The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the awarding of $300,000 in Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grants to three organizations offering small business development resources to women veterans and military spouses and we are excited to announce that Bunker Labs is one of those organizations.
The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, supports each organization’s entrepreneurial training programs for women who are veterans, service members, and spouses of veterans and service members. According to the SBA, each awardee was chosen based on their demonstrated history of and commitment to providing training programs and resources to women.
“Increasingly, women small business owners are contributing in a major way to the growth of the U.S. economy, and women veterans bring a unique and valued skill set to entrepreneurship,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “Funding these organizations involved in helping women veterans and military spouses establish successful businesses will go a long way towards securing the future for these women and their families.”
The three awardees are:
- Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) – $135,000.
- The V-WISE program is an intensive three-phase program containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a two-day residency program, and post-training technical support. IVMF also offers an accelerated version of the course called “IGNITE.” Both programs are open to applicants nationwide.
- Bunker Labs: Entrepreneurial Program for Innovation and Collaboration (EPIC) and Bunker in a Box – $90,000.
- Bunker Labs provides education, mentoring and networking opportunities to help military veterans start and grow their businesses. EPIC is a 14-week training course offered by Bunker Labs where participants meet weekly, while also having access to the online “Bunker in a Box.” The program is offered in Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus, San Francisco, Nashville, Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Madison (Wisconsin), Washington, D.C., and Seattle
- Lift Fund: San Antonio Lift Fund – $75,000.
- Lift Fund is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with limited access to capital. The Texas-based Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Program is a seven-week course offering both in-person and online training, and covers everything from technical assistance to capital requirements. The program serves the San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Laredo, Brownsville, and El Paso areas.
Women veteran-owned small businesses represent a burgeoning economic powerhouse in the military small business community. As of 2012, women veterans owned 383,302 businesses, generating $17.9 billion in sales. From 2007 to 2012, despite representing only 15.2 percent of all veteran-owned businesses, the number of women-veteran owned small businesses increased by 294.7 percent.