$500,000 Grant Awarded to Local Non-Profits WEV and MICOP Entrepreneurs

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), in partnership with the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), has been awarded a $500,000 Grant for the 2021 Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Entrepreneurship Program from the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Employment Training Panel (ETP).  WEV and MICOP will use the SEED Initiative funding to support underrepresented and marginalized individuals who face significant barriers to employment by providing them with entrepreneurial training, technical assistance, and micro-grants to launch or grow their own businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“We are thrilled to partner with MICOP to launch the SEED Program,” said WEV CEO Kathy Odell. “With MICOP’s expertise in supporting and empowering the indigenous migrant community in our region, and WEV’s history of providing small business training and small business loans to women and other local entrepreneurs, we have the combined expertise to provide our SEED participants with pathways for economic self-sufficiency.”

The WEV/MICOP SEED initiative will serve the estimated 27,000 Santa Barbara County, and 24,000 Ventura County, indigenous migrants from Mexico living in our region. Working together, WEV and MICOP will conduct community outreach and education efforts to enroll individuals with limited English proficiency and provide entrepreneurial skills training.  Upon completion of the training, participants will be eligible to apply for small grant funds of up to $5,000 for their small business needs.   The SEED program will be conducted in two cohorts, starting with outreach and implementation to the migrant farmworker population in Santa Barbara County in summer 2021, followed by Ventura County in early 2022.

“MICOP is beyond grateful to be part of a partnership with WEV to launch a new and innovative initiative that will recruit and train indigenous migrant entrepreneurs in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties,” said Arcenio López, Executive Director of MICOP.  “MICOP continues to strengthen collaborations that share common values and a vision to create social change. SEED is an exciting opportunity for indigenous migrants to achieve economic equity by supporting visionary indigenous entrepreneurship.”

Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women.  WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills. WEV provides small business training, advisory services, financial literacy programs and small business loans in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.  While WEV’s focus is on women, it welcomes people of all gender identities into the WEV community.  Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish.

Since 1991,

The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) is a non-profit community-based organization that supports, organizes, and empowers the indigenous immigrant community in the Central Coast of California.  The indigenous migrant community that MICOP works with comes primarily from southern Mexico, including the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Puebla. Learn more about MICOP at www.mixteco.org

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