V-WISE Conference Turns Female Veterans and Military Spouses into Entrepreneurs

Nearly 200 women gather in Phoenix for extensive training, mentoring and networking with experts on business ownership.   

The program, an initiative of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), helps women veterans and military spouses unearth their passions and learn the necessary business skills to turn their ideas into thriving business ventures. Along with the SBA, the three-day training conference is sponsored by USAA, with additional support from thinkThin, and Newman’s Own Foundation. This training follows three weeks of focused online instruction. Coupled with a strong mentoring and support networks, participants leave armed with the tools to navigate the challenges of business ownership. This is critical in creating sustainable ventures.

“At V-WISE, we’ve adopted a creed of, ‘Bold Enough to Make It Happen,’” said Kimberly Krula, Program Manager, V-WISE. “We’re excited that our program empowers women veterans and spouses to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship. They have shown how they can unleash their potential in the military. These women have demonstrated agility, tenacity, perseverance and intelligent leadership throughout their military careers. We aim to assist them to apply these same traits to achieve success in the entrepreneurial space. The V-WISE conference, and our program overall, serves as a safe launching pad and sisterhood as these women do the work of launching and sustaining small businesses.”

Throughout the weekend of intensive training, attendees work with accomplished experts. They have access to 20 modules of training designed for new business owners and seasoned entrepreneurs wanting to help them grow their businesses. Training courses will cover human resources, financing, marketing, legal, profit models and more, subjects that directly affect the viability of any business venture. The conference agenda features successful women who have launched successful careers post military service, including:

  • Brigadier General Margaret Burcham (U.S. Army, Retired), the first women promoted to the general officer ranks in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recently transitioned to the private sector and is the Founder and CEO of Athena Global Strategies, LLC.
  • Major General Angela Salinas (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired), Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts Southwest Texas, who was the first Latina selected and promoted to the general officer ranks in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Kaney O’Neill, a U.S. Navy veteran who served on the nuclear aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, and was paralyzed from a spinal cord injury. She is the owner of ONeill Contractors, Inc., which competes in the construction field performing general contracting and roofing services.
  • Jackie Robinson-Burnette, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting & Business Development Headquarters, U.S. Small Business Administration.

Information on the V-WISE conference . For additional information about V-WISE program.



Ronnie Burnett, Senior Director, Public Relations, MARCH Marketing
Phone: (773) 807-2830
Email: ronnie.burnett@marchcorp.com

About the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Program
The Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program provides women veterans with the tools to become successful entrepreneurs. Attendees of the V-WISE program receive in-depth instruction from prominent business owners, leadership consultants, educators, veterans and other experts who help shape their development as entrepreneurs in the areas of accounting, business law, business planning, finance, government contracting, human resources, marketing and technology.

Created by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the program has impacted more than 2,000 women veterans and military spouses from all service branches and eras with more than 65 percent of V-WISE graduates starting or expanding a business. V-WISE graduates have generated over $41 million in revenue. For more information on V-WISE and its graduates, visit vwise.org and follow the V-Wise program on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. The Institute is supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families and its professional staff deliver leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training. The Institute also conducts actionable research, policy analysis and program evaluations, coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies, and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.