Reached milestone goal of serving 20,000 women
Women’s Initiative has been providing low-income women in the Bay Area with the training to start and grow their own business for more than 21 years, and we’ve significantly increased the number of women we’re able to serve in recent years. In December 2009 we reached the milestone of having served more than 20,000 women in our 21 years!
Opened fifth training facility and reorganized from a centralized structure to a regionalized structure
In early 2009 we opened a training facility and business incubator in
San Jose, serving all of Santa Clara and counties. Due to the opening of our fifth training the organized moved from a centralized structure to a regionalized structure with an executive director, client service coordinators, and other staff dedicated to each region. San Mateo
Expanded to serve women in more locations throughout the Bay Area
Working with community partners, Women’s Initiative began offering classes in
Hayward, Richmond, Brentwood, Alameda, Redwood City, San Mateo, and . Women’s Initiative now provides training in 14 locations in the Bay Area. San Rafael
Served a total of 3045 women in 2009
The recession meant a lower operating budget in 2009, but through the hard work of our tireless staff and a dedicated volunteer force, we were able to serve more women in 2009 than ever before. More than 3045 women came to Women’s Initiative last year.
Graduates created 512 businesses
We estimate our graduates created or grew 512 businesses in 2009 – businesses that will help them increase their income and assets, pay taxes, improve their community, and stimulate the local economy.
Graduates created 1062 jobs
We estimate our graduates created 1062 new jobs for themselves and others directly through their businesses in 2009. That number is more impressive when you take into account that unemployment in this country was at an all-time high in 2009.
More than 10,000 volunteer hours in 2009
Between our connector program, fellows program and onsite volunteers, we recorded nearly 11,000 volunteer hours in 2009. That’s equivalent to five fulltime employees. Our volunteers are crucial in helping us operate within budget and connecting us to the community. Thanks to all of you who volunteered in 2009!
With news segments on every network affiliate in the Bay Area, spotlights on Comcast’s Newsmakers, and major features in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Merucury News – not to mention the features in regional newspapers and magazine, Women’s Initiative saw more media coverage in 2009 than ever before. This media coverage in 2009 helped us build our brand and increase visibility.
Woman-Owned Business Awards program
Last summer, Women’s Initiative launched the Woman-Owned Business Awards program to recognize the women business owners who are paving the way for other and making a difference in their community. We had more than 1300 nominations and honored the 62 winners with an awards event in each of our five regions.
Summer 2009 also saw the launch of our innovative new Fellows Program. We had 13 fellows in the summer program and 8 fellows in the fall program. Recent college graduates to seasoned professionals developed leadership skills in microenterprise development and nonprofit management while working on projects in all departments at Women’s Initiative.