WWBIC Celebrates 30 Years of 'Putting Dreams to Work'

WWBIC is celebrating 30 years of of impact in 2017 with monthly ‘Investments in Impact’ to 12 Wisconsin Small Businesses. Business owners will be surprised with a $1,000 investment from WWBIC made possible through the generosity of Northern Trust. These contributions are an investment in the impact that small business owners make every day in the state of Wisconsin.

A new investment will be announced on the 30th of each month demonstrating the commitment WWBIC has made over the past 30 years to entrepreneurship in the state of Wisconsin. Also revealed as part of the celebration will be the '30 Faces of WWBIC.' Take a journey through history as WWBIC demonstrates appreciation for the people behind the mission.

#WWBIC30th SURPRISE: La Taguara

February’s ‘Investment in Impact’ is:  La Taguara

This month WWBIC surprised Jeykell Badell, owner of La Taguara in Madison.  Jeykell came to WWBIC through SBDC/WWBIC join collaborative 'Comienzos' program in Madison.  After working with a small business consultant, Jeykell secured a small business loan to help grow his business.  Jeykell's passion for entrepreneurship and Venezuelan cuisine is evident - La Taguara was named to Madison Magazine's Best of 2017 list for Best Latin American Food! 


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30 Faces of WWBIC:  

To kick off WWBIC's 30th year of impact - we are proud to celebrate 3 long-standing WWBIC champions. These individuals and organizations have remained advocates, supporters, and friends. THANK YOU: Kate Hill, Bill Coleman, & the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.


In her 23rd year at the helm of WWBIC, Wendy is a nationally-recognized leader in microenterprise, small business development, financial capability and social enterprise. In her long and rich career, Wendy has focused on advancing opportunities for women, racial minorities and lower-wealth individuals. She has pioneered business incubation, capital access programming, financial capability and economic literacy initiatives in Wisconsin. With her leadership and vision, WWBIC has grown from a $200,000 budget with a staff of two, to a $5.7 million organization with 50 staff, four regional offices, and three rural satellite offices.

Wendy’s personal mission has always been to improve the financial well-being of others. This is exemplified in her career choices and bountiful volunteer service. In addition to Wendy’s commitment to WWBIC, she led the team that launched Milwaukee as a Kiva City (now ranked 8th highest volume in US), drove development of the Milwaukee Public Market, co-founded the national Association of Women’s Business Centers, co-formed the Invest in Wisconsin CDFI partnership, and currently sits on numerous regional and national Boards. Wendy is a sought-after speaker for national and international forums, including the Global Microfinance Summit and the United Nations, with emphasis on her expertise in women’s entrepreneurship and inclusive microcredit practices. A gifted advocate and coalition builder, Wendy has tirelessly lent her business savvy, compassion and leadership skills to positively change our economic landscape.

JENNIFER RING, Managing Partner - Professional Success Partners

Jennifer Ring first came to WWBIC in 2000 as a young professional providing educational and business consulting support. She then went on to open Professional Success Partners, a consulting business of her own. Never fully leaving the WWBIC family, Jennifer continues to provide much of WWBIC's quality business and financial education throughout southeast Wisconsin. Over the years Jennifer continues to receive the top recommendations and evaluations from our WWBIC clients. We salute her for her work – her successful business and her undying support of our work at WWBIC!

WISCONSIN SBDC NETWORK - Bon Wikenheiser, Neil Lerner

WWBIC's 30 year history has been that of collaboration, alignment and true partnerships. The Small Business Development Centers network in Wisconsin, has been and continues to be one of the longest standing, key partnerships WWBIC has experienced. In addition to joint programming, continuous client referrals, joint leadership and service - WWBIC and SBDC have withstood the test of time in providing a united front to the many entrepreneurs and business owners around the state. We salute the many leaders and specifically Neil Lerner and Bon Wikenheiser leading the way today and their predecessors in the past.

KATE HILL, Owner - Heartland Information Research, Inc.

Kate Hill came to WWBIC as a budding entrepreneur with an idea to start a consulting business. In 1997, Kate opened her business becoming one of the first tenants in a joint business incubation partnership with the YWCA of Milwaukee – and Professional Dimensions which WWBIC managed. Kate continues to lead her business, now employing her husband and others. Kate Hill and her husband Don have become champions of WWBIC’s mission engaging in programming and annually supporting events (WWBIC Annual Luncheon, WWBIC Reception at the Governor’s Executive Residence/State Capitol). Kate has provided WWBIC with many resources including her time, talent and treasure.

BILL COLEMAN, President - Coleman & Williams, LTD.

Bill Coleman has served on WWBIC’s Board for nearly since 1988 serving as WWBIC’s Board Chair for the last 20. Bill has been a dedicated champion of WWBIC’s Financial Education programming (Make Your Money Talk series) and WWBIC’s match savings program for individuals residing in public housing in Milwaukee. Bill also has always demonstrated his dedication to supporting small business in Wisconsin through his patronage of WWBIC’s social business venture Coffee With A Conscience (CWAC).

GREATER MILWAUKEE FOUNDATION - Kathryn Dunn, Janel Hines, and Ellen Gilligan

WWBIC had barely incorporated in 1987 with a new and cutting edge plan – providing entrepreneurial education coupled with access to fair capital through small microloans to women, minority individuals and lower wealth individuals – when the Greater Milwaukee Foundation stepped in with the initial seed funding and support necessary. Over the past 30 years a strong partnership of support continues and has aligned in full. Not only has the Greater Milwaukee Foundation provided continual consistent funding resources & private leverage support for grants to WWBIC – GMF has provided infrastructural support with new initiatives and targeted focus areas including most recently a significant two year match allowing WWBIC to dedicated more resources in Milwaukee’s Near West Side. For 30 years – the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has been there for WWBIC.