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    New Virtual Shop Local Market Makes it Easy to Support Women-owned and Minority-owned Small Businesses This Holiday Season

    WEV’s online shopping site will be open November 17 – December 13

     Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA — Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) annual Celebration of Small Business is launching a Virtual Shop Local Market to safely bring shoppers to local small businesses this holiday season. The marketplace will feature more than 50 local, women-owned and minority-owned small businesses who are part of the WEV community.   The 26-day, dynamic online shopping portal will be open online from November 17 – December 13 and can be accessed by visiting WEV’s website at .

    Holiday shopping this year is expected to start earlier, generate more online purchasing activity, and focus on non-traditional gifts for home, health, and beauty.  WEV CEO Kathy Odell says, “Small business owners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties need our community’s support this holiday season more than ever because Q4 sales may determine which of our favorite local shops will survive into the new year.”

    Support from WEV sponsors, including LinkedIn, have also been key to the local business economy. Joey Zumaya, Public Sector Manager at LinkedIn said, “LinkedIn believes that helping create economic opportunity for local business makes us all stronger. We applaud WEV’s ability to educate, empower and elevate small business owners in our community.”

    Local businesswoman Caleigh Hernandez, Founder of RoHo, is participating in WEV’s Virtual Shop Local Market and says, “Shopping small and locally is so important, this year especially. Consumers can buy unique, handmade and intentional gifts that support a community.”  Her passion for social change on the African continent led her to develop RoHo, offering one-of-a-kind Kenyan beaded leather sandals, bags, African beaded jewelry, Binga Baskets, and home goods.  Through her partnership with artisan groups across Kenya, RoHo creates consistent, fair paying work for their artisans, most of whom are women. “We are grateful for our WEV community who has showed up and continues to support us during this challenging time,” added Hernandez.

    About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV),

    Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV provides training, consulting, and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and thrive in business. WEV serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.

    Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to more than 17,500 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made over $6 million in business loans and helped more than 5,000 local businesses start or expand.  WEV-supported businesses generate more than $300 million in annual sales revenues and have created nearly 9,400 local jobs.  WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  



    Women’s Economic Venture

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