MELBOURNE, FLA. — weVENTURE Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business will be the non-profit beneficiary of the 2021 Wine Women & Shoes event on Nov. 18 at the Sun Aviation hangar in Vero Beach.
weVENTURE WBC provides low- and no-cost business education and training to entrepreneurs in Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties. Since 2007, the non-profit program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, has grown to serve over 600 clients a year and has become the leading regional resource for woman-owned businesses.
Proceeds from WW&S will allow weVENTURE WBC to expand capacity to serve more women on the Space and Treasure coasts, including many still grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will feature wine tastings, a shoppable multi-designer marketplace, and Sole Men literally serving up this season’s must-haves in footwear on silver platters. In addition to shopping for peep-toes while sipping pinots, guests will enjoy a fashion show and the chance to win jewelry and trips, including a tasting experience and stay in wine country, a North Carolina mountain getaway and a surf shack stay in Puerto Rico.
“Each day awareness is growing about how gender and race biases hold us back, and Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery strives to support this awareness in every way possible,” said Ocean Drive owner and presenting sponsor Dr. Alan Durkin. “weVENTURE is a remarkable organization that provides women with the business opportunities and the empowerment that they deserve. As a father to a daughter and a husband who bettered himself by ‘marrying up,’ I am personally and professionally honored to support this progressive and thoughtful organization.”
The economic challenges of COVID-19 have been dubbed a “she-cession” due to the disproportionate impact it has had on women and women-owned businesses, which are likely to be in the hardest-hit industries of food service, hospitality, retail, personal services and health care.
“There is no question we have seen increased demand for our services,” said Kathryn Rudloff, executive director of weVENTURE WBC.
Positively, research has shown women-owned small businesses were much more likely than those owned by men to have already established an online presence, allowing them to take advantage of the rapid increase in virtual commerce. weVENTURE can assist in these cases, as well.
“Many women-owned small businesses are thriving through COVID, and we want to help them continue to grow,” Rudloff said.
WW&S sponsorship opportunities are available starting at $500, and an event volunteer committee is being formed. Email weVENTURE@fit.edu for more information and to get involved.
Tickets will be $200 for VIP and $150 for general admission, with all proceeds benefitting weVENTURE Women’s Business Center. Visit www.winewomenandshoes.com/event/verobeach/ to be added to the mailing list and “like” www.facebook.com/winewomenandshoesverobeach for updates on when ticket sales will begin.