Why Entrepreneurship?

To break the cycle of poverty. To create long-term financial stability. To enrich communities.

To achieve the American dream.

The American dream is fading.

Over 40.6 million Americans live in poverty. In Washington state, nearly 1 in 10 residents live below the poverty line. For the first time, the majority of Americans don’t think their children will be better off than they are.

But we are all dreamers.

We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to prosper. Through hard work and grit, anyone from any background should be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is becoming harder and harder to get ahead. With rising costs and low wages, those without the resources, tools, and support they need are falling behind.

The American dream only keeps its promise when it includes opportunity for everyone. Small business ownership has always been a pathway out of poverty for those that have the courage to reach for it, but people today face persistent barriers and complex challenges.

Starting a business is doing the impossible. Especially with limited resources.

We know that if more people had the opportunity and resources to turn their business idea a reality, they would.

Ventures has helped over 7,500 people to do just that—start a business to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

With the right support, anyone can launch a small business.

There are many barriers and challenges that face low-income entrepreneurs. Whether it is navigating complex licensing requirements, calculating break-even points, understanding local and federal tax codes, or applying for a loan, being a business owner is not easy.

Ventures provides affordable training, capital, and incubation programs that meet people where they are.

BUSINESSES SURVIVE

80% of our businesses survive after 2 years—higher than the national rate of 79.8%.

REVENUE INCREASES

On average, business revenue increases by 28%, which equates to $550 per month.

LOANS REPAID

Since 1995, we have loaned $1,403,447. In 2017, our loan repayment rate was 100%.

Entrepreneurship is a pathway out of poverty.

UPWARD MOBILITY

Since 2016, 75% of our entrepreneurs moved out of poverty within two years of using our services.

HIGHER HOUSEHOLD INCOME

On average, household incomes increased by 40%, from $25,700 to $36,000 per year.

INCREASED FINANCIAL STABILITY

After coming to Ventures, unemployment fell from 31% to 19%. For those with a wage job, 92% said what they gained from Ventures helped them succeed in their current workplace.

STRONGER ECONOMIES

46% of our businesses had at least one paid employee within two years of participating in our program. In Washington, 73.7% of small business owners have zero employees.

Learn how our entrepreneurs are achieving the American dream.

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