Wisconsin based organization helps women entrepreneurs start their own business

    Wisconsin Women Business Initiative Corporation. (WLUK)

    FOX CITIES (WLUK) -- The Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation is helping women all across the state, including Northeast Wisconsin start their own businesses.

    "I always worked with really great women that have owned businesses and doing great things for the community and I just realized I can totally do that," said Mia Russell.

    Just 27, Mia Russell is already putting her dreams to work and runs her own screen printing and embroidery boutique in Appleton.

    "It's still happening slowly and there's still a lot we want to do. But it feels incredible that it's actually happening and feels really good," said Russell.

    "To get her started, Russell got a loan through WWBIC, the organization focuses on helping women, people of color,and veterans expand and open their own businesses.

    "WWBIC is something that has three basic buckets, business education, micro loans which are loans between $1,000 to $250,000 for business, and one on one technical support for those who have a loan through us to help nurture their business," explained Alyse Rust the Regional Project Director for Appleton WWBIC.

    WWIBC's Appleton location has been open for less than a year, but they've already connected more than 300 women with resources in the area to help them open their businesses.

    "I pounded on a lot of doors asking for funding. So between American National Bank of Fox Cities and WWIBC'S they really teamed up to help me get my business off the ground," said Julie Stoffel the owner of Cradle To Crayons Learning Center LLC.

    Stoffel said the training and relationships she's built through the organization are part of the reason she's so successful, but being a female entrepreneur and a role model for her daughters, is what keeps her motivated.

    "It can be extremely difficult and you have good days and bad days," said Stoffel. "Women in business have so much passion and I think that motivates women to take that next step and do things on their own."

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