About

For more than three decades, WomenVenture has provided women of all ages, cultures, races and income levels with the tools and resources to achieve economic success through small business ownership.

Mission

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

Vision

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 Area Median Income).

History

  • 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.