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For Immediate Release:  WWBIC Expanding, opening new business center in Northeast Wisconsin

Media Contact:  

Wendy K. Baumann  |  414.395.4530  |

WWBIC aligned growth & expansion.  With new and additional funding from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership – WWBIC will be opening another  office in the Northeastern region of Wisconsin.  

“This news resonates so well with WWBIC’s new strategic action plan around aligned growth, advancing customer support and social performance impact and metrics!” said WWBIC President, Wendy K. Baumann.

Associated Bank, an avid WWBIC statewide supporter and investor, will be providing in-kind office space at their existing Associated Bank  Appleton Branch in the heart of the region.  This location will increase visibility, support and service in the area enriching the organization through this new partnership.  WWBIC services are open to all in the state of Wisconsin.  Over 20% of WWBIC’s clients come from outside of Wisconsin’s major metropolitan markets where there is need of WWBIC’s small business support and access to capital.  WWBIC supported businesses in the region include:  Tamara’s The Cake Guru (Appleton & Oshkosh), Town Hall Bakery (Jacksonport), Foxglove Farms (Hortonville), The River Coffee & Cream (Wrightstown), Aardvark Wine Lounge (Green Bay)

“We are thrilled to receive additional federal grant support for the state of Wisconsin to focus and further these efforts.  We look forward to amplifying our impact in the region,” 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 and was one of the first funded Women’s Business Centers in the country. WWBIC has grown both in size and lasting impact.  Since 1987, WWBIC has 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 has served thousands of minority and low-income small business clients throughout their 31-year history.  They have received national recognition from the SBA many times for their high-impact work.  The new location in Appleton will be a great benefit to entrepreneurs in the Fox Cities area and northeastern Wisconsin,” said Frank Demarest, SBA Wisconsin Deputy District Director and WBC supervisor

ECO Candle Co. in Appleton 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 in 2014, owner Shelley Nystrom was able to hire employees and successfully grow her business.  

 “WWBIC has been a great partner for me and my business. It’s a breath of fresh air to work with a financial entity that cares and is committed to my success.”  Said Shelley Nystrom, owner of ECO Candle Co. 

ECO Candle has now expanded further in capacity and sales – a great example of how the support of WWBIC can assist an entrepreneur from opening a business to growth and expansion creating jobs in our local communities. 

WWBIC will continue to work with partners in this region and across the state 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. 


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:

About SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Established 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) has supported women’s business ownership in our nation’s economy - specially providing support to those who have been historically under-served or excluded.


2017 WWBIC Annual Luncheon

Each Fall, WWBIC showcases our clients and our work at the Annual Luncheon.  This 'friend' fundraiser has grown to become a fan favorite and is a high energy impactful support vehicle for small business in Wisconsin. View the full event below:

WWBIC 30th Anniversary Luncheon Thanks & Highlights

Watch the full program below:


Road To GES:  Milwaukee

The United States of America and Republic of India will jointly host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, November 28-30.

To inspire the culture of Entrepreneurship and share the aspirational nature of prosperity throughout the United States, India,and globally, the “Road to GES” series will partner to build and engage upon entrepreneur events from September through November and beyond.

Milwaukee has been selected as one of three U.S. cities to hold “Road to GES” events. The others are Pittsburgh and Houston. Road to GES: Milwaukee will be Monday, November 6th. Further details forthcoming. The 2017 GES will highlight the theme, “Women First, Prosperity for All” and aims to inspire entrepreneurs and investors from around the world towards new investment, partnership, and collaboration. For more information, please contact Kathryn Wellner,


Summer Reception at our State Capitol, Madison WI

Annually, WWBIC hosts a collective meeting for our statewide committee members to review WWBIC’s work supporting economic development in Wisconsin.  Guests meet WWBIC's team and enjoy food and beverages from several Wisconsin small business clients we serve. Supporting small business, supports your community.



2016 WWBIC Annual Luncheon

View the full event below:

And now...a movie debut that summarizes WWBIC's work through the voice of our clients. Grab some popcorn & enjoy!

2016 AWBC National Gathering of Women's Business Centers

WWBIC is thrilled to have hosted Women's Business Centers from around the country in Milwaukee this September for a collective gathering to Strengthen Our Impact. The week was filled with great presentations and a reception at the WWBIC Statewide Headquarters in Milwaukee.



WWBIC President Recognized for Outstanding Leadership

Congratulations to WWBIC President/CVO Wendy Baumann for receiving the 2014 Sacagawea Award!  We at WWBIC know how deserving Wendy is of this honor, and are happy to share some of Wendy's story with you in the video below.