MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anyone who has done it will tell you that starting a business is far from easy. That is why one local organization works to take your idea and make it a reality.

WomenVenture specifically focuses on getting women up and running for three decades.

This week they are honoring a few of those women at their annual fundraising luncheon.

“Anywhere from they have an idea that they want to flesh out to those that have established businesses that want to grow exponentially,” WomenVenture’s Executive Director Elaine Wyatt said.

WomenVenture helps women sustain and grow a profitable business.

“Of all the capital that’s lent to small businesses women take advantage of only 4 percent,” Wyatt said.

WomenVenture provides training, technical assistance and can lend up to $50,000.They also provide a support system.

“I had heard about WomenVenture when I was 16 years old and it was kind of tucked in the back of my mind,” A Woman’s Design owner Natalia Hals said. “It’s really helpful because you feel alone sometimes as an entrepreneur.”

7 Sundays owner Hannah Barnstable says she needed support when stepping out on her own.

“When I first started the company all by myself, I needed someone to lean on,” Barnstable said. “WomenVenture was so awesome. I could just go and lay it all out there.”

Heart and Core CEO and co-founder Jen Swanside says WomenVenture supported her endeavor, and then some.

“It’s nice to know they really do have your back,” Swanside said.

Hals, Barnstable and Swanside are all being honored at the luncheon, where they will be surrounded by other women entrepreneurs.

“There is an instant bond and rapport when you start something from scratch,” Angie’s BOOM CHICKA POP co-founder Angie Bastian said.

Bastian is the keynote speaker at the luncheon. While she did not use WomenVenture getting started, she understands the importance.

“It’s so much about relationships, helping each other, creating community,” Bastian said.

The luncheon is Friday, Nov. 6, starting with a marketplace at 10:30 a.m. and then lunch at noon.

Tickets are available at the door. Click here for more information.


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