The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with PenFed Foundation – the charitable arm of PenFed Credit Union – to announce its “Military Camp Accelerator for Veteran Women”
On July 13, VA and the PenFed Foundation took 80 seasoned female entrepreneurs from 29 different states to participate in a six-month acceleration program to guide and prepare them in federal and commercial markets, according to a VA statement.
The participants are “an audited VA verification and assessment center, with three to five years of activity and past performance as a principal or a subcontractor,” the statement said.
The six-month program was created to support seasoned women entrepreneurs and empower those looking to grow their businesses. The program provides training and resources to start and grow businesses.
“It is important that we provide an environment where women entrepreneurs can receive strategic and deliberate education, empowerment, commitment and access to improve their businesses,” said Sharon Ridley, Executive Director of the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
“Through entrepreneurship, female veterans have the opportunity to leverage their military and leadership skills to increase and create economic opportunities,” continued Ridley.
Classes are available and focus on relationship building, product / market analysis, business development, and growth readiness.
The program ends with a pitch competition. A participant with a winning pitch will receive a grant from the PenFed Foundation to use for their own business.
“We shared a goal: to empower female veterans and create access to the capital and systems to support them,” said PenFed Foundation president and retired Army General John W. Nicholson, Jr.
“We believe in creating a business ecosystem that establishes service in the US military as the most trusted route to successful entrepreneurship,” said Nicholson.
Learn more about VA’s mission to empower and educate veteran women entrepreneurs for success and economic opportunity to Office for the Use of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses.