WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Growth Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Growth Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Growth Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC is excited to announce the official launch of cohort one of the new “Diversity Driven Growth Accelerator.” Modeled after the 2018-2019 WWBIC WEDC Growth Accelerator, which focused on Racine, Kenosha and Walworth County businesses, the Diversity Driven Growth 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 Growth 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. 

“Attending the Growth Accelerator helped us to define our customer, set a business model and decide which way we wanted to go to grow our business. We were guided in developing an amazing pitch! We’re really thankful for everything we learned and for all the people that we met along the way!” – Jacinta and Vicki, WWBIC WEDC Accelerator participants and owners of Cake My Day Bakery in Racine.

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. 

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.

 

SPARC: Business training program accepting applications

SPARC: Business training program accepting applications

SPARC: Business training program accepting applications

MILWAUKEE – Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, in partnership with WWBIC and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, is accepting applications for the second cohort of its SPARC initiative, a business training program that aims to infuse a greater ambition and capacity for growth within Milwaukee’s central city businesses.

The five-session training program teaches owners the practical skills to inject growth into their ventures. Taught by a team of expert entrepreneurs from around Milwaukee, SPARC helps owners create and implement strategies for rapid and sustainable growth, resulting in increased revenue, hiring, capital expenditures, and wealth creation. The program will run from September to December. SPARC is designed for minority and women owners with revenues over $100,000 located in Milwaukee.

Last year’s cohort graduated 19 companies that are projecting an average revenue growth of 57 percent this year.

The application opens July 11 at ScaleUpMilwaukee.org/SPARC.

SPARC was made possible by funding from JPMorgan Chase.

We’re Growing!

We’re Growing!

We’re Growing!

For Immediate Release:  WWBIC Expanding, hosting new SBA Veteran’s Business Opportunity Center (VBOC) for Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Media Contact:
Wendy K. Baumann | 414.395.4530 | wendy.baumann@wwbic.com

WWBIC aligned growth & expansion. With new and additional funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Veteran’s Business Development – WWBIC will be hosting the Veteran’s Business Opportunity Center in Milwaukee, covering a 3 state region.

The SBA’s Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program is designed to provide support to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and families interested in starting or growing a small business. The SBA will now have 22 organizations serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) in 2018, including WWBIC.

“We are thrilled to receive additional federal grant funds to focus and further our efforts to support veteran businesses. There remains a clear need to provide educational programming and access to capital for veterans, and the VBOC model has proven successful,” said WWBIC President, Wendy K. Baumann.

This new expansion builds upon existing organizational efforts to serve underserved markets including veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners in Wisconsin. The new center will be headquartered in WWBIC’s existing Milwaukee business office.

WWBIC supported veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin include: AccuTrans Group (Milwaukee), Baby Express (Racine), T/C Risk Management (Milwaukee), J Dog Junk Removal (Menomonee Falls)

“We are excited to expand our educational support and offerings throughout Wisconsin and beyond the state limits in both Minnesota and Illinois. This expansion resonates well with WWBIC’s new strategic action plan and growth trajectory,” said WWBIC President, Wendy K. Baumann

Wisconsin small businesses are critical to further improving Wisconsin’s economic outlook. In Wisconsin, small businesses employ 1.2million people, over 50% of the workforce! WWBIC has been providing quality business education programing and access to capital for more than 30 years. The organization has grown both in size and lasting impact. Since 1987, WWBIC deployed more than $60M in small business loans to assist over 4,000 businesses to start, strengthen or expand, creating and retaining over 10,000 jobs in our state alone.

“WWBIC’s leadership of the VBOC will be a win for the Badger State’s 40,000 veteran-owned small firms as well as those in Illinois and Minnesota,” says Eric Ness, Wisconsin’s SBA District Director. “WWBIC already has an outstanding proven track record of support for small businesses, including those owned by veterans, in both technical assistance and lending.”

AccuTrans Group in Milwaukee is a great example of a successful small business model that needed a bit of additional support and access to capital to expand. With the help of WWBIC loan, owner Matt Carroll was able to purchase additional vehicles and reach more clients successfully growing his business.

“WWBIC’s ability to see the potential in their clients is unprecedented. They helped me get on my feet,” said Matt Carroll, owner of AccuTrans.

Today, Matt Carroll is proud to say that AccuTrans Group is an industry leader in safety and dependability. He plans to continue expanding the business working towards becoming the best transportation option in the state of Wisconsin. AccuTrans Group is a great example of how WWBIC assists an entrepreneur from business startup, to growth and expansion creating jobs in our local communities.

WWBIC will continue to work with partners in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota to successfully serve under supported individuals. WWBIC partners include: SBA resource partners, the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE in addition to local educational institutions, chambers of commerce and economic and community development organizations.

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. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com

About SBA’s Office of Veteran’s Business Development VBOC Program

The Office of Veterans Business Development’s (OVBD) mission is to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their famillies. OVBD is SBA’s liaison with the veteran’s business community; provides policy analysis and reporting; and is as an Ombudsman for veteran entrepreneurs. OVBD has a number of programs and services to assist aspiring and existing veteran entrepreneurs such as training, counseling and mentorship, and oversight of Federal procurement programs for Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.