Another successful Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) conference was held this past weekend, Nov. 14-16 in Denver, Colo. The conference, hosted by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University provides the training and skills necessary for women veterans and female military spouses to launch and grow their own business.
As many of the program’s graduates will tell you, however, the most important lesson gained from the conference is how to find the confidence within yourself to pursue your dreams. V-WISE has hosted a number of inspiring speakers over the years, and the Denver conference was no different. But, last Saturday’s closing keynote speaker was a bit special; Emme, founder of EmmeNation, is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Author, clothing designer and talk show host, Emme, is a plus-size supermodel who became well-known as an advocate for positive body image and self-esteem among women. Dedicated to promoting positivity and strength in women, EmmeNation is an “online forum for women facing life’s challenges who strive to feel good, victorious, connected, real, true, honored, accepted, blessed, grounded and filled with gratitude.”
On V-WISE Denver Emme Wrote:
“I had the distinct honor being a part of the V-WISE Denver conference last week, hosted by the IVMF and the SBA. To say that I have a new perspective and appreciation for our service women is, without a question, dead on. I am forever changed. I never really thought about the lives our female veterans experienced after service before; sad to say but absolutely true. I had no idea how hard the transition from the military to civilian life was, but after the three days I attended like a fly on the wall, I was a part of many conversations and observed the frustration this process can bring. Yes, I have a whole new appreciation.
The hardship these women are facing, in an already difficult job market, is unconscionable. Happily, I heard innovative and outside-the-box ideas with a great deal of entrepreneurial spirit that made me proud we were bonded not only as women but as Americans!
Way to go IVMF, to have such an important entrepreneurial program for our women veterans. The sky’s the limit as far as I see for those already equipped with incredible training and dedication to our country!”
Named twice as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, as Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year, and as one of Biography Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Women, Emme inspires women to be comfortable in their own skin and to find the confidence to pursue their dreams, a message she emphasized at V-WISE Denver’s closing ceremony.
“Emme participated fully in the V-WISE conference from beginning to end, getting to know the participants and the program,” said James Schmeling, IVMF managing director and co-founder. “In particular, she focused on knowing yourself, pursuing your dreams, and sharing her passion and experience.”
The challenges faced by an entrepreneur attempting to launch her own business are many, and it takes a significant amount of confidence to pursue a dream when faced with so much adversity. Emme’s message to the group of veteran women present at the conference, “Embrace your inner magnificence,” encouraged them to ignite the strength within themselves to face these challenges head-on.