2015 Annual Fund

Individual Fundraising Goal for 2015


If you could invest one dollar and get twelve dollars in return - wouldn't you jump at the opportunity?  Well, when you give to WEV, that's exactly what happens.  Every dollar invested in WEV, generates twelve more in the local economy.  So, when we say "every dollar counts" we really mean it.

Here's how we calculate our Return on Investment:

When Jodi, came to WEV, she was earning $21,000 a year from her business.  18 months after completing her training course, she was earning $65,000 plus she'd hired two full-time employees.  When you add up the increased earnings, taxes paid and dollars spent in the local economy by all the clients WEV serves in one year, it totals over $12 million. WEV's program cost is a little over $1,000,000.  That's a 12 to 1 ratio.  Tax revenues generated by the clients we serve in one year total nearly $1.5 million - more than our whole budget.  Multiply these outcomes by the 20 years WEV's been operating and, as the politicians say, "You're talking real money."

Performance Counts

Outcomes matter.  They matter to us, to you, and above all, to our clients.  That's why WEV conducts an annual client survey administered by the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. to see how well our clients, and we, are doing.  WEV has some of the most impressive outcomes in the Microenterprise Development field.  Here are some of the results:

  • Over 3 years, average client business sales increased 452% from $21,574 at intake to $119,071 at survey
  • Clients served in '08 created and retained 396 jobs in 2009
  • Average household income increased by 24% or $10,313 in 2009.
  • 53% of clients who were pre-business at intake started a business
  • 90% of existing businesses were still in operation
  • 59% of clients in poverty at intake had moved out of poverty by survey.

Demand is Strong

Although we're told the recession is over, established businesses are not hiring and more clients are coming to WEV for help so they can create their own jobs.

  • In 2009, WEV assisted 787 unduplicated clients; in 2010, WEV served 1,321 clients
  • In 2010, WEV made 46 microloans - a 92% increase over our best prior year.
  • In 2006, 15% of WEV clients were unemployed - in 2010, 28% were.
  • Prior to the recession, 69% of clients were low income, in 2009, 84% were low-income.
  • Since 1991, WEV has served over 15,000 clients, made $2.5 million in microloans and helped more than 2,000 businesses start or expand.

We Need Your Help

Here's how a non-profit differs from a business:  When a business serves more customers, it makes more money.  When a non-profit serves more customers, we have to raise more money from donors like you.  In other words, the more successful we are, the bigger the funding gap.

Clients pay WEV for the services they receive based on their income. Every client WEV serves receives some level of subsidy.  Your generosity ensures that WEV can continue to invest in entrepreneurs like Jill and Jean-Michel Carré, owners of Chocolats du CaliBressan, who had over 30 years of experience in the food and chocolate industry. After spending 16 years in France, they returned to the U.S. with the intention of making fine chocolates but found that, with no established credit history, they couldn't get a small business loan.  In 2007, WEV approved a $25,000 start-up loan with three months of interest-only payments.  The couple has worked around the clock to establish their Carpinteria-based business and have been rewarded with impressive growth. 

On top of the long hours they put into their business, the Carrés are committed to their professional development as business owners and receive regular business support by participating in WEV's Thrive in Five program. During one consultation, WEV staff discovered that the owners were spending a lot of time cleaning the chocolate molds because they couldn't afford to buy a commercial dishwasher.  WEV approved a small additional loan for this purpose which freed up their time to make more product and solicit new customers.  In order to help meet the Carrés' holiday demand, WEV approved another small loan for new molds and packaging materials. 

Sales and profits have continued to grow and the Carrés are ready to open a second retail store in downtown Santa Barbara this spring. WEV is providing the capital to help them do it.

Success stories like the Carrés' would not be possible without the support of donors like you.  Please make a generous donation today.  Every dollar counts.



Marsha Bailey                                                 Emma Bridges

CEO/Founder                                                  Chair, Board of Directors


P.S. For more WEV success stories please visit our website: www.wevonline.org

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