Katie Adams didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. She struggled in school and did not know which path to take. When she became pregnant with her daughter, she realized she needed to find a way for support her. She started to make her own essential oils and baby lotions and discovered a passion for skin care.
They started out by selling their products at booths during events and through local vendors. Recently, they opened their own store at the Ventura Harbor. Adams makes all the products herself, while her mom helps run the store.
Adams attributes her success to local nonprofit Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) and her mom, who also went through the WEV program eight years ago. WEV offers a continuum of programs aimed to help women and men start, stabilize and grow small businesses. Adams will graduate from WEV’s Self-Employment Training (SET) course on Dec. 16th at The Montecito County Club.
According to WEV’s recent 2015 Report on Program Outcomes, WEV is showing some dramatic results in comparison with national outcomes:
- WEV clients are showing nearly double the national average for survival of women-owned businesses. An average of 80% of women-owned business who participated in WEV programs are still in business after five years – compared to a national average of 45%.
- 85% of clients in poverty at intake have moved out of poverty
- In the past five years, WEV-assisted businesses have:
– Created an estimated 1,145 new jobs and supported a total of 2,552 jobs
– Generated an estimated $6.6 million in local and state tax revenues
WEV serves over 800 women and men annually in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Since inception (1991), WEV has made almost $4 million in microloans and helped start or expand an estimated 3,000 businesses which support more than 9,000 local jobs.