WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC is excited to announce the official launch of cohort one of the new “Diversity Driven Accelerator.” Modeled after the 2018-2019 WWBIC WEDC Growth Accelerator, which focused on Racine, Kenosha and Walworth County businesses, the Diversity Driven  Accelerator will support and grow businesses owned by minorities, veterans and women in Greater Milwaukee to help create jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.

The Diversity Driven Accelerator will consist of four intensive 11-week business accelerator programs made up of five business teams.  During the course of those 11 weeks, teams will develop their business models by engaging in consumer testing: Integrating input from customers, mentors and advisors.  At the end of the program, teams will present their pitches to qualify for a minimum of $500.00 seed grant. 

“The accelerator program has been very impactful to the thought process I have towards business. I found the content to be engaging, applicable, and relevant to any industry one endeavors to serve in. I think every potential business owner should participate in the accelerator program!” Donisha Nesbitt, Owner of CoveredCare Home Care Agency and Growth Accelerator participant.

The application can be found at bit.ly/wwbicaccelerator. Applications must be received no later than close of business Friday, December 6. The program is open to businesses and/or residents of the Greater Milwaukee area. The accelerator will start the week of January 6, 2020, exact date and time to be determined.

This initiative is made possible through the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses as a way to create local jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.

About WWBIC

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability.   Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $60 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $18 million and nearly 500 active borrowers. 

Join Us! WWBIC Annual Fundraiser Luncheon to support small business

Join Us! WWBIC Annual Fundraiser Luncheon to support small business

Join Us! WWBIC Annual Fundraiser Luncheon to support small business

Save the Date for WWBIC’s 2019 Annual Luncheon on December 3rd at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

This year our luncheon embraces the theme: Let’s Get Real: Explore. Engage. Elevate. On “Giving Tuesday”, WWBIC will celebrate our local heroes: business owners and their small, independent businesses that bring vibrancy, creativity and innovation to our communities. This year we welcome, Mike Colameco as our keynote speaker. Mike has developed a long and storied career in the food and beverage industry … exploring, engaging and enhancing that which nourishes us. We look forward to his insight!

Colameco is a professionally trained chef, author, radio, and TV host. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and shared his talents with New York’s noted Four Season’s Restaurant, Windows on the World, Tavern on the Green and The Ritz Carlton. In the late 80’s early 90’s his local community Cape Town, New Jersey was home to his restaurant, The Globe. This rich background as a chef lead him to a successful career in food media: as an author with Mike Colameco’s Food Lover’s Guide to New York City, as a host/producer of the radio show Food Talk, and as a host/producer of Mike Colameco’s Real Food. Since it launched in 2000, Mike Colameco’s Real Food on PBS’ Create TV has been a popular, enduring, documentary style show sharing a real chef’s point of view at how the most influential people in today’s restaurant world are transforming the way we think about food.

Let’s Get Real roots itself in the interpersonal experiences and creative talents small business brings to our communities. When we explore, when we engage, we have the ability to elevate. Here at WWBIC we elevate our communities’ one small business at a time. As they say… many hands make light work. We invite you to join us so WWBIC can continue to match resources and needs supporting Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community.

This year’s WWBIC’s Luncheon will showcase: WWBIC’s impact in urban and rural Wisconsin; independent, locally owned businesses; food and restaurant businesses; our food heritage, our family farms and the beauty new Americans bring in sharing their cultures.

To register, please click here.

For information on Sponsorship Levels and Benefits, please click here.

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

Funding will help Milwaukee create new jobs and grow across Wisconsin
 
Wells Fargo announced a new boost to diverse small businesses today in Milwaukee with a $500,000 grant to Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC). The funding is a part of the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses as a way to create local jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.
 
The grant will focus on advancing infrastructure for WWBIC’s loan and lending operations and enhancing customer service, directly impacting Hispanic and Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.
 
“This significant investment is extremely helpful,” said WWBIC’s President and CVO Wendy Baumann. “The funds will allow us to build our infrastructure – further and faster is ideal as we continue to serve the many diverse business owners in need of financial support.
 
“Last year alone, WWBIC served more than 5,000 clients and lent to more than 130 businesses, so we are in growth mode,” continued Baumann.” In 2018, 87 percent of Greater Milwaukee Area clients served were minority individuals. We are making an impact, and Wells Fargo’s support allows us to excel.”
 
“WWBIC is deeply embedded in Wisconsin communities and has the skill to deliver personalized coaching and services to underserved small business owners,” said WellsFargo Region Bank President Tony Nguyen. “Together we can help more diverse entrepreneurs reach their full potential and stimulate job creation in the process. We’ve learned that working with CDFIs is an effective way to try new things, help remove barriers and put more small businesses on a path to financial success.”
 
As part of its new philanthropic strategy announced in June, Wells Fargo is focusing on three societal challenges: housing affordability, small business growth and financial health. The Diverse Community Capital program is a critical component to the small business strategy and supports business owners who are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Pacific Islander, Asian-American, women, Veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
 
Launched in 2015, the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program is a collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). According to OFN’s latest report, DCC awardees have already made loans to more than 16,000 diverse small businesses across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. In addition, grant funding has provided for more than 322,000 hours of development services for over 49,000 diverse small business owners. Wells Fargo is on track to invest more than $175 million in diverse small businesses growth through 2020.
 
About WWBIC
 
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent more than $67 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $20 million and more than 500 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com
 
About Wells Fargo
 
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,600 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. With its corporate philanthropy, WellsFargo aims to pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities by focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health, among other local community needs. In 2018, Wells Fargodonated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargoteam members also actively support communities by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s overall corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories and www.wellsfargo.com/impact.

WWBIC names Kamaljit ‘KC’ Jackson as new Vice President of Programs & Operations

WWBIC names Kamaljit ‘KC’ Jackson as new Vice President of Programs & Operations

WWBIC names Kamaljit ‘KC’ Jackson as new Vice President of Programs & Operations

WWBIC has experienced a tremendous period of growth over the past year, with the start of the Veterans Business Outreach Center, the opening of a new office in Appleton, and expansion to Green Bay. In keeping with that trend, WWBIC has hired Kamaljit ‘KC’ Jackson as the new Vice President of Programs & Operations.

“We are thrilled to bring Kamaljit Jackson into the folds of our WWBIC leadership. Her decade of experience and insight from both the corporate and education sectors will be a great complement to our statewide team,” said WWBIC President and CVO, Wendy K. Baumann. “We are specifically pleased to have her Lean Business Model expertise as we further advance our WWBIC Strategic Plan.”

As Vice President of Programs & Operations, Jackson will actively participate on WWBIC’s senior management team to provide leadership to the organization while working collaboratively to set and support agency direction, consistent policies and procedures, and strategic plan implementation.  In addition to leading WWBIC’s Programs and Services teams, she will supervise and coach staff with positive influence to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.

Jackson brings a wealth of experience in leadership, coaching, program management and process improvement strategies.  She has a Bachelors in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University and holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside.  She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. 

Her previous experience includes positions in the public, nonprofit and private sectors – Senior Accountability & Efficiency Officer at the Racine Unified School District, Quality System Manager and Adjunct Instructor at Gateway Technical College, Project Administrator/Program Management with Johnson Controls – Human Resource Department, and Administrative Manager/Special Projects/Program Coordinator with the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

In addition, Jackson is active in the community – she currently serves on the Board of Directors for Visioning A Greater Racine (VGR) and is an examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Program Examiner: National Awards Program(MBNQA), as well as a Senior Member with the American Society for Quality (ASQ).  Jackson has also been involved with various organizations across Kenosha and Racine counties, namely,  Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine and Kenosha Counties, United Way of Kenosha volunteering on various committees, VITA, Readers are Leaders, Day of Caring, United Way of Racine Schools of Hope tutor, and HALO – Sleep Out for Homelessness.

“Mark Twain said it best that ‘the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ WWBIC is my why…this organization unleashes the potential in individuals by promoting self-efficacy, self-promotion, and empowerment to think and dream big, while walking alongside them to ensure they are ‘putting dreams to work.’  Just knowing you played a small role in someone else’s success…..well, it doesn’t get any better than that because we rise by lifting others, said Jackson.

 

Wisconsin CDFIs Gather for CDFI Day

Wisconsin CDFIs Gather for CDFI Day

Wisconsin CDFIs Gather for CDFI Day

Wisconsin’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) gathered in Madison on Tuesday, April 16 for the third Annual CDFI Day at the Capitol. Certified by the US Department of the Treasury, these 22 organizations are charged with lending in under-served markets, and as such bring value to the areas they serve. Loan products can include business financing, home ownership and home rehabilitation, consumer financing (auto, credit builder) as well as community economic development financing for the development of affordable housing and community facilities. CDFIs often partner with conventional lenders. From 2005 to 2017, these organization have lent over $2 billion, often to low- to moderate income households, people who face barriers to financing and to people of color, as well as to nonprofit organizations and affordable housing developers.

CDFI Day at the Capitol is designed to raise awareness of the value CDFIs bring to Wisconsin for partners, legislators and more. Events for the day included a private briefing with staff from the Governor’s office, followed by a news conference at 1:30 lead by Wendy Baumann and Mary Patoka. At 2 PM, CDFIs met with key legislative staff to understand how they can work with elected officials.

At 3 PM, two CDFI loan clients spoke on the impact of CDFI lending, including Ed Lee of the Urban League of Greater Madison and its homeownership program and Stephanie Sarr, co-owner of Savanna Beauty Supply. 

The day will closed with a reception at the Premier Park Hotel from 4:30-6:00 pm, recognizing supporters of CDFIs in Wisconsin. Guests in attendance included Senator Alberta Darling, Rep. Katrina Shankland; Matt Feldman, President of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; Wyman Winston, former WHEDA ED and Kelly Ryan, Executive Director of Incourage Foundation based in Wisconsin Rapids.