Business Support For Women Veterans
Starting a business can be daunting. When we think about some of the most successful or popular companies, we easily think of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Yes, the face of the companies are men, yet we know some women play key roles in the success and direction of these companies as well. So why don’t we hear as much about the successful women-owned companies? What about military women veterans starting and running their own business? Let’s explore.
There are about 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in America today. Recent articles have shown the military is the best source of entrepreneurial and leadership training. For anyone that is interested in going into business, military training instills the qualities that are required to start and succeed in business. You find leadership, project management, discipline, team building, goal setting and so forth. All of these qualities are inherent in anyone that actively progresses in their military career. Women may have challenges getting this type of training outside the military yet, while in the military women benefit just as their male counterparts. Here are some organizations that support women-owned veteran businesses and the women that benefited from this organization.
Let’s look at V-Wise. Veteran Women Igniting Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE), is a premier training program in entrepreneurship and small business management operated by “the Institute for Veterans and Military Families” at Syracuse University. It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the support of corporate and foundation partners nationwide. V-WISE helps women veterans and female military spouses/partners find their passion and learn the business skills to turn an idea into a growing venture. There are three phases of their program, (Phase I) a 15-day online course, (Phase II) 3-day entrepreneurship training event and (Phase III) ongoing mentorship training and support for graduates launching or growing their business. An example of women-owned businesses that have grown from this program is the HRSS Consulting group, Karen McGregory CEO and President. Women Veteran Social Justice Network, Ms. BriGette McCoy CEO. M2G Dynamic Leadership Solutions, owner Dr. Mary Gillam.
What are some real challenges that women face starting a business? According to the Institute of Veterans and Military Families Entrepreneurship research, here are common challenges veteran entrepreneurs face:
Unaware of available business start-up resources
More challenging for a woman to get approval for funding/capital
Trouble finding relevant networking/mentoring opportunities
So, let me leave you with 3 useful recommendations that veterans can use for their business:
Business start-up resources can be found online and offline. A good place to start is the V-WISE (mentioned earlier) and Women’s Veteran Business Center.
Getting approval for funding is tough for male and female yet, to have a better chance getting the capital you need to try www.fastupfront.com or Small Business Center.
A highly recommended organization that assists veteran-owned businesses is SCORE. They have great mentoring and networking connections that provide real solutions.
Rashid Hill is the founder of L3 Coaching Solutions. A certified Strategic Intervention, Career and Relationship Coach specializing in uncovering human potential and guiding individuals and teams to achieve that mental shift toward ultimate clarity and focus using his H.E.R.O. coaching model. He is also an author, trainer, investor and personal development consultant. He is a published author and is focused on educating people on the value of financial education, human needs psychology and emotional intelligence.