WomenVenture has been improving the economic position of women in the Twin Cities for more than 35 years.


WomenVenture helps women attain economic self-sufficiency through the creation and growth of profitable and sustainable businesses.


By 2020, 60% of clients who complete WomenVenture’s Pathways to Entrepreneurship program will be in business 5 years after launch and will pay themselves a living wage (120% of AMI).


  • 1977-78 – Judy Justad, Carol Truesdell and Marion Etzwiler establish CHART, a nonprofit organization supporting women entering or re-entering the workforce.

  • 1982 – Kathy Keeley and Arvonne Fraser establish WEDCO (Women's Economic Development Corporation), a nonprofit organization supporting women in starting their own businesses.

  • 1989 – Making history as the first Twin Cities nonprofit merger, CHART and WEDCO become WomenVenture.

  • 1992 – WomenVenture begins providing microloans to women to start or grow small businesses.

  • 2000 – The U.S. Small Business Administration designates WomenVenture one of the nation’s first Women’s Business Centers.

  • 2012 – WomenVenture announces its new Strategic Vision; narrows its focus in supporting women-owned businesses.