“Entrepreneurship” The New Women’s Movement

By David Benda Redding Record Searchlight, Calif.

REDDING, California

A forum geared to women who want to launch or expand a business will take place Thursday at the Redding Library.

Entrepreneurship: The New Women's Movement" is being presented by The Women's Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation. U.S. Bank is the sponsor.

The event also is aimed at those interested in supporting female entrepreneurs in the area, organizers said.

Among the speakers will be Anna Vietti, owner of Viva la Foto in Redding. She also recently purchased You Booth Photo Booth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Vietti's business shoots pictures at weddings, birthdays, office parties and other celebrations.

Vietti, 33, hopes those attending Thursday's forum will find inspiration in her story.

"In a sense, I was coming from nothing to something," Vietti said. "I want to let people know that it's not impossible to own a business. You just gotta find what works for you and also put in the time and figure out what the area needs."

Vietti is a single mother with four boys ages 15, 12 and twin 9-year-olds. She went through "a pretty harsh" divorce in 2007 while living in Oklahoma. She decided to move back to Shasta County, where she was born and raised.

She went back to school and got two part-time jobs. She's about 18 units away from a psychology degree.

The idea for Viva la Foto came when she attended a relative's wedding in the Bay Area. Driving back to Redding, she couldn't stop thinking about it and decided it could work.

"The startup costs are really low and the business markets itself," Vietti said.

Still, there are obstacles for any startup business, especially those owned by women, Vietti said.

"Another thing is there are not a lot of women entrepreneurs here," she said. "There are not a lot of women to look up to and say, 'How can you help me?' "

Also presenting Thursday will be Faye Hall, founder of Redding businesses Code IT Boot Camp and Build It. Faye came to the U.S. from China and was eBay's first network engineer.

Hope Seth, director of entrepreneurial development for the Economic Development Corp. of Shasta County; and Nancy Swift, executive director of Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) in Mount Shasta, also will speak.

JEDI in September was designated a regional Women's Business Center by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which expands the organization's available resources to women in Shasta, Trinity and Humboldt counties.

In April, JEDI will launch an entrepreneurial development class in Redding that will run on four consecutive Saturdays starting April 18. For more information, email [email protected] or call 888-926-6670.

"Most importantly, this is a statement about the time is now to be investing in women who are starting businesses. It's a good investment in the local economy," Swift said.

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