Earlier this month, J. Michael Haynie, Ph.D., vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and executive director of the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families, was appointed by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough to serve on…
IVMF Entrepreneurship Program V-WISE Returns In Person
Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) held its Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program in person for the first time in more than two years. Approximately 200 women veterans, spouses and partners from around the country registered for V-WISE, held in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 28-30, marking the return to its in-person training model and the 23rd V-WISE program.
Nationally hailed as one of the Best Veteran Resources, the V-WISE program offers education, collaboration and ongoing mentorship to participants who want to start or grow their own businesses. Participants arrived in Phoenix for three days of intensive training and networking, after completing coursework online prior to their arrival in Phoenix. They left inspired, connected and ready to fully optimize ongoing support from the IVMF Alumni team.
IVMF research demonstrates how military-connected entrepreneurs have unique advantages over their civilian counterparts. IVMF research also shows that female veteran entrepreneurs cite lack of mentors for business (29%) and lack of experience or exposure to other business owners (24%) among their top barriers to achieving their business goals. V-WISE programming helps to directly address and mitigate these challenges.
Organized into two tracks concentrating on both start-up and growth, V-WISE Phoenix included subject matter tailored to meet participants wherever they are in their entrepreneurial journey. The event was packed with opportunities to network, participate in breakout sessions and access personalized expert advice from instructors and speakers. V-WISE Phoenix included a variety of instructional sessions, keynote addresses and advice from leaders in academics, government and the private sector.
Whitman School of Management Professor Elizabeth Wimer delivered an inspiring closing keynote address, reminding participants that creative problem solving is part of the entrepreneurial mindset.
“V-WISE attendees are already motivated to overcome the challenges associated with entrepreneurship,” says Wimer. “My goal was to illuminate the creative pathways that help these growing business leaders channel their ideas into reality while building upon the network they created with each other this weekend.”
“Like we did with IVMF’s Veteran EDGE last fall, it felt great to be back in person with our participants, partners, instructors, and alumni,” says Misty Stutsman Fox, IVMF’s director of entrepreneurship and small business. “We are so grateful to again be able to provide this impactful and empowering programming, especially at a time when so many women entrepreneurs in our military-connected community need it.”
V-WISE Phoenix was an opportunity to share data-informed and timely perspectives as businesses are navigating new challenges and new opportunities. Topics included pivoting, business law, human resources, work-life balance, marketing and social media strategies, government contracting, access to capital, and more. Participants also had opportunities to take professional headshots and access information from local and national business resource partners.
The program is free of charge to veterans, military spouses and partners thanks to underwriting support from sponsors JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Small Business Administration, USAA, Wounded Warrior Project and Daughters of the American Revolution.
To date, V-WISE has more than 3,000 graduates. Sixty-five percent of V-WISE graduates have started or grown their own businesses, and 93% of those businesses are still in operation today. V-WISE graduates report an annual average revenue totaling $78 million.