PLATINUM2023

Ventures

Building businesses, changing lives

Seattle, WA   |  https://www.venturesnonprofit.org/

Mission

Ventures is a Seattle-based nonprofit that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential. We provide access to business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs. We serve those in our community for whom traditional business development services are out of reach, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. Our ultimate goal is to support individuals to increase their income potential, achieve long-term financial stability, provide for their families, and enrich their communities through small business ownership.

Ruling year info

1996

Executive Director

Monique Valenzuela

Main address

2100 24th Ave South Suite #380

Seattle, WA 98144 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (C.A.S.H.)

EIN

91-1704028

NTEE code info

Management Services for Small Business/Entrepreneurs (S43)

Economic Development (S30)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We seek to address the need for living-wage employment for economically disadvantaged people in the Puget Sound region. Ventures serves individuals at the most vulnerable end of the economic spectrum; people who face barriers to living wage employment such as inadequate English language skills, lack of literacy or education, physical and mental disabilities, or a poor social support network. We focus explicitly on underserved populations such as women, people of color, immigrants and refugees, and single parents. In 2017, we exclusively serve individuals with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income; the average Ventures client supports a family on $23,000 per year at entry.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Business Basics Course

The Business Basics Course is the foundation of the services we provide at Ventures; participants examine the feasibility of their new or existing business and learn from hands-on work in the areas of sales, marketing, finance and operations.
We offer a new series of classes each quarter in English and Spanish in several locations around Puget Sound. The class meets once per week for eight weeks, typically for three hours per class.

Population(s) Served
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Ventures’ financial services offer access to capital and financial training for graduates of our eight-week Business Basics Course who have been admitted into our Advanced Services. Services include:
Peer Loans– $1,000 – $5,000
Asset Plus Loans– Credit Building Loans
Business Builder Loans– $5,001 – $35,000
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)– Matched savings accounts
Financial Training– Workshops and courses

Population(s) Served
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Ventures has two business incubation programs to prepare clients for business success.

The Ventures Retail Incubator gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to display and sell their products; receive coaching from retail experts on pricing, display, packaging, and production; and generate revenue through sales of their products. Our flagship store, Ventures Marketplace, is located in the historic Pike Place Market.

The Ventures Food Incubator Program provides training and access to commercial kitchen space, and retail markets. It gives food business owners the opportunity to generate revenue and learn by doing. About 30% of all Ventures businesses served are food-based. We serve a wide variety of types, including: catering, farmer’s market vending, mobile food vending, brick and mortar, and packaged foods.

Population(s) Served

Ventures offers a number of additional resources beyond the initial eight-week Business Development Training to help people reach their goals & move their businesses forward. These services include a variety of resources, including access to capital, advanced business training, free small business legal advice, one-to-one coaching, and more. Some of these services require signing up in advance or have additional application requirements

Population(s) Served
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Ventures meets business owners where they are and engages our community to advocate for systemic changes to increase access and reduce barriers to entrepreneurship.
Through grassroots civic engagement, Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to educate their representatives about the importance of small and micro-business in our community. In 2023, Ventures is advocating for a policy agenda that is based on input and ideas from entrepreneurs. We also host an annual Advocacy Day at the state capitol.

Population(s) Served
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

"Rate of business survival rate after two years of participating in our program"

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Business Basics Course

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of clients that increased their household income two years after graduating from Ventures Business Basics Class

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Business Basics Course

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of job skills training courses/workshops conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Business Basics Course

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Self-employed people

Related Program

Financial Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Mission Statement\r\nVentures empowers individuals with limited resources and unlimited potential to improve their lives through small business ownership.\r\n\r\nCore Values\r\nCommunity – We work with a spirit of teamwork and collaboration, while always supporting clients with compassion.\r\nClient-Success – We let clients' needs govern our decisions and interactions, with the ultimate goal of clients' business development.\r\nEmpowerment – We trust each other's expertise and leadership abilities, while providing clients with the tools they need to achieve their own success.\r\nIntegrity – We operate sustainably and responsibly, while promoting ethically strong small business development.\r\nDiversity – We respect each other's different backgrounds, strengths, and work styles, while adapting programs to serve a diversity of business types and cultural backgrounds.\r\nInnovation -We appreciate and welcome new ideas, while encouraging clients to think outside the box.\r\n\r\nTen Year Vision\r\nVentures is a national leader in microenterprise development, offering effective programming, sustainable operations, and innovative growth strategies to create an always-increasing impact on our community. Because of Ventures, all individuals who seek to succeed as small business owners have access to the tools and resources they need to enable them to increase their incomes and achieve financial stability.

We serve individuals at the most vulnerable end of the economic spectrum; people who face barriers to living wage employment such as inadequate English language skills, lack of literacy or education, physical and mental disabilities, or a poor social support network. We focus explicitly on underserved populations such as women, people of color, immigrants and refugees, and single parents. The average Ventures client supports a family on $23,000 per year when they first come to us. \r\n\r\nOur ultimate goal is to give people the tools they need to launch microbusinesses, increase their incomes, and move out of poverty. On average 50% of our clients increase their incomes and move off of public assistance within the first year and a half of receiving services from Ventures.

BASIC BUSINESS TRAINING: The cornerstone of our program is an eight-week business basics course that serves as the entry point for every new participant. The curriculum of this course is designed to help people with low incomes and little formal education to define, organize, and launch their own micro-businesses. Participants bring their business ideas to class and work with peers to figure out how to turn them into profitable and sustainable enterprises. Lessons include marketing, financial statements, operations, licensing and taxes, and more.\r\n\r\nADVANCED TRAINING: We offer in-depth courses on marketing, sales, operations, and financial management, each course consisting of 6 to 12 sessions of two hours each, and covering advanced topics needed to grow small businesses. \r\n\r\nCUSTOMIZED COACHING: Our team of staff and contracted topic experts provide customized individual coaching to help clients identify and overcome barriers to business success. Coaches typically help clients with financials, bookkeeping, organization, time management, marketing plans, and goal-setting.\r\n\r\nMICROLOANS: We provide two loan products designed to provide clients with the capital they need to grow their businesses; one is a peer-based product up to $5,000 that relies on “social collateral" rather than tangible collateral to secure loans, and the other is a larger collateralized product up to $35,000. \r\n\r\nSAVINGS AND CREDIT BUILDING TOOLS: We have three tools in our arsenal to help people build long-term assets through strong savings and credit. Matched savings accounts provide a 2:1 match for savings up to $2,000, resulting in $6,000 which must be spent on business-related expenses. Savers' Clubs create a formal setting for clients to meet with peers, encourage healthy money habits, and gain access to basic banking services such as savings accounts. Asset Plus credit building loans are a bundle of three financial products, designed to quickly build or restore poor credit.\r\n\r\nINCUBATION: Our Ventures retail store located in Pike Place Market allows clients to display and sell their products, while receiving coaching from retail experts on product display, design, pricing, and packaging. Clients receive a portion of revenue earned from product sales to invest in their businesses.

Our ultimate goal is to give people the tools they need to launch microbusinesses, increase their incomes, and move out of poverty. On average 50% of our clients increase their incomes and move off of public assistance within the first year and a half of receiving services from Ventures.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Ventures
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Ventures

Board of directors
as of 08/25/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Renée Martin

Farestart

Ronny Mendieta

Amazon

Jamie Sherbondy

Columbia Bank

Dave Spicer

Horizon House

Erik Winters

Forum Solutions LLC

Doug Hall

Resources for CEOs

Renee Martin

Farestart

John Yu

Boeing Company

Lisa Taylor

Redfin

Jonathan Shallow

K&L Gates

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/12/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data