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Meet the NWBC

Marsha Bailey

Chair of the Association of Women’s Business Centers and Founder and CEO of the Women's Economic Ventures and the Small Business Loan Fund of Santa Barbara.

Marsha Bailey is the founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures and the Small Business Loan Fund of Santa Barbara.  Since 1991, WEV has provided entrepreneurial training and technical assistance to over 15,000 women and men and made more than $3.5 million in loans to pre-bankable small businesses. WEV has helped more than 2500 local businesses start or expand. 


Bailey has been developing educational programs and services for women since 1983 and is the primary author of WEV’s self-employment training curriculum, From Vision to Venture. She has a Master’s Degree in Communication from UCSB and a B.A. from Michigan State University in Fine Art and Sociology.  She is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.


Under Bailey’s leadership, WEV has grown from a small organization with two employees and an annual budget of $75,000 to a nationally recognized women’s business development organization with 14 employees and an annual budget of $1.4 million. WEV serves clients in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties on California’s central coast and licenses its proprietary curriculum to other entrepreneurial organizations.  


Bailey is the President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Women’s Business Centers (a national organization), a former member of the Union Bank of California’s Community Advisory Board, and past President of the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO). She has served on the Board of Directors of many local organizations including the Fund for Santa Barbara and the Women’s Political Committee.  


In conjunction with her work with WEV, Bailey has mentored and trained emerging women leaders from California, Nepal and Jordan, has provided entrepreneurial training for women in Hungary, and lectured at the Sorbonne in Paris.  She has provided consulting and training on organizational development and sustainability to a USAID-funded women’s business organization in Amman, Jordan as well as to many U.S. organizations.


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