WWBIC: Research shows every dollar WWBIC invests results in $22 in economic activity

MILWAUKEE, WIS. – Over the course of the last three years, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) has sought out three professional teams to conduct research on the impact that WWBIC has had on their clients and the communities they represent across Wisconsin. The research has now been completed and the results are being made public on Tuesday, March 8th on the occasion of International Women’s Day, through a web page and summary brochure at https://www.wwbic.com/new-wwbic-impact-report/.

“Women have made so many incredible contributions to business and society as a whole over the years, and International Women’s Day is what that’s all about,” says Wendy K. Baumann, President and Chief Visionary Officer of WWBIC. “Here at WWBIC, we’re proud to support the financial and entrepreneurial journey of current and aspiring female business owners – and this research shows how much of a difference our work is making for women and other people who face barriers to capital and financial wellness.”

WWBIC is a leading statewide innovative economic development corporation which was incorporated in 1987 in the midst of the women’s economic empowerment movement as well as the micro-lending movement. WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color, lower-wealth individuals, and veterans and military connected families. They provide direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business training, one-on-one technical business assistance and coaching to increase financial wellness

The researchers that partnered with WWBIC to provide impact data include IMPLANDr. Niloy Bose and his team at Virginia Tech; and the JP Morgan Chase Virtual Service Corps. One of the most impressive findings of the research is the discovery that for every dollar WWBIC invests in a small business, that dollar generates nearly $22 in annual economic activity. Other key findings include:

  • 70% of the borrowers to came to WWBIC with subprime credit scores (less than 650) witnessed an improvement in their credit score after receiving a WWBIC loan
  • 69% of WWBIC-supported borrowers remain in business after 5 years compared to 50% nationally and 52% in Wisconsin
  • Since WWBIC’s inception in 1987, borrowers have directly created or retained the jobs of 2,593 employees
  • WWBIC loans are directly and indirectly generating more than $274 million in annual economic activity

This third party impact research was funded by the Dohmen Company Foundation, a WWBIC sponsor. WWBIC’s current loan portfolio sits at roughly $22.7 million with approximately 600 current borrowers. WWBIC clients agree that WWBIC’s loans, technical assistance and business training help them to succeed.

“WWBIC provides relatable financial classes and seminars,” says Angela Smith, WWBIC client and owner of Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille. “WWBIC funding helped increase our brand’s value, also making us more bankable.”

WWBIC clients Brandon and Arielle Hawthorne, owners of Twisted Plants, agree. “WWBIC provides a multitude of resources to navigate through different crises. Whether it be the pandemic or insights on making sure our business succeeds, WWBIC has specialists and virtual assistance readily available.”

In addition to celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2022, WWBIC is also embarking on a new three-year strategic plan with goals of broadening their reach to underserved communities, advancing WWBIC’s brand, increasing their organizational capacity, and pursuing aligned growth. They are poised to continue to provide quality business and financial training, lending and wrap-around services to the small business community, and leverage the talent and expertise of their staff across all 72 counties in Wisconsin. To learn more about WWBIC, visit: www.wwbic.com.