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> WEV receives Union Bank Foundation Grant to support small business development11-19-2013 10-08-40 AMMarsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures, accepts a first-year grant of $50,000 from George Leis, Union Bank’s executive vice president and regional president. (Women’s Economic Ventures photo)

Women’s Economic Ventures Receives Union Bank Foundation Grant to Support Small Business Development

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) is the proud recipient of a grant funded by the Union Bank Foundation to support small business development. The $150,000 grant (paid over three years) comes after the Foundation recently announced grant funding, ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, for nearly 30 small business technical assistance and homeownership counseling nonprofit organizations in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Union Bank Executive Vice President and Regional President, George Leis, presented the first year grant of $50,000 to Women’s Economic Ventures Founder and CEO, Marsha Bailey, during a ceremony at the WEV office in Santa Barbara. The grant will help Women’s Economic Ventures continue its work in the community and increase the scope and quality of services in low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities.

“This is corporate responsibility at its best and one of the most positive efforts we’ve experienced towards reviving the economy,” said Marsha Bailey, Women’s Economic Ventures Founder and CEO.  “This grant from the Union Bank Foundation will enable us to work with entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs—especially for the low-income women that we serve.”

Women’s Economic Ventures Founder and CEO, Marsha Bailey, accepts the Union Bank Foundation small business technical assistance grant from Union Bank Executive Vice President and Regional President, George Leis.

Since 1991, WEV has helped to create or expand over 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining over 3,000 local jobs through training, loans and other resources to help local women – and men – start or grow a business.

“Union Bank is committed to empowering small businesses with the tools they need for building and sustaining strong communities,” said George Leis, Union Bank Executive Vice President and Regional President. “We continue to help businesses increase their revenue and the number of employees they hire.”

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing self-employment training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily low-income women. WEV offers a continuum of programs to help both women and men start, stabilize and grow small businesses. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura. WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For more information, visit WEV online at


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