Women’s Economic Ventures Begins Program in Spanish

WEV instructor Maria Elena De Guevara, teaches the explore class.

Staff Report

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB), will launch its Spanish-language five-week, four-session course, Explorando el Emprendimiento, on April 23. Non-housing residents are eligible to apply and participate in the course.

Exploring Entrepreneurship, the English version of Explorando el Emprendimiento, opened in 2017 and has served more than 150 clients.

The programs are designed to fill a need that WEV recognized when evaluating its programs. Clients were looking for a comprehensive way to assess the feasibility of starting their own business before setting off on that journey.

Explorando el Emprendimiento will expose students to the basics of entrepreneurship through weekly discussions and hands-on activities.

Course topics include myth busting about entrepreneurship; defining a target market and conducting market research; and evaluating personal and financial readiness to start a business.

“We are proud to have developed a program which helps us strengthen our partnership with HACSB and expands our offering of Spanish-language services in the city of Santa Barbara through the launch of Explorando el Emprendimiento” said Evelina Ochoa, WEV training program manager.

“We’ve known for years that Spanish-speaking Santa Barbara and HACSB residents are rich in entrepreneurial spirit and initiative, but need the right support to get started on a successful journey,” she said.

“During these five weeks, students will become empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to make the right decisions for their families going forward,” she said. “We expect this course to mark the beginning of a long-term relationship with many budding entrepreneurs.”

After the course, students may decide to move on to WEV’s more intensive Smart Entreprenurial Training (SET) course, create a plan to launch their business, or pursue their ideas without the commitment of business ownership, all of which are positive outcomes.

Course information is as follows:

Santa Barbara: Tuesdays; April 23-May 21 (excluding May 7), 6-9 p.m., 333 S. Salinas St.

Cost: $125, registration fee waived for the first pilot course.

Registration: WEV staff will process applications at HACSB’s Presidio Springs community room, 721 Laguna St., on the following dates. Note, only street parking is available.

Tuesday, April 2, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 3, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 4, 2-7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 9, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 10, 2-7 p.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2-7 p.m.

Women’s Economic Ventures provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. WEV serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura.

WEV targets its services toward women, but also serves men, and provides many services in English and Spanish. Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to some14,000 women and men in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and made more than $4 million in loans, assisting some 4,000 local businesses.

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