The U.S. Small Business Administration declared the allocation of up to $300,000 in grants through its “Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program” to support women veterans and military spouses in small business development through various organizations. This funding is provided by the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development.
Three organizations, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Bunker Labs, and the Lift Fund, were selected as awardees for the grants based on their dedication to providing training, education, and skill-building resources for women. The SBA Administrator Linda McMahon stated that “Increasingly, women small business owners are contributing in a major way to the growth of the U.S. economy.” She further elaborated that female veterans brought a one-of-a-kind expertise to businesses.
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University was awarded $135,000 for its V-WISE program, which is a three-phase training program consisting of a 15-day online course, a two-day residency program, and post-training technical support. Bunker Labs received $90,000 for its Entrepreneurial Program for Innovation and Collaboration (EPIC) and “Bunker in a Box.” The Lift Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides small business owners with limited access to capital, was awarded $75,000 and offers a seven-week training program that includes in-person and online training, technical assistance, and capital requirements.
The SBA recognizes women veteran-owned small businesses as a “burgeoning economic powerhouse” in the military small business community, with 383,302 businesses generating $17.9 billion in sales as of 2012. The number of women veteran-owned small businesses increased by nearly 300% from 2007 to 2012, despite accounting for only 15.2% of all veteran-owned businesses.
The SBA’s support and focus on both women-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses through initiatives like the “Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program” grants is crucial to further growth in this area. With these grants being among the first announced by the new administration, there is reason to be hopeful for more positive developments to come.
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Visit the SBA website for more information on government loans for veteran-owned small businesses.
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