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Helping underserved entrepreneurs to grow businesses and financial stability

WWBIC has provided business and financial education along with access to capital and financial products to women, people of color and low-income people for more than 25 years.

Overview

WWBIC focuses on individuals who face barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources, in particular women, people of color, veterans and low-income individuals. WWBIC’s impact is seen through the business owners and entrepreneurs who have created opportunities for themselves and their employees - 8,000 and counting. 

Strategy and Design

WWBIC is the classic nonprofit that puts people first, and our design needed to do the same. WWBIC gave us an opportunity to ask a lot of questions and really understand the value they deliver and the audiences they wanted to connect. We worked to detail their use cases (audience needs), goals and their value into a clear, simple navigation and messaging system on the website.  

The site design needed to put people first, and show the successes of the businesses that were in part funded or trained by WWBIC. Since WWBIC covers a lot more ground than initially understood, with trainings and financial literacy tutoring and so much more, the site also needed to communicate the width and depth of WWBIC's work.

This is an archived site, and at the time we took the now sometimes controversial above-the-fold idea, and we showed the gamut of services and people served in a hierarchy-rich layout. It's not uncommon for people look at websites with a preconceived idea of what an organization does, and if the organization doesn't show a wider array of content, the person leaves the site knowing no better. To this day we still use above-the-fold techniques, and while it's entirely different with different screen sizes and accessibility devices, it's still the same goal: help people know the relevance by communicating the gamut of the organization through its works and successes.

Tooling

The site featured successes, current programs for financial stability and entrepreneurship, a myriad of classes by type and region, and clear actions to get involved, like donate, volunteer, take a class and start a business. We wanted every page to give a visitor actionable steps to move forward.

We also created a member system that allows visitors to sign up and apply for a loan via the site or embedded site partners, enter required information, sign up for classes, pay for application and class fees, and connect them online through to financial organizations in a seamless experience. The member system changed over the years as they worked with different providers, but the core mission stayed the same, keeping people in the loop on where they were in the complicated process.