The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, supported by funding from the Small Business Administration, is helping military families across a wide spectrum. One of the most interesting programs is V-Wise. This program is specifically designed for female veterans, female active duty members, and female spouses or partners; the program helps women develop and grow sustainable business ventures.
The program provides help from basic business education and development through information on entrepreneurship, and most importantly, provides ongoing mentorship. This level of support throughout the course of developing and launching a new business is critical for long-term success.
The V-Wise Program starts with a 15-day online course, followed by an in-person 3-day entrepreneurship training course, located across the nation at various locales. This year, the in person three-day training is going to be held in Louisville, Ky on August 11-13. A class will be held in DC in October 2017, and in Pittsburgh, summer of 2018.
The ability to start and nurture a small business, especially one which can move with the family, is critically important to the long-term financial stability of veterans facing challenges in the traditional workplace. When veterans start their own businesses, especially those that involve making things by hand, the quiet and solitude, the nature of the work, and some small degree of financial security may give veterans more peace and independence than currently offered job and employment help.
Many veterans still long to contribute to the world, the country, their communities and their families. When the support and structure of the military is lost, many vets face the challenges of service connected injury and illness alone, and without the support to successfully navigate a bureaucracy-heavy system. Beginning the journey toward small or micro-business ownership may let veterans build a new future.