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Santa Barbara and Ventura County, CA– Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2024 California Nonprofit of the Year by California state senator, the Honorable Monique Limon (District 19).

WEV is one of more than one hundred nonprofits to be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers for their outstanding contributions to the communities they serve.

As a nonprofit dedicated to the economic empowerment of women since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business advisory services to more than 20,000 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. It has made more than $10 million in small business loans and grants, and helped nearly 6,000 local businesses start or expand, generating an estimated $598 million in annual sales and sustaining or creating nearly 12,000 local jobs. Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish. 

WEV’s interim CEO, Nicki Parr, commented “The team at WEV are honored and overjoyed to be recognized by Senator Monique Limon as one of the 2024 California Nonprofits of the Year. Senator Limon has long been a champion of WEV’s mission of empowering women, especially those from Latino communities, to start businesses, gain financial independence and achieve their dreams. We are deeply grateful to Senator Limon for her support, and for continuing to shine a light on the impact of WEV’s work in the community.”

“Nonprofit organizations touch the lives of millions of Californians in ways that can often go unrecognized. From the childcare program to the soccer team, from the art class to the health clinic, and from the community organizer to the animal shelter – nonprofits improve the lives of all Californians and make our communities stronger,” said Geoff Green, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a partner for this initiative. “Nonprofits are also a key economic driver in our state, accounting for one in 14 jobs. It’s important to recognize all they do.”

According to “Causes Count,” a 2019 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the fourth largest industry in the state, employing more than 1.2 million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate more than $273 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 330,000 full-time jobs every year

Now in its ninth year, the California Nonprofit of the Year initiative provides the opportunity for each California state legislator to recognize a nonprofit organization doing outstanding work in their district. The program culminated with a celebratory luncheon at the Capitol on California Nonprofits Day, which this year was June 5.

The program is sponsored by CalNonprofits in partnership with the state Senate and Assembly Select Committees on the Nonprofit Sector. CalNonprofits, the leading policy voice for California’s nonprofit sector, focuses on advocacy, education, and research to build a more powerful and politically engaged nonprofit network across the state.

To learn more about WEV’s impact, the 2023 Impact Report is now available. To support WEV’s work, please visit

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