The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is kicking off a year-long celebration of their 35th anniversary this month. With a theme of “35 and Thriving,” this leading statewide economic development corporation will be marking the occasion through a series of recognitions, initiatives and continued growth with their staff, volunteers, partners and funders.
WWBIC was incorporated on October 8, 1987 in the midst of the women’s economic empowerment movement as well as the micro-lending movement, and has been “Putting Dreams to Work” ever since. WWBIC is one of Wisconsin’s first Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and over its history, has lent over $85 million in micro and small business loans. They were recently ranked #18 on the Milwaukee Business Journal list of Wisconsin’s largest Small Business Administration lenders.
“WWBIC has come a very long way since I started with the company in 1994,” says Wendy K. Baumann, WWBIC President and Chief Visionary Officer. “We’re now one of the nation’s top microlenders with over 600 active borrowers and a loan portfolio of $23.5 million. But what really keeps me and WWBIC’s more than 75 employees going every day is our mission of providing entrepreneurship and financial wellness training, lending and coaching to under-represented groups who traditionally have difficulty gaining access to fair and responsible capital.”