“Increasingly, women small business owners are contributing in a major way to the growth of the U.S. economy, and women veterans bring a unique and valued skill set to entrepreneurship,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “Funding these organizations involved in helping women veterans and military spouses establish successful businesses will go a long way towards securing the future for these women and their families.”
The three awardees are:
- Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)– $135,000.The V-WISE program is an intensive three-phase program containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a two-day residency program, and post-training technical support. IVMF also offers an accelerated version of the course called “IGNITE.” Both programs are open to applicants nationwide.
- Bunker Labs: Entrepreneurial Program for Innovation and Collaboration (EPIC) and Bunker in a Box – $90,000.Bunker Labs provides education, mentoring and networking opportunities to help military veterans start and grow their businesses. EPIC is a 14-week training course offered by Bunker Labs where participants meet weekly, while also having access to the online “Bunker in a Box.” The program is offered in Chicago, Philadelphia, Redwood City (California), Nashville, Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Madison (Wisconsin), and Washington, D.C.
- Lift Fund: San Antonio Lift Fund – $75,000.Lift Fund is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with limited access to capital. The Texas-based Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Program is a seven-week course offering both in-person and online training, and covers everything from technical assistance to capital requirements. The program serves the San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Laredo, Brownsville, and El Paso areas.
Women veteran-owned small businesses represent a burgeoning economic powerhouse in the military small business community. As of 2012, women veterans owned 383,302 businesses, generating $17.9 billion in sales. From 2007 to 2012, despite representing only 15.2 percent of all veteran-owned businesses, the number of women-veteran owned small businesses increased by 294.7 percent.
To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.