WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear is helping women launch their own businesses.
It launched the Coastal Women's Ventures program in partnership with the Carolina Small Business Fund.
According to Acquinetta Beatty, the head of the program, it was launched to give women in the area more business opportunities that they may not otherwise get.
Women in the program learn the steps behind creating a business and get to network with current entrepreneurs.
"A lot of times we're passionate about something but we don't know all of the steps that it will take to be successful at it. I might love to cook, but due to the fact that I don't know how to market my product, I don't have the finances to really get started then I fail at it, but I'm still passionate about it so we want to be that source that helps them get past the fact that I love to cook, but I want to make money doing it as well," Beatty said.
Women can also get financial help starting their businesses. The Small Business Fund offers loans from $5,000 to $250,000 as long as the women explain a concrete business plan, and how they'll use the money.
The program is currently helping one woman start her candle business, and she said she doesn't know where it would be without the program.
"Initially, I just I didn't realize how much hard work it was going to be. I knew I was going to have to make the candles, and yes, initially I would have to and eventually sell the candles, but there are so many steps along that way," Luckia Fisher said.
The program is having a workshop this Wednesday on successful business planning.
To join, visit the program's website.