On August 24th The American Legion, in partnership with the Institute of Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), hosted Women on the Rise, an all-day entrepreneurship training program for female veterans and military spouses held in conjunction with the 100th National Convention in Minneapolis. Its purpose is to help those interested in pursuing their own business with market strategy, financial planning, and more. The attendees received multiple training sessions and listened to speakers providing their own expertise as women veteran entrepreneurs. Most importantly, they received the chance to bounce ideas off of one another and network with other women business owners and entrepreneurs.
The attendees heard from the first female American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan (left picture) who spoke of her own experience in the military and then also her journey as a military spouse. “It’s not just the person in uniform who serves, it’s the entire family,” she said. Rohan also spoke in September at the IVMF’s Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) in San Diego, a national conference that trains and mentors veteran women and military spouse business owners.
Misty Stutsman, the director of Entrepreneurship and Small Business at IVMF, commented on the importance of bringing women entrepreneurs together. “That is why we started this program and have assisted over 3,000 successful female entrepreneurs to date. I can’t overemphasize enough the importance of networking and making connections to help owners succeed in business. A program such as the Legion’s Women on the Rise and our V-Wise events along with our other program geared towards women veterans and military spouses, make that happen. The value of training, mentorship, empowerment, networks, and access to capital is immeasurable and frankly, critical to that success.”