Over the past year, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) has focused on serving the needs of rural Wisconsin business owners. During 2014, the organization hired Rural Small Business Consultants for Northeastern and Southwestern Wisconsin and established Northern and Southern Wisconsin Rural Advisory Councils. These outreach efforts have resulted in a dramatic increase in WWBIC’s delivery of quality one-on-one assistance, business education and access to capital in rural communities.
WWBIC offers its resources to Wisconsin residents who have a difficult time receiving financing from a traditional source. So far, in 2014, the organization has approved 114 loans, and its loan portfolio has reached more than $10 million. WWBIC loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 for one to six years.
WWBIC’s assistance goes beyond the initial loan and start-up, helping to sustain and expand small businesses. Chris and Krista Underwood, residents of rural Liberty Pole, Wis., received a WWBIC loan and guidance to open their mobile food cart, Blackhawk Grille. They just completed their first season, providing locals and tourists with wholesome, locally produced food out of a vintage food trolley car.
In addition, Eunice Kleparski from Colby, Wis., a rural community just west of Wausau, owns and operates Just Like Home, a licensed care facility for adults with special needs. Eunice has received two business loans and business coaching from WWBIC, and has hired nine employees.
For more information on WWBIC, please visit https://www.wwbic.com/.