WWBIC is thrilled to announce the continued support of Associated Bank and the Brewers Community Foundation for our clients through new funding for 2023.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of these two outstanding organizations,” says WWBIC President and CVO Wendy Baumann. “These funds will help 15 of our clients continue their success in serving their communities and also allow us to continue to serve even more small businesses across Wisconsin in the future.”
WWBIC works hard every day expanding economic equity and empowering individuals as business owners. Our 35th anniversary luncheon celebration showcases decades of impact and connects our small business community to our many partners and supporters. The celebration is two-fold in nature, with a small business market followed by a luncheon and program.
The Small Biz Market will feature over 50 WWBIC supported businesses. Attendees are encouraged to come early or stay late and meet many local small business owners. WWBIC loves connecting these clients to our partners and supporters!
During our program, you’ll hear first-hand about the work and impact of WWBIC from our President/CVO Wendy Baumann, WWBIC clients and national industry leaders. WWBIC looks forward to increasing support and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Intentional work with our partners truly helps advance economic equity. Together, we are making a difference – “Putting Dreams to Work” through supporting small businesses and helping individuals improve their financial wellness.
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Donna J. Gambrell is President & CEO of Appalachian Community Capital, which attracts and directs investments to CDFIs and other mission-driven lenders in Appalachia. Gambrell serves on several CDFI boards and is the board chair of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Towson State University and a Master of Science degree from New York University.
Dan Betancourt is President & CEO of Community First Fund with over 25 years of experience in community economic development lending. Under Betancourt’s leadership, Community First Fund has grown into a regional Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), attracting multimillion-dollar investments and with nearly $200 million under management.
Connie E. Evans is President & CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national trade association for microbusiness representing over 1700 practitioners and advocates in the United States. With international experience spanning 43 countries, Evans draws on her expertise in developing and implementing strategies to further economic development, health and social change in communities.
Every day at WWBIC, our social mission is to assist clients in improving their financial wellbeing.
Since 1987, WWBIC has advanced inclusive entrepreneurship by providing business lending and training support to underserved individuals – those “pre-rich” entrepreneurs who have great potential yet often struggle to access the capital and resources to make their business ownership dreams a reality.
Beginning in 2019, WWBIC undertook a third-party study to better understand the financial footprint of our business borrowers. This research analyzed data over a decade to better understand the long-term impact of our work in the aggregate: How WWBIC is making a difference in the lives and communities of the people we serve.
Every dollar that WWBIC invests in a small business results in nearly $22 in economic activity.
Whether borrowers are startups looking for a Kiva crowdfunding loan of a few thousand dollars, or an established business looking to purchase new equipment to expand their business with capital up to $250,000, WWBIC is here to help. We break down the barriers to lending for entrepreneurs from underserved populations who may have been turned down for financing from banks. In short, we are “putting dreams to work!”
WWBIC loans create impact beyond the individual borrower as businesses purchase supplies, hire workers, ship inventory, pay taxes and generate other business activity. Research shows that every dollar WWBIC invests in a small business generates nearly $22 in annual economic activity! In addition:
2,593 direct jobs have been created and retained by WWBIC borrowers
WWBIC’s current loan portfolio is roughly $23.5 million with 592 active borrowers
WWBIC loans are directly and indirectly generating more than $174 million in annual economic activity
“The pandemic has [brought an] unfriendly future for small business, especially start-ups,” says WWBIC client Fanni Xie, owner of Uni Uni Tea Shop. “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – eat the lemon and take the seeds and plant them. WWBIC is the water and the sun I needed to plant my tree. I was able to get a $200,000 SBA start up loan and break down the barriers for me to become a business owner.”
70% of borrowers who came to WWBIC with a subprime credit score witnessed an improvement in their credit score.
WWBIC doesn’t just provide lending capital to our small business clients, we also offer a variety of training sessions specifically designed to meet the needs of aspiring, new or growing entrepreneurs on topics ranging from business planning, cashflow, QuickBooks, and business certification to marketing, human resources and industry-specific training.
As a result, third party research shows that 70% of the borrowers who came to WWBIC with “subprime” credit scores of less than 650 witnessed an improvement in their credit score after receiving a WWBIC loan. More than half of borrowers in the study had subprime credit.
“WWBIC provides relatable financial classes and seminars. They helped increase our brand’s value, also making us more bankable.” says Angela Smith, WWBIC client and owner of Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille.
69% of WWBIC-supported borrowers remain in business after 5 years, compared to a 50% rate nationally.
COACHING. CAPITAL. COLLABORATION.
We are proud of the way we sustain relationships with our clients. Our Small Business Consultants and professional volunteers provide ongoing support to WWBIC loan clients. In-depth business assistance for WWBIC borrowers ensures that business owners have access to the tools and skills they need to grow profitable and sustainable businesses.
Our clients’ success is important to us and our Small Business Consultants are here to assist and build a relationship that truly benefits your business. As a result of this technical assistance built into all WWBIC loans, it’s not surprising that research shows that 69% of WWBIC-supported borrowers remain in business after 5 years, compared to only 50% nationally.
“WWBIC provides a multitude of resources to navigate through different crises,” says Brandon & Arielle Hawthorne, owners of Twisted Plants. “Whether it be the pandemic or insights on making sure our business succeeds, WWBIC has specialists and virtual assistance readily available.”.
53% of WWBIC clients with very poor credit improved their credit score
Encouraging Wisconsinites to lower their debt, increase their credit, and establish good spending and saving habits is also an important part of what we do. From free financial wellness courses like “Low Income? Level Up” and “The Power of Credit” and “Let’s Build Generational Wealth” to our popular “Make Your Money Talk” series co-sponsored by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, WWBIC is dedicated to teaching people how to better their financial situation.
Some of our financial wellness clients have dreams of starting their own business some day, but many are simply looking to purchase a vehicle or a house or finance their college education. Regardless of their financial goals, the end result is the same. Third party research shows that 53% of WWBIC clients with very poor credit improved their credit score, which is 14% better than the control group from the same research.
“Being a homeowner has always been a dream of mine,” says Monnike Brooks, a Make Your Money Talk program graduate. “The resources provided to me really set the tone to make this become a reality. In March of 2021, I closed on the house I now call home.”
Get more details on WWBIC’s financial wellness sessions here or find out about the Make Your Money Talk program here.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
“I am where I am today because you stood at the door of opportunity and held it open for me.”
WWBIC opens the doors of opportunity by providing underserved individuals who are interested in starting, strengthening or expanding businesses with access to critical resources such as responsible financial products and quality business and financial training.
We focus on individuals who face barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources in pursuit of their dreams and economic well-being – in particular women, people of color, veterans, rural and lower wealth individuals.
Every day we work hard to achieve our social goal of improving the economic well-being of individuals by advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and facilitating self-sufficiency strategies.
“I am where I am today because you stood at the door of opportunity and held it open for me,” says WWBIC client and owner of GSI General Contracting, Benjamin Clark. “I have always stressed to my peers how you assisted me and GSI over the years.”
While we have moved the needle for many, WWBIC’s work is not done. Our march continues.
Access to fair and responsible capital continues to be a struggle for many entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially those with subprime credit scores or lack of assets. This analysis of WWBIC’s outcomes, coupled with our own analytics and client testimonials, demonstrate that WWBIC’s work is making strides in bolstering the economic vitality of low-income and underserved entrepreneurs and in our local communities.
Direct jobs created and retained by WWBIC borrowers
$174.2 million — Annual economic activity directly and indirectly generated as a result of WWBIC loans
HOW YOU CAN HELP
In 2022, WWBIC is celebrating 35 years of impact in Wisconsin and beyond. We are 35 and thriving, with 70 employees and an ever-growing loan portfolio and program offerings. How can you help ensure our success now and into the future?
WWBIC’s network of over 400 volunteers are integral to assisting our clients and supporting our work. No matter what your area of expertise, you can help! If you have a passion for serving your community and believe entrepreneurs could benefit from your knowledge, please complete a Volunteer Application and reach out to learn more today!
Although our mission is to serve entrepreneurs, WWBIC itself is a non-profit organization. Consider making a tax-deductible donation directly to WWBIC. Get more details on our Donations page.
Work for Us
WWBIC is hiring! Find out about positions currently available here.
Join us for this financial empowerment series to learn:
How to create a household budget
Tips and tricks to improve your credit score
Planning your SMART goals
Identifying spending leaks
Each session is offered virtually or in-person. A pre-packaged lunch will be provided for in-person attendees. Pre-registration required. Receive a gift card upon completion of the course! A graduation will take place at the end of the semester.
This program is sponsored by Bader Philanthropies, the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee and WWBIC. Current HACM residents may be eligible for a Match Savings Account (restrictions apply).
Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Schlitz Park Auditorium (adjacent to WWBIC Milwaukee Office) 1555 N RiverCenter Drive, Milwaukee
Let 2023 be the year you “Put Dreams to Work” with WWBIC! View our 2023 WWBIC Training & Lending Programs Catalog for your region by clicking on the images provided below. Go to the Trainings tab for more details or to register for a training session today!
[NOTE – Training session registration links are in the process of being populated. If you can’t find a session in our catalog on the website, please try again in a few days]
Greater Milwaukee Programs Catalog (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Wauwatosa & West Allis)