Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.
Press Release

WWBIC New SBA Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota Director and New Northeastern Regional Project Director now on board

Ana Simpson has been brought on to the WWBIC Team and will lead the VBOC@WWBIC.

By - Jun 25th, 2018 11:31 am
Ana Simpson. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.

Ana Simpson. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.

WWBIC aligned growth & expansion – New VBOC Director Ana Simpson now hired.

With new and additional funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Veteran’s Business Development – WWBIC will be hosting the Veteran’s Business Opportunity Center in Milwaukee, covering a three state region. The SBA’s Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program is designed to provide support to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and families interested in starting or growing a small business. The SBA will now have 22 organizations serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) in 2018, including WWBIC. Ana Simpson has been brought on to the WWBIC Team and will lead the VBOC@WWBIC. Ana Simpson, with over twenty years of financial banking management experience in corporate, business and retail banking along with strong leadership and civic engagement will continue advancing the VBOC in Wisconsin as well as Illinois and Minnesota.

“We are thrilled to have Ana join our WWBIC leadership team – her financial background coupled with her leadership in our community will prove a true asset here.  In addition, Ana being a military connected family member understands veterans first hand and will be able to advance business planning and development within veteran communities.  There remains a clear need to provide educational programming and access to capital for veterans, and the VBOC model has proven successful,” said WWBIC President, Wendy K. Baumann. Ana Simpson attended Marquette University and is actively engaged in leadership with numerous organizations including Tempo, La Casa De Esperanza, Family Services, etc…and she is fluent in Spanish.  In addition to the VBOC Director, WWBIC will be hiring an Associate Director and a part time position for programmatic and administrative support.

This new expansion builds upon WWBIC’s existing efforts to serve underserved markets including veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners in Wisconsin.  The new center headquarters will be in WWBIC’s existing Milwaukee business office.

Wisconsin small businesses are critical to further improving Wisconsin’s economic outlook. In Wisconsin, small businesses employ 1.2 million people, over 50% of the workforce! WWBIC has been providing quality business education and access to capital for more than 30 years. The organization has grown both in size and lasting impact.  Since 1987, WWBIC deployed more than $60M in small business loans to assist over 4,000 businesses to start, strengthen or expand, creating and retaining over 10,000 jobs in our state alone.

WWBIC will continue to work with partners in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota to successfully serve under supported individuals.  WWBIC partners include: SBA resource partners, the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE in addition to local educational institutions, chambers of commerce and economic and community development organizations.

Alyse Rust. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.

Alyse Rust. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.

WWBIC aligned growth & expansion – New WWBIC Northeast Regional Project Director (Appleton, WI)  Alyse Rust, now hired

With new and additional funding from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership – WWBIC will be opening another office in the Northeastern region of Wisconsin. Located in Appleton, Wisconsin, WWBIC’s newest office will be led by Alyse Rust. Alyse Rust joins WWBIC after a ten year career with the Outagamie County Housing Authority.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services Leadership from UW-Oshkosh and an Associated Degree in Criminal Justice from UW-Fox Valley in Appleton. Alyse is actively engaged in numerous community organizations.

“This news resonates so well with WWBIC’s new strategic action plan around aligned growth, advancing customer support and social performance impact and metrics. We are thrilled to receive this additional federal grant support for the state of Wisconsin to focus and further these efforts. We look forward to amplifying our impact in the region with the leadership of Alyse Rust and our advisors and partners,” said WWBIC President, Wendy K. Baumann.

Associated Bank, an avid WWBIC statewide supporter and investor, will be providing in-kind office space at their existing Appleton Casaloma Drive Branch in the heart of the region. This location will increase visibility, support and service in the area. WWBIC services are open to all in the state of Wisconsin. Over 20% of WWBIC’s clients come from outside of Wisconsin’s major metropolitan markets where there is need of WWBIC’s small business support and access to capital.  WWBIC supported businesses in the region include:  Tamara’s The Cake Guru (Appleton & Oshkosh), Town Hall Bakery (Jacksonport), Foxglove Farms (Hortonville), The River Coffee & Cream (Wrightstown), Aardvark Wine Lounge (Green Bay) Ahava Spa (Sturgeon Bay) O-Town Iron (Oshkosh).

In addition to the Director’s role, WWBIC will be hiring a Small Business Consultant and administrative support.


Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $60 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $18 million and nearly 500 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com

About SBA’s Office of Veteran’s Business Development VBOC Program

The Office of Veterans Business Development’s (OVBD) mission is to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their families. OVBD is SBA’s liaison with the veteran’s business community; provides policy analysis and reporting;

About SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Established 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) has supported women’s business ownership in our nation’s economy – specially providing support to those who have been historically under-served or excluded.

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