Free and Low-Cost Business Advising

Starting a business is exciting but can be daunting without the right guidance. Whether you're a first-time business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, expert advice is invaluable, though often costly.

Fortunately, Ventura County offers a wealth of low- and no-cost resources to help you succeed. Accessing the expert guidance needed to turn your business dreams into reality has never been easier.

Where to look for Advice

Ventura County truly supports its business community with a range of valuable resources:

  • Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) – EDC provides free one-on-one advising from senior-level consultants.  All you have to do is make an appointment.
  • Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) – WEV offers low-cost consulting programs, startup guides, and affordable entrepreneurship classes tailored for women entrepreneurs. Explore their offerings here.
  • SCORE – This volunteer organization offers no-cost support with over 60 local mentors, free resources, and checklists for small businesses in Ventura County. Find your mentor today. 
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Other options are to connect at a local co-working space or join the Business Network Association in your area.

Finally, each city in Ventura County has its own Chamber of Commerce website—and each site includes location-specific advice and programs for small businesses. So, whether you settle in Simi Valley, Santa Paula, or somewhere else, you can rest easy knowing you’ll have relevant, up-to-date info at your fingertips.

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Learn From the Best in Ventura County

Over the years, Ventura County has produced some of the country’s most well-known brands. How? It’s simple: Our community is committed to educating and uplifting entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a longtime resident or a newcomer to our sublime slice of California. We welcome you and your new company with open arms—and plenty of applicable, affordable business advice.

Where to Start

Economic Development Collaborative (EDC)

The EDC offers a variety of targeted lending opportunities through four distinct loan programs: the Business Development Loan Fund, Childcare Investment Loan Fund, City of Ventura Business Assistance Loan Fund and the Disaster Loan Fund. The purpose of the EDC loan program is to stimulate job creation and economic activity by providing access to affordable capital.


SCORE is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)

The goal of the WEV Loan Program is to diversify and expand the local economy and create new jobs by providing start-up and expansion capital to small businesses that do not qualify for conventional bank financing.