Women's Economic Ventures Unveils 2023 Impact Report at Event that Celebrates Strategic Community Partnerships Dedicated to Economic Equity

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) highlights the power of collective generosity, advocacy, and partnerships dedicated to gender and economic equity

Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA — Camarillo, CA, May 21, 2024 – Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) announced the release of its 2023 Impact Report, highlighting significant strides in empowering women entrepreneurs in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The event, held at the Ventura County Community Foundation, saw attendance from key stakeholders, community leaders, and representatives from partnering organizations, showcasing the collective effort to support women’s economic independence and financial literacy in the region.


Nicki Parr, WEV CEO, speaks at the organization's 2023 Impact Report release event.


Nicki Parr, the newly appointed CEO of WEV, opened the event by acknowledging the essential contributions of community organizations, particularly the event’s Passion and Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America. Parr stated, “Today’s accomplishments are made possible by the unwavering support of our sponsors, donors, and partners. Your dedication fuels our mission to create a more equitable economic landscape for women.”


Midge Campbell-Thomas, Senior Vice President at Bank of America and a leader in the local Ventura and Santa Barbara markets, highlighted the bank’s commitment to WEV’s mission. “At Bank of America, we believe in the power of women’s entrepreneurship to uplift families and communities. Our partnership with WEV goes beyond financial support; we are invested in the success of their entrepreneurs through funding, volunteer work, and sharing financial expertise. Together, we are building a thriving ecosystem where women entrepreneurs can flourish,” said Campbell-Thomas.


Seana-Marie Sesma, a long-time WEV supporter and owner of Your Professional Resource Girls, shared her inspiring entrepreneurial journey. “With the support from WEV, I was able to rebrand my business, develop a new business plan, and land significant clients. WEV’s advisors have been instrumental in helping me achieve my business goals and elevate my company,” remarked Sesma.


Nicki Parr closed the event by underscoring the impact of WEV’s programs. “Our 2023 Impact Report showcases our commitment to economic equity through entrepreneurship. We have served more low-income clients, more people of color, and more clients in Ventura County than ever before. We have seen substantial increases in household incomes and business sales among our clients, proving the effectiveness of WEV’s support,” Parr noted.


Key highlights from the 2023 Impact Report include:

  • Over 60 childcare businesses supported and $375,000 in microgrants awarded through the Business of Childcare program.
  • Successful completion of digital literacy training by 59 small business owners, with 75% reporting increased digital confidence.
  • Over 300 businesses received more than $1.3 million in funding and 6,000 hours of business support through the Emprendimiento and Forgivable Loan programs.


The event was underwritten by the generous support of various sponsors, including Bank of America, Banks Coaching, LinkedIn, Lure Digital, The Acorn Project, Amazon (Santa Barbara), Cox Communications, Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics at CSUCI, Ventura County Credit Union, Athens Services, Chevron, Nasif, Hicks, Harris and Co, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, TileCo, and US Bank.


In conclusion, Parr emphasized the importance of continued community support and collaboration. “Organizations serving women and girls, like WEV, are tremendously underfunded, receiving just 1.8% of all philanthropic dollars. Yet, our impact is profound. For every dollar invested in WEV, fifteen dollars are returned to the community. I invite everyone to continue or begin their support, ensuring that we can create even more success stories.”

To learn more about WEV’s impact and to view the full 2023 Impact Report, please visit https://wevonline.org/about/impact/.



About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), www.wevonline.org

Women’s Economic Ventures is a nonprofit dedicated to the economic empowerment of women. WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills. WEV provides a full range of small business support – including classes, consulting, and funding – as well as financial literacy programs in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV’s focus is on women, it welcomes people of all gender identities into the WEV community. Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business advisory services to more than 20,0001 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV 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 million2 in annual sales and sustaining or creating nearly 12,000 local jobs. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center and Microlender, as well as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

To support WEV’s work, please visit www.wevonline.org/support.