SBA Designs Program for Military Women

SBA Designs

By Debbie Gregory.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides resources to help women business owners to succeed, providing information on everything from how to register a woman veteran business to hiring a first employee. The SBA is available to help you start and grow a small business.

Along with the American Legion and Syracuse University, the SBA is offering a two-day entrepreneurial course titled “For Her Entrepreneurship – Resources, Opportunities, Experiences and Support.”  The course is specifically designed for women military veterans and military spouses, and is free of charge.

Going into business can help military women veterans transition back into civilian life. New research has found that of 800 female business owners with military experience, 46% said owning their own business has helped their transition to civilian life.

Most of the veteran woman entrepreneurs have credited their time in the military for inspiring them to start a business. Other responses showed that owning a small business held the same appeal and challenges to women veterans as to anyone else.

One program helping female vets overcome their business woes is the Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC). Created by a partnership between Capital One and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence,  the WVEC is a training program for small businesswomen who are veterans or spouses of veterans, to help grow their business.

Another source for assistance in becoming a veteran business owner is the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA). The non-profit trade association serves the needs of the veteran and military business communities by uniting veterans and military business owners for connections and contracts with both private corporations and government agencies.

VAMBOA was founded by Debbie Gregory, who has years of successful interaction with the military and veteran communities and is dedicated to those who serve, past and present.

El Paso Electric (EPE) is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service. EPE’s principal industrial and large customers include steel production, copper and oil refining, and United States military installations

Whenever economically feasible, EPE strives to contract with small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and/or service-disabled veterans. In the state of Texas, such firms are collectively known as historically underutilized businesses (HUBs).

EPE encourages its qualifying suppliers to obtain Small Disadvantaged Business, or HUBZone, certification from the SBA. They track and report on business done with companies that have SBA certification and on businesses owned by minorities, women and veteran women.

Contact the SBA to help you determine if your business is recognized as large or small. They will ask for your NAICS code, and your relevant revenue or employment data.