It’s estimated that more than 35 percent of the nation’s military spouses are chronically unemployed. In communities like El Paso, Texas—home to more than 40,000 military-connected families—the rate of spousal unemployment is significantly higher than the national average. For this…
IVMF Hosts Seventh V-WISE Entrepreneurship Training Conference for Female Veterans and Military Spouses
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) has announced the seventh offering of its Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program, hosted in Seattle, Aug. 16-18.
V-WISE is the first federally funded program focused on engaging entrepreneurial opportunity for female veterans, launched by Syracuse University in cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
As a result of support provided by the SBA and the Newman’s Own Foundation, 140 participants are expected to take part in the Seattle conference, which includes a full agenda of keynote speakers and course instructors from academia, industry, government and the military who will help open the doors of business ownership to the women veterans and provide them with tools to become successful entrepreneurs.
Operated by the IVMF, V-WISE was founded at the Whitman School of Management. The program provides cutting-edge entrepreneurship training to women veterans from any branch/era of military service, active duty military (including National Guard and Reserve) and female spouses/partners of active duty personnel and veterans looking to start a business venture. The program empowers participants to find their passion and learn business skills to turn their ideas or existing businesses into growth ventures. V-WISE integrates the leadership, integrity, focus and drive of the nation’s female veterans through premier educational training with accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the country.
V-WISE is the first program ever created to specifically empower women veterans, spouses and service members through business ownership. As such, the opening ceremony of each event includes a powerful program to recognize and honor significant “firsts” for women in the military and in society. This program includes a multimedia presentation chronicling significant “firsts” throughout history and an on-site ceremony to honor women “firsts” in attendance, who are presented with the V-WISE “First” Medal.
During the Seattle conference, Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead (U.S. Army, Ret.) and Mary Reding will be honored as pioneering women.
Halstead is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first female graduate of West Point to become a general officer. She served as the senior commanding general for logistics in Iraq and was the first woman in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading more than 200 multi-disciplined units (20,000 military and 5,000 civilians) located across 55 different bases, providing supply, maintenance, transportation and distribution support to more than 250,000 personnel serving in Iraq. After her 27 years with the U.S. Army, she retired as a general officer in 2008. Since then, Halstead has founded her own leadership consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, where she specializes in inspirational and motivational speaking, developing leadership training programs, leadership coaching and mentoring.
Reding is a founding member and current resident of the Military Spouse JD Network, a bar association for military spouses with more than 850 members. Military Spouse JD Newtork has achieved support and recognition for its work in public policy and advocacy by the White House, the American Bar Association, Conference of Chief Justices, ABA Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S Department of Defense, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Military Family Association.
“V-WISE enables women veterans and female spouses or partners of military members to find their passion and learn the business-savvy skills necessary to turn their ideas or existing businesses into growth ventures,” says Meghan Florkowski, V-WISE program manager at the IVMF. “Since its inception, the goal of the V-WISE program has been to integrate the leadership, integrity, focus and drive of our nation’s female veterans through educational training with accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the nation. We are grateful to our partners the SBA, Whitman School and Newman’s Own Foundation, which is providing additional support for our Seattle event.”
V-WISE is offered to participants for a $75 registration fee. Participants provide their own transportation to the on-site training. Food, lodging and materials are fully funded by the program.
For more information, visit whitman.syr.edu/vwise or contact Florkowski at 315-443-4629 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For admissions questions on the V-WISE program, or the entire portfolio of veteran entrepreneurship training offered by the IVMF, contact Katherine Frontino, IVMF admissions coordinator, at 315-443-8791 or email@example.com.