SME News March 2017

18 SME NEWS / March 2017 , The U.S. Small Business Administration this month announced the awarding of $300,000 inWomen Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Programme grants to three organisations offering small business development resources to women veterans andmilitary spouses. Entrepreneurship Training to Women Veterans and Military Spouses The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, supports each organisation’s entrepreneurial training programmes for women who are veterans, service members and spouses of veterans and service members. Each awardee was chosen based on their demonstrated history of and commitment to providing training programmes 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 organisations 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 programme is an intensive three-phase programme containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a two- day residency programme and post-training technical support. IVMF also offers an accelerated version of the course called ‘IGNITE’. Both programmes are open to applicants nationwide. • Bunker Labs: Entrepreneurial Programme 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 programme is offered in Chicago, Philadelphia, Redwood City (California), Nashville, Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Madison (Wisconsin) and Washington, D.C. • Lift Fund: San Antonio Lift Fund - $75,000. Lift Fund is a non-profit organisation that helps small business owners with limited access to capital. The Texas-based Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Programme is a seven- week course offering both in-person and online training and covers everything from technical assistance to capital requirements. The programme 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% of all veteran-owned businesses, the number of women-veteran owned small businesses increased by 294.7%. To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit