3,000 local jobs through training, loans and other resources to help local women – and men – start or grow a business. WEV’s core small business training programs, 14-week Self-Employment Training and accelerated 6-week Business Plan Intensive, start in September in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Self-Employment Training (SET)

WEV’s comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training program is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. Participants leave the course with a complete business plan including a marketing plan, a cash flow projection, an operations plan, and a core network to help sustain the business. The program is offered in both English and Spanish, and provides week-by-week training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business. Topics include finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan. After the 14 week course, WEV SET graduates emerge with the most important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business.

WEV’s Self-Employment Training course is offered twice each year, with classes starting in February and in September. The class runs for 14 consecutive weeks, one evening a week for three hours, plus two full Saturdays. Classes are taught in Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. Participants considering the course are required to attend a free one-hour orientation workshop. These orientations offer a complete overview of the SET course and help clients assess whether self-employment is right for them. English and Spanish language orientations are held in Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. (SEE BELOW FOR UPCOMING ORIENTATION DATES).

UPCOMING SET ORIENTATION DATES – Please visit the website or call today to make a reservation:

South Santa Barbara County




August 3rd, 6-7 pm

North Santa Barbara County




TBD- check back on WEV website for August orientation dates


By appointment only. Please call WEV at (805) 965-6073





July 27th, 6-7pm

August 4th, 6-7pm

Business Plan Intensive

In late September, WEV also offers Business Plan Intensive, an accelerated, six-week business plan writing course, designed for business professionals who need access to capital quickly. Business Plan Intensive is perfect for new entrepreneurs and current business owners who need to implement a launch or a growth strategy and need an infusion of capital to succeed. The course includes emphasis on financial intelligence and integrated marketing techniques, and a viability study.

Self-Employment Training and Business Plan Intensive courses are part of the continuum of programs WEV offers to help women start-up, launch, grow, and sustain their own business, including: business consulting, advanced business training, and small business start-up and expansion loans. WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. For more information please call 805-965-6073 or visit

Sources: United States Labor Department; Bloomberg


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