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weVENTURE Women's Business Center

SunTrust Awards $10K Grant to weVENTURE’s IGNITE 360

Program Offers Mentoring to Local Entrepreneurs  

MELBOURNE, FLA. — weVENTURE, the Central Florida-based organization launched at Florida Institute of Technology and focused on accelerating sustainable business growth for entrepreneurs, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from SunTrust to benefit its IGNITE 360® Business Mentoring Program.

IGNITE addresses finance management as a core component to business sustainability and expansion. It was developed as a proprietary program committed to the growth of women-owned, second-stage businesses. The program works with a network of local entrepreneurs to build capacity from within, even as it helps to create and retain jobs and expand product and service offerings.

“We are truly grateful to SunTrust for recognizing the value of this program to our community,” said weVENTURE Executive Director Erica Lemp. “With this grant, weVENTURE will be able to engage economically disadvantaged and small business owners to improve their economic status and business success.”

The SunTrust grant will support mentor recruitment and training, expand program outreach and provide partial scholarships to participants who demonstrate economic need for assistance.

IGNITE 360 offers highly effective mentoring at three distinct levels:

  • TRANSITION for organizations that need strategy before growth or change;
  • ADVANTAGE for companies that are committed to growth;
  • PREMIER for larger companies that are focused on transformational activities and gross more than $500k/year.

The SunTrust award was given based on weVENTURE’s client outcomes. Since its inception in 2007, weVENTURE has provided critical business coaching and education services to more than 10,000 clients. And since 2012, the IGNITE 360 program has graduated 56 businesses. An additional 30 companies are being mentored in 2016.

Reported outcomes from the program to date include:

  • 93 percent of IGNITE 360 graduates created new jobs;
  • 28 percent reported significant increases in process improvement and business development;
  • 20 percent have increased revenues up to 50 percent;
  • 12 percent have an increase in revenues of more than $1 million;
  • 10 percent have doubled revenues.

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