From the Desk of the Director
2016 has been a year of tremendous growth and impact for Ventures. We served over 800 clients, expanded our staff, and refined our programming to better serve our clients. At our August Business Development Training graduation, I had the pleasure to meet Hawa. Hawa had a beautiful display full of jars of her Safi Hot Sauce and her delicious sambusas. Prior to coming to Ventures, Hawa had a business dream but didn’t know how to make it a reality. In a few short months, Ventures has helped Hawa write a business plan, learn marketing concepts, and refine her product and labeling. Now Hawa has access to a commercial kitchen and customized support to get her products on the shelves of local stores.
In the 2016 Fiscal Year, June 30, 2015 to July 1, 2016, we served close to 800 low-income entrepreneurs. Meeting the unique needs of micro-businesses drives the design and delivery of our programs. In 2016, our clients had access to 39 courses, and over 900 hours of customized coaching to turn their business dreams into reality. You can read more about our accomplishments in 2016 in our Annual Report.
At Ventures, we listen to feedback from our clients and design programs to help them overcome barriers to small business success. We have an exciting slate of programs and services scheduled for 2017. We have made some adjustments to our program structure to provide enhanced specialized support to our clients. Beginning in 2017, graduates of our Business Development Training will be matched with a Ventures staff member who specializes in their business area. These Food, Product, and Service Specialists will act as both business coaches and social workers working one-on-one with our clients to create a customized plan of training, coaching, capital, and support to move their businesses forward. Check back in early for our 2017 program calendar and enrollment dates.
We are grateful for the network of volunteers and donors who provide the resources to make our work possible. As an immigrant entrepreneur and business owner I know how important it is to have a network and support to achieve the American Dream in this land of opportunity and that is what Ventures does for our clients. Please consider a gift to provide customized training, coaching, and microloans to help our clients achieve business success. Your investment in Ventures will empower clients like Hawa to improve their lives and communities through small business ownership. We believe in her product and her dream. Join us in making that dream come true.
Happy Holidays- Feliz Navidad