Women Veterans Connect:
Everything You Need to Know
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible, and when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.“
~ Amelia Earhart
Serving With Distinction
Women Veterans have served our country with distinction, dedication, courage, loyalty, and pride and many have achieved amazing successes while in service of the United States military.
They have piloted space shuttles, served in combat zones, worked aboard nuclear submarines, commanded ships – including aircraft carriers, earned the Medal of Honor, become four-star generals, and much more.
After their time in the service is over, women veterans have gone on to serve as leaders in their communities, in non-profits, in education, and in virtually every category of business and finance, in the community, in the government, and in support initiatives such as the SBA’s initiative National Veteran Small Business Week (NVSBW), where they celebrate veteran, military spouse, and service members nationwide as small business owners.
In the United States, there are more than 2 million female veterans. Women are the fastest-growing segment of veterans. in 2000, women comprised only 4% of the veteran community. By 2040 however, that number will increase to 18%.
Challenges Faced by Women Veterans
In the US military, the number of women is increasing day by day. About 11% of the military operations from Iraq and Afghanistan were women in 2008. And these numbers are expected to keep rising. In fact, one of the fastest-growing groups of veterans is women. While these numbers are expected to grow at an increasing rate, the challenges that women are facing everyday are growing at a fast pace too.
Female veterans are facing extreme challenges that are putting them at high risk for isolation and victimization while deployed. Moreover, reintegrating to their home communities successfully is getting extremely difficult too, as women veterans have to face systems that are often male-centered in their delivery service for societal and historical reasons.
Females veterans are also facing an increasing rate of homelessness as compared to their counterparts who are males. Not only that, women veteran who is transitioning out of the military into the life of civilians are four times more likely to face the homelessness than their male’s counterparts, but also almost 40% of them who become homeless have been reported as being sexually assaulted even while serving in the military.
Military spouses and Veterans Benefit and Transition act of 2018
There has been an important change for military spouses according to the act of Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. According to this act, it will allow the spouses of the military to use and elect their legal state residence of service members and for the local taxes.
In the past, a military spouse had to file tax returns of different states because their legal residence was split. For instance, A service member who has a new york legal residence moved and married a person who lives in Virginia.
Now, the spouses of our military can elect and use now the military member’s legal residence for the purpose of filing the local and state taxes. This is a favorable situation for military couples as now they no longer need to file tax returns in different states. In addition to this, it will reduce the tax burden overall for military families.
As discussed above, transitioning veterans especially women veterans face a lot of problems when transitioning into civil life such as homelessness, sexual assault, etc. To make it easy for the transitioning veterans, and most probably for the female veterans, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a support program for the veterans in which if the veterans are moving into the business world, and are seeking guidance, funds, federal contracting opportunities, and training, then SBA supports them in their business venture.
Office of Veterans Business Development
The Office of Veterans Business Development (OBBD) is exclusively devoted to the promotion of transitioning veteran entrepreneurship. It will facilitate the veterans by giving access to the use of SBA programs, such as programs for veterans, reservists, service disabled veterans, service transitioning veterans, active-duty members of service, and survivors and dependents.
These programs by SBA will help the veterans to get access to the capital that is required to start or fund their respective small businesses, also, preparing and mentoring veterans for any opportunities in the small business. Their program called Veteran connects helps to connect all the transitioning veterans and any veterans who are the owners of the small businesses with commercial supply chains and federal procurement.
This program for veterans of business Outreach center program is an initiative by OVBD that is also overseeing the VBOC which is Veterans business outreach centers across the whole country. This program for small businesses also features a lot of success stories of the successful small business veteran owners and also offers concept assessments, business plan workshops, training for the eligible veterans, and mentorship.
Funding For Small Businesses Owned By Women Veterans
Small business veteran owners can use the tools provided by SBA like Lender Match in order to connect with the interested lender. In addition to this, SBA has made special Veterans Networking connections and makes special consideration for all the veterans through many programs.
Programs such as the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL), this program will help in getting loan up to dollar 2 million to cover up most of the operating cost that might not be able to meet due to the loss of an important employee called to active duty in the national or reserves guard.
Women Veteran and Entrepreneurship training programs by SBA
In the SBA programs, they feature different things such as In-person classes, online courses, and customized curriculums which would help the veterans, especially the female veterans, the knowledge about the small business dynamics and all the technicalities and training regarding the ongoing operations of the small businesses that would help them to succeed. All of these programs will help the veterans to learn the business ownership fundamentals from the small business experts and SBA resources.
Boots to Business
Boots to Business (B2B) is a program of entrepreneurship that is offered on the installation of military around the globe and also keeping the track of the training given by the DOD, which stands for Department of Defense, and TAP that stands for Transition Assistance Programs for all the veterans, that would help the Women veteran to connect and get the assistance regarding the business world. Boots to the business reboot entrepreneurship training that is offered in TAP is extended to all the veterans of the community of all eras.
Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Programs
Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Programs (WVETP) provides entrepreneurial training to all the women Veterans, female spouses of service members, women service members, and all the veterans who are willing to start or grow their existing small businesses. All of these entrepreneurship training programs are funded by SBA which is exclusively for all the female veterans through grantees such as :
● Women Veteran Igniting entrepreneurship spirit or IVMF
This program is a premier entrepreneurship training program for small business management. V-WISE helps the female veterans and women, military partners/spouses, to learn the business skills and to find or explore their passion that would help them to turn an idea or any small startup into a growing business venture.
- Experiences that you will gain in IVMF
Rationalistic strategies for any veteran new small businesses that would be presented in an inspi o nal and supportive learning environment.
● There will be a great team of instructors and speakers, including top entrepreneurs and the CEOs of companies that are in the Fortune 500, and the government leaders.
● It is basically a veteran networking community, where everyone connects and is designed to support the growth and creation of all the small businesses owned by veterans and this also includes services that will help to support your businesses and it is provided by SBA (small business administration), the IVMF partners and IVMF.
● It is a community where women veteran connects, and all the established military spouses and female veteran, 2375 in total, are becoming strong and growing day by day.
● This program has more than 20 different modules of training in business planning, economics, opportunity recognition, access to capital, social media, financing, business law, marketing, and many more.
Eligibility Criteria for IVMF is:
● Women veterans who are discharged honorably from any of the military services and branch, reserve components, including national guard.
● Women who are on active duty service members of any of the military branches, including reserve components and national guard.
● Female same-sex/ spouses life partner of the above. (Including partners or spouses who are widowed)
San Antonio- Lift Fund
Lift Fund, is a non-profit organization that has been helping individuals to achieve their dream for 21 years or more now. They help by providing financial assistance to all the startups or small businesses who are being able to get access to loans from the typical lenders, like traditional banks. Along with the important microloans, LiftFunds provides small business owners with financial and business training.
SDVETP: Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program
The program, commonly known as the service-disabled veteran entrepreneurship training program, also called SDVETP is a training program of entrepreneurship for all that disabled female veteran or male veteran who wants to become an entrepreneur or who already currently owns a small business. The entrepreneurship training program will be funded by SBA for veterans who are service-disabled through grantees such as:
○ Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with disabilities -IVMF
EBV helps to turn a veteran into a successful entrepreneur. It will leverage the resources, infrastructure, and skills of higher education to give experiential, cutting-edge training in small business management and entrepreneurship to the veterans post 9/11. This will help to open the door for many economic opportunities for the female veterans, as it will develop the competencies in several steps and associated activities with sustaining and creating a venture of entrepreneurs. In 2007, the program was founded at Syracuse University, and then it was extended to various universities all across the United States such as The University of Florida, University of Missouri, Saint Joseph University, and Syracuse serving as the national host of schools of consortium.
○ Veterans Entrepreneurship program – VEP (Entrepreneurship Riata Center), Business spears School at university of Oklahoma state
○ St.Joseph’s university- Veterans Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.
○ Dog tag Inc
Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training program for Veterans
This program delivers training related to entrepreneurship to all the businesses owned by female veteran or veterans who are service-disabled and owns a business, who are interesting in starting or already engaged in federal procurement.
Office of Women’s Business Ownership
With the coordination of SBA district offices, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) helps all the women veteran entrepreneurs. All these programs include counseling, access to capital and credit, business training, and federal contracts.
The OWBO job is to oversee the Women’s business centers. These centers help to level up the field for all the women veteran entrepreneurs, who face a lot of obstacles still in the world of business.
Businesses that are receiving assistance from WBC can see a better rate of success than those who are not seeking any support.
Funds For Small Businesses Owned by Women Veterans
The program of business development helps disadvantaged or small businesses to compete in the market. Check with local assistance resources and WBCs for guidance, and for finding capital check out the lender Match tool.
Small businesses that are owned by women can also be benefited from the loan programs by SBA. SBA will offer counseling and advice in choosing the right path or career for your business or company.
Federal Contracting Program For Small Businesses Owned By Women
Federal Contracting Program For Small Businesses Owned By Women guides small business owners who are women to compete for federal contracts. Before applying, you need to thoroughly go through the eligibility criteria.
The SBA works with the federal agencies in order to increase the opportunities for contracting and to achieve the government’s goal of five percent contracting for the small businesses owned by female veterans. Make sure to keep an eye on the matchmaking events that target both private and federal procurement.
Women Veterans Through History
On The Front Lines
Women have been involved, in non-enlisted roles, with the US military dating as far back as 1775 and the American Revolution. They originally served in domestic occupations such as nursing, cooking, seamstressing, and laundry.
Many women also contributed to the Civil War, whether it was through nursing, spying or physically fighting on the battlefield.
Interestingly, many women enlisted while disguised as men and served in combat.
When their true gender was discovered, most commonly as a result of being injured, they were occasionally punished but usually, they were simply discharged and sent home.
Loretta Walsh was the first woman who was allowed to enlist – as a woman – in 1917.
After World War II, the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, a law that was enacted in 1948, cemented a permanent place for women as part of the military services.
In 1990 and 1991, some 40,000 American military women were deployed during the Gulf War operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; however, no women officially served in combat.
United States Service Academies
On July 7, 1976, the first group of women was enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point, as directed by Public Law 94-106, which was legislation signed by President Gerald Ford a year earlier.
On May 28, 1980, 62 of those same female cadets graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army.
Progress for women at US service academies has been slow coming over the last 40 years. Be that as it may, things have still progressed steadily nevertheless.
Of the roughly 1,100 cadets that comprised the 2020 graduating class at West Point, 230 (21%) were women. In 2019, a then-record number of 34 black female cadets graduated, and in 2020, that number rose to 38.
The United States Air Force Academy graduated 967 cadets in 2020, of which 281 (29%) were women.
The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis has been the most progressive of the service academies so far. In 2020, of its 258 graduating cadets, 102 (40%) were women.
About Gold Star Legal Funding
Gold Star Legal Funding is a disabled veteran-owned, nationwide lawsuit funding company. We proudly support WomenVeteransConnect.org and the Women Veterans Connect program, as well as many other veteran-owned and veteran support organizations.
Gold Star provides non-recourse pre settlement lawsuit funding and settled case funding (often called lawsuit loans or a lawsuit cash advance) to injured plaintiffs involved in personal injury and employment lawsuits.
The financing we provide is non-recourse, which means a plaintiff is only required to repay their advance if they win their case. If they lose or their case doesn’t settle, they owe us nothing.