Women Veterans and Military Spouse Business Leaders Empowered by First of Its Kind New York City Conference

Syracuse University organizes conference made possible through the support of JPMorgan Chase and the U.S. Small Business Administration

Released: 10-Jun-2014 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Institute for Veterans and Military Families
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Newswise — The tenth iteration of the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program will be the program’s largest to date and first in New York City. From June 13-15, a seasoned group of business leaders, educators, military leaders, and resource providers will converge in Times Square to help more than 200 women veterans, transitioning female service members, and military wives realize their business dreams. The women will learn what it takes to lead in today’s economy through a series of inspiring talks and breakout sessions focused on topics ranging from raising capital to business law.

Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) will host the conference thanks to the generous support of IVMF Founding Partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. The ongoing support of JPMorgan Chase to IVMF programs has allowed veterans and military spouses to greatly expand their education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

“We recognize the unique skills, traits and experiences women veterans and military spouses bring to entrepreneurship. Whether balancing military careers or military family life, these women have the perseverance and adaptability needed to realize their business dreams,” said Maureen Casey, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase. "We are honored to participate in V-WISE, a program that empowers women veterans with the tools and education to be business leaders in their communities.”

V-Wise was developed by Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and provides cutting-edge entrepreneurship training to women veterans from any branch or era of military service, any military component, female spouses or partners of active duty personnel and veterans looking to start a business venture.

The public/private partnership between JPMorgan Chase & Co., the IVMF, and the SBA allows the event to be held in New York City for the first time. The conference begins on Friday evening with an opening ceremony featuring honorees Bonnie Amos, the First Lady of the United States Marine Corps, and Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Both women will be recognized for their leadership in supporting the veterans and military family communities.

V-WISE empowers participants to realize their passion and learn business skills to turn their ideas or existing businesses into growth ventures. V-WISE builds on the leadership, integrity, focus, and drive of the nation’s female veterans through premier educational training led by accomplished entrepreneurs and educators from across the country. Both growth and startup training tracks are offered to serve the spectrum of business owners and their business development stages.

Currently, women represent about 15 percent of active duty military, 20 percent of the Reserves, 16 percent of the National Guard, and 20 percent of new recruits. V-WISE has impacted more than 1,000 female veterans and military spouses in over 40 states and across all service branches and eras, with more than 56 percent of V-WISE graduates starting or growing a venture after attending the conference.

In addition, this V-WISE will have our largest attendance of business-minded military wives to date. This is in light of the 2013 Military Spouse Employment Survey released in February by IVMF in partnership with the Military Officers Association of America, which found that 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed and are 30 percent more likely than their civilian counterparts to be unemployed. Many are turning to entrepreneurship to supplement the 38 percent gap in personal income compared to civilians, and the ability of many entrepreneurs to own and run their businesses from anywhere regardless of moves. IVMF entrepreneurship programs are increasingly including service members and veterans’ wives to help bridge the income gap through self-employment, while career preparedness programs like VCTP, also sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, also assist women spouses.

Media members are welcome to attend the conference and meet with attendees and organizers.  Contact Lauren Jenkins, ljenkins@scoutcommsusa.com or 202-596-5669 for more information.


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