Moving from the WEV Community Center to the historic El Sento building

Court photos
Women’s economic ventures are leasing the third floor of the historic El Centro building to the new community center.

The Women’s Economic Venture Community Community Center is located on the third floor of the historic El Centro building next to the Lobero Theater.

“We have been looking for the right location for many years, and we know that we may be looking for office space,” said CEO Kathy Odele of Canon for the new 3,200-square-foot space. Perdido Street. “It had to be more than a workplace. We need classroom space for training courses, a series of classrooms for our speakers, a venue for events and a community meeting place for our clients and donors.

A.D. The El Centro building, built in 1927, was recently renovated. If it was a Chinese temple site in the old Santa Barbara Chinatau, the historic building now houses commercial buildings such as the Board and Brush Creativity Studio and Saveta Winter on the ground floor and various commercial tenants upstairs.

“We’ve been looking for the right place for many years, and we know that maybe the office space is Unicon,” said Katie Odele, executive director of WEV’s new headquarters near the Lobero Theater.

“Over the past three years, our local small business community has experienced fires, mudslides and global epidemics,” Odel told the news agency. A thriving community has never been more important as we work to support and nurture business owners and entrepreneurs for the survival and prosperity of our entire community. We look forward to welcoming people to our new location soon. ”

WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills.

WEV provides small business training, counseling, financial education programs, and small business loans in the counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura.

“Although WEV focuses on women, it welcomes people of all genders into the WEV community. Business courses, programs and loans are offered in English and Spanish, ”said Odel.

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business consulting services to more than 19,000 people throughout the Santa Barbara and Ventura districts.

It has generated over $ 6.4 million in microfinance loans, helped start or expand more than 5,000 domestic businesses, and generated approximately $ 1270 million in annual sales, creating nearly 12,000 local jobs. WEV is a small business center and microcontroller for the United States Small Business Administration, as well as a certified community development financial institution.

Catalina Steves, the founder of cat medicine, says:

Jill Agonias and Catalina Steves are among the local success stories.

Ms. Agonas, the owner of Divine Yoga, began practicing yoga in 2008 and quickly realized that “it can be used as healing and energy as a tool.” Three years ago, she took over the ownership of Diviniri Yoga and inspired him to “share the power of yoga with those who may need a little healing, support, and sincerity in their lives.”

Since the COVID-19 epidemic, Divinity has been teaching outdoors and across Santa Barbara to La Mesa Park, Lidbetter Beach, Casa de la Guiara and El Paso Restaurants.

I am grateful for WEV support and current webinars for helping me apply for Aid UL and PPP loans. Without them, my work might not be alive; Says Agonias. “He invested in me, not just as an entrepreneur, but as me. It shows a universal compassion and commitment to nurture and nurture a whole person.

Ms. Steves set up cat therapy to pursue her dream of devoting herself to saving many cats from the UATS.

Her mission is to provide a safe, nesting and comfortable environment for cats to raise, and she is doing so by creating a practical, magical, relaxed atmosphere with a bar feel. Cats.

Guests pay an entrance fee to visit and enjoy or to enjoy or play with cats. It is all about cats and visitors who can enjoy human-animal interactions.

“I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but I did not have the technical knowledge to support my business. WEV has provided me with the tools I need to take my favorite ideas and do business. WEV is like a business degree, but in a matter of weeks it is designed specifically for entrepreneurs, ”said Steves.

“We have invested not only in entrepreneurship but also in me,” says Jill Agonias, wife of Divine Yoga.

Because of my Thrive membership, I have been able to get support from my business consultant every month as well as foreign consultants who have helped me adapt and adapt to new streams of income.

“My business consultant was like a therapist for my business. He asked me tough questions and helped me find solutions. Again, I had the spirit and desire to survive the epidemic and challenges for my business, but WEV provided me with the technical tools I needed.

Ms. Steves’ covines include the development of an online store that sells fashion cat accessories, home accessories and cat products. At Cat Therapy, she created online experiences and small workshops with live cats in the area.

“It has helped me to start thinking like an entrepreneur, something I can apply not only for the present but also for other businesses in the future. There is something to be said for being part of a community of like-minded people that really motivates you to continue and make you feel that you are not alone! ”

Ms. Steves has raised more than $ 50,000 to rescue and repatriate more than 700 cats and partner rescue organizations.



For more information about the WEV Community Center, call 805-908-0091 or visit