i am a 48 year old female african american chef. i have worked my whole life to hone my skills as a culinary profesional. i enrolled into the Womens Initiative program to try and get the tools to help my open Feathers poultry cafe in Alameda Ca. After spending the last 30 years sharing my passion and my ideas with employers, they are successful and i have very little to show for it. now im ready to try and do it for myself and Womens Initiative is an awesome program that is helping me reach my goals. ive learned so much about my lifes work that i wasnt aware of before i did this program. financial aspect, projections, passions and ideas are all a part of what they ask for when they teach you how to write a business plan. they EVERYTHING to light to help you realize you options as a small business owner. I LOVE WI. the staff is great, the instructors are awesome im gonna miss them when its all over. we graduate at the end of july and i feel very strongly that once i submit my business plan and join the success link program, WI will put me intouch with the people i need to help me live my dream. once i get the funding i will hit the ground running and i wont stop until Feathers poultry cafe is the greatest in place Alameda and i plan to use as many WI alumni as i can in my business. thank you.
I was introduced to Women's Initiative for Selp Employment last year, when I attended the annual Gala with Nicole Levine, director of the San Francisco region, and it was everything she described it would be… inspiring, motivating, and poignant.
What I didn’t know at the time, but I’m pretty sure Nicole did, is how I would still be reflecting on the memories of the evening, and the amazing Women’s Initiative staff, volunteers, friends, and especially the graduates I met that night.
As a woman, a mother, and an entrepreneur, I believe our best future is in grassroots job creation. Investing in motivated and talented women who are brave enough to believe in themselves and their businesses is a great place to start!
Being a volunteer at Women's Initiative has given me the tools to create a positive impact on someone's life. I have been able to work with both clients and staff members, and the benefits I have acquired are endless. WI does a wonderful job training and opening opportunities for women; I know this only because of the statistics but because our clients demonstrate it to us everyday!
What I like best about the Women's Initiative is that it continues to track and validate it's activities and impact with research to back up it's claims. I advised this non-profit (and will continue to do so) on research methods to measure the impact of the organization and design excellent surveys and metrics to do this. It is rare that a non-profit wants to understand it's impact in an objective way to enable transformation to be more effective in the future. I recently met one of the participants and was struck by her enthusiasm, passion and work ethic as an new entrepreneur.
Women's Initiative for Self-Employment is an inspiring organization because of it's dedication to serving low-income, high-potential women with big dreams to be self-sustaining. Nearly every client that graduates from the business skills course will tell you how their experience amplified their socioeconomic success, personal confidence, and well-being. The wonderful, compassionate, intelligent staff keeps the organization and clients happy and fulfilled, deeming it a truly great non-profit focused on women's empowerment.
The Women's Initiative for Self Employment is a truly a great organization. I am blessed to have received solid business training as well as an extensive mature network of supporters and access to business opportunities. I owe my success and future success to WI. To date, I have launched my spice blend lines in 25 Bay Area Stores and now am expanding to Mid-West. I am working with Bay Area Schools on Healthy Eating Campaigns and Fundraising Programs. Love WI, love the supporters... love the skills to help me reach and exceed my breakeven point before the end of this year. Janis Callon / Founder - Community Spice Company
as a trainer with this organization, I have seen first hand the impact we have on women's lives....not just on their businesses, but on their overall quality of life. The work we do is so needed!
Women's Initiative is an incredibly inspiring and valuable organisation. It is inspiring because as a volunteer, i have met with some of their clientele who have testified of some the most powerful life changes they have gone through as a result of the program. They testify of dramatic changes in their quality of life (increases), of personal empowerment and how they have received much more than they ever anticipated. It is a valuable organisation because the low income clients they produce from their program contribute to the economy in a way they could not before. They create jobs and are in business extraordinarily longer than the national averages. I am not just lucky to volunteer for an organisation of this caliber, i am honored.
I have been involved with Women's Initiative as a volunteer and board member for the past 4 years. The organization is all that one would wish for in a non profit. It has an inspiring mission, results that have been proven time and time again, a supportive nurturing community, and strong leadership and fiscal accountability. I am privileged to be associated it and introduce others to it every chance i get. Women's Initiative is changing lives and communities throughout the Bay Area and soon also in Chicago and NYC. We can only wish that federal stimulus money had such an impact!
Women's Initiative has created thousands of jobs in the San Francisco bay area by providing the training and support for low income women to start or expand their businesses. Now expanding to Chicago and New York, this organization is one of my favorites because it is life-changing and the results are long term. For every dollar invested in a program, $30 goes back into the communiy. Women's Initaitive has great statistics to show the success. I like supporting organization where I can see the results!
I am all about exponential impact. And Women's Initiative has just that. In 2011, Women's Initiative created over 5,500 jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only do those job directly impact the women who have gone through the training program, but communities are being shaped. Opportunities are growing at community and city-wide levels. Hopefully, one day, Women's Initiative will be in a position have a global impact. Awards like this will help make that growth possible.
Women's Initiative has helped over 24,000 women in the past 24 years. The program provides an 11 week mini-MBA program, funding, and support, to help low income women launch their own business. 70% of the graduates still have their businesses 5 years later. Last year this program helped to create 5,500 jobs in the Bay Area. The program helps women become financially indepedent, helps them provide for their children, helps the community AND helps create jobs! The organization now is expanding into 10 urban markets in the U.S. A proven organization that has an impeccable track record- truly transforming lives.
I always look for leverage. Women's Initiative really beats everything else. Just in Silicon Valley, we were part of starting 400 successful business last year. These businesses pulled women out of poverty, gave their children a role model, supported the community with new well-paying jobs and financial activity. Nothing wrong with giving a hungry man a fish - but we are teaching women how to build their own fishing enterprise. To top it off, the staf and volunteers are competent and compassionate.
I became involved with Women's Initiative 15 years ago because I believed in their mission of helping low-income women escape poverty by becoming their own employer. I've stayed involved because the program works and I see the evidence every time I meet a graduate. If you want to give back to your local community, see low income women succeed in escaping poverty and help their children and families build social capital that will last for generations, Women's Initiative is the organization to support. Men welcome too!
Women's Initiative is an ideal model for sustainable job creation in a local community. It does not offer charity, it offers opportunity based on hard work and education.
The Women's Initiative is one of the most powerful organization in the local Silicon Valley. Why? Because it it so needed. Because it impacts the lives of others. Because, it makes a difference. This organization is affecting people of lesser social economic status and really creating social change. Now that's really important in this day and age. I attended my first event/gala while I was a Sr. Sales Executive at Hewlett-Packard. I was extremely moved by what had taken place. A room full of five-hundred professional people, all making their mark and contribution to this particular organization. But more importantly, I met the small business owners and entrepreneurs that were able to use the tools that they rec'd (classes, coaching) to greatly impact their circumstance. And along the way they created jobs for others. Now that's pretty powerful. I highly recommend joining the cause. Warm regards, Natalina Gonzalez
The Women's Iinitiative plays a vital role in providing amazing entrepreneurial assistance to women that help them with economic and social issues that addresses and helps women achieve self-sufficiency. It has been a privledge and an honor to have designed programs specifically to support women who have the initiative and the desire to start or to expand their businesses and to help overcome the lack of capital availability which has been a primary factor in preventing their success.
In addition to providing business training and professional develop to clients, Women's Initiative for Self-Employment also empowers women leaders through a 10 week fellowship (this is open to both men and women). As a fellow, I participated in round table discussions with the CEO, received weekly trainings on micro-enterprise and non-profit management, interacted with clients during networking events, and collaborated on projects in a variety of departments. This was an incredible learning experience for me, as I was surrounded by their strong staff. At the end of my fellowship, I interviewed and wrote "Success Stories" on several local clients. Hearing first-hand accounts of ways Women's Initiative for Self-Employment helped them overcome personal and financial obstacles made clear to me the powerful tools gained through this program.
Women's Initiative generates jobs, businesses, and higher incomes for bay area women, fosters entrepreneurship, builds community, increases self-esteem and promotes self-sufficiency. I worked with the Latina graduates of the 11-week business training program and saw the businesses they have started and maintained as a result. Women's Initiative clients tell me they could not have known how to write a business plan if it weren't for the training they received, and they could not have accessed financing if it weren't for Women's Initiative's loan and IDA programs.
What brought me to Women's Initiative was reading the Client Success Stories. The women who graduate from the course that is offered at Women's Initiative and start their own businesses are inspiring. In addition to the powerful stories and testimonials of our clients, our research team documents and studies the measurable outcomes of our program. This helps us to advocate for women entrepreneurs on the issues that affect them. We also provide business support after graduating, through SuccessLink, which offers resources and connections to help their businesses to thrive.