Women’s Initiative for Self Employment

Education, Economic Opportunity

Geography: United States

Founded: 1988


1398 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

About Women's Initiative for Self Employment

Women's Initiative for Self Employment provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and ongoing support to start their own businesses and become financially self sufficient. Women's Initiative has proven that women create jobs for themselves and others, access the mainstream economy, and increase their economic self-sufficiency when they are given business planning and financing support.

By assisting women-owned businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area at their seven training sites, Women's Initiative directly contributes to the economic growth of communities. Their graduates have started and expanded over 1,600 businesses from photography studios to catering companies and mechanic shops. In 2006, 301 new jobs were created by their graduates.

By targeting low-income women, focusing on the needs of traditionally underserved groups including minorities, immigrants, and welfare recipients, Women's Initiative brings new resources into local communities in a unique model. Over half of the Women's Initiative community participates in their classes offered in Spanish through their Alternativas para Latinas en Autosuficiencia (ALAS) program, which boasts culturally competent services and extensive networks that propel Latina entrepreneurs into business success.