West Business Development Center was founded by women trying to make a difference in their community – teaching other women technical skills and giving the tools and capital to lift themselves out of poverty and to start small businesses. While WestBDC has shifted its focus to offer free business advising and low-cost workshops to all business owners in Mendocino County, one of our core missions with our Women’s Business Center remains. Every month we bring together women from all over Mendocino County to come together and network.Read More
Amy Collins was newly moved to Mendocino when she posted on the local listserv that she had free empty moving boxes available. As fate would have it, the owner of the Village Sock Shop answered her ad and the two quickly connected. It turned out the business was for sale, and Amy was a huge fan of the little sock boutique in town.Read More
It’s quite rare that you call to check on an order you placed at a local business, and get an offer to then buy the entire business. But that’s what happened to Kiersten Hanna. While working at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits she commissioned production of panels for an upcoming exhibit from Braggadoon, the sign-making business in Fort Bragg. When she called to check on her order, she found out the owner had suddenly passed away and his widow asked her if she’d like to buy the business.Read More
Over the years my work has taken me to many conferences and gatherings around the world that celebrate the achievements of women and their organizations. Woman are often in the forefront of social innovation tackling societal problems in creative ways using science, technology and the arts. Think of organizations like Woman to Women International, Girls Who Code or The Malala Fund; all global organizations conceived by women who saw a corner of the world that was in dire need of help.Read More
When Mendocino County native Sheilah Rogers went off to graduate school at the prestigious School for International Development in Vermont she had no idea pursuing her love for international initiatives would bring her right back home.
In 1987 the James Irvine Foundation, a California-based grant making organization partnered with the Coalition for Women’s Economic Development. This was an organization dedicated to lifting women and people with low incomes out of poverty through what was then called, self-employment.Read More