Our Strategic Plan for 2017

At Ventures, we hope the future will be full of opportunities, growth, and impact. Through the process of creating our 2017-2018 Strategic Plan, staff and board members at Ventures analyzed our priorities as a national leader in microenterprise development. From that we created a strategy to achieve four goals. While our mission remains “to empower individuals with limited resources and unlimited potential to improve their lives through small business,” our strategic priorities as an organization have shifted alongside our growth and capabilities. Below is an introduction to our strategic goals and how they will guide Ventures throughout the next two years.

Goal 1: Increase Organizational Sustainability

Ventures is committed to serving the Puget Sound region for years to come. Increasing organizational sustainability will help ensure that Ventures is still providing services to underserved entrepreneurs regardless of future unknown challenges. By completing the following four targets, we can provide program, personnel, and financial sustainability:

  1. Increase public awareness of our mission and services
  2. Increase annual organizational operating revenue to support program growth
  3. Reach a total reserve equal to five months’ worth of operating expenses
  4. Reduce key long-term sustainability risks by increasing revenue from non-government grants, reducing over-dependence on SBA for loan program continuation, and creating a plan for likely outgrowth of office space

Goal 2: Equip Low-income and Underserved Individuals to Succeed in Small Business Ownership

Providing access to the tools and resources entrepreneurs need enables our clients to grow their businesses, increase their incomes, and achieve financial stability. Improving our direct program services and increasing attendance for our Specialized Services are the most effective ways to help our clients achieve those goals. Additionally, now is the perfect opportunity to analyze the needs of our community and reach out to underserved groups. The following targets indicate how Ventures can reach low-income and underserved individuals:

  1. Increase program depth by increasing the rate at which clients enter Specialized Services and increase the average number of yearly hours received after graduation from our cornerstone Business Development Training (BDT)
  2. Increase program breadth by conducting a needs assessment and piloting 1-2 new programs that will expand our reach (to youth, veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, etc.)

Goal 3: Increase Clients’ Financial Stability

After providing direct services to entrepreneurs, Ventures aims for clients to achieve financial stability. This is why we are committed to collecting data on how our programs have affected them. Through an annual randomized survey of clients, we collect a wide range of metrics which indicate how far they and their business have progressed financially. The following targets are a few of our best indicators of determining how Ventures has contributed to improving the lives of our clients:

  1. Increase the percentage of clients who launch a business
  2. Maintain the percentage of clients whose existing businesses survive two years after attending the BDT
  3. Maintain the percentage of clients who increase their household incomes within two years of attending the BDT
  4. Increase the overall employment rate of clients within two years of attending the BDT

Goal 4: Cultivate an Engaged and High Performing Team of Staff, Board and Volunteers

At the core, the collaboration between people is the lifeblood of Ventures. Cultivating an engaged and high performing team leads to improvement and innovation through which we empower clients. Many hands contribute to our programs at Ventures and are essential to the success of our organization. By focusing on the following three targets, we can ensure our supporters of staff, board and volunteers continue to achieve their potential:

  1. Maintain high staff satisfaction on the Employee Satisfaction Survey, maintain high staff performance through the accomplishment of goals 1 through 3
  2. All board members attend meetings, play an active role on a committee or special task force, attend one program and staff event
  3. Increase volunteer retention rate and establish a baseline for volunteer re-engagement rate

Learn more about how you can help us achieve our strategic goals.