New Initiative for Servicewomen in Small Business

Capital One Financial Corporation and nonprofit group Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence are teaming up to help new female veteran entrepreneurs. Together they are introducing a training and mentorship program called Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps, or WVEC.

A recently conducted survey found that out of 800 service women who now run their own business, 55% of them were taught the leadership skills they needed to become self-employed by the military. One in five of returning female veterans are unable to find jobs in this economy, so they have turned to their own devices and opened small businesses. This in turn helps open up employment for other returning vets. Sadly, 28% of the women interviewed admitted their weak spot was finding and keeping new customers, and almost half of those interviewed reported that they lacked a business strategy for the next couple of years, according to Capital One Financial Corporation and Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence, who conducted the poll.

The goal in launching WVEC is to assist the increasing number of new female entrepreneurs, along with their partners or spouses, in planning a strategy that involves growth and the ability to handle the ebbs and flows of owning a business.

The President and founder of Count Me In stated, “The energy and motivation that women veterans bring to their business ventures is unmatched, and we are very excited to use our experience helping women reach their entrepreneurial potential to help this important-and growing-group of new entrepreneurs.” Capital One is also committing $800,000 to help initiate the project. The two groups will help with research and are beginning their endeavor with a business-pitch competition and conference for those servicewomen who are now small business founders.

The conference will take place on December 3 and 4 in McLean, Va. The two partners are hoping to draw in hundreds of business growth experts and women veterans who will be able to join and lead the panels and workshops. Count Me In is also hosting other “pitch parties” in certain U.S. cities which will be free for participants and allow servicewomen to rehearse their business proposals and gain feedback from professionals.

Those who wish to join the pitch parties and the WEVC conference can access more information here: http://countmein.org/event/wvec/home

References:

Briggs, Bill. “New program aims to help female veterans-turned-entrepreneurs” U.S. News, NBCNEWS.com. 10/24/12.

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