Empowerment and Perseverance: WAVE Seminar inspires women Veterans who desire to be entrepreneurs

Arlington, VA—With the American economy still recovering from the recession, our local communities need the economic boost small businesses provide and the jobs they create. Fueled with confidence and leadership skills, many Veterans are entrepreneurial. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly a quarter of Veterans aspire to either start or buy a small business and almost ten percent of all businesses nationwide are Veteran owned. Recognizing this phenomenon and drawn by a sense of civic responsibility to give back to our nation’s Veterans, many organizations provide significant financial, training and support to help Veterans get their business going.

On March 22, 2012, Women As Veteran Entrepreneurs (WAVE) hosted their second annual Women Veteran Small Business Seminar at Arlington National Cemetery’s Women's Memorial. This seminar focused on empowering women Veteran entrepreneurs who are just coming into the industry to recognize and apply the skills acquired in the battlefield to the government-contracting environment.

One of the guest speakers, Vernice “Fly Girl” Amour, really drove home the message of empowerment and perseverance. She shared her journey from beat cop to becoming the Marine Corps’ first African American female combat pilot and emphasized the importance of believing in yourself—if you don’t, nobody will. Some of the other event highlights included: a discussion by Malda Brown, an SBA Procurement Center Representative, on what you need to know as a small business; insights into engaging and conducting business with large prime contractors such as Deloitte, BAH, and PwC, and CSC; and the unique opportunity to work with the SBA, meet with prime partners, and talk with small business offices at the event’s showcase hall.

Catherine Taegel, a Business Development Analyst at Halfaker, attended the event and was thoroughly impressed, “The founders of WAVE, Harvetta Spann and Stephanie Bolton work tirelessly for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and understand the complex obstacles that women Veterans face trying to gain entry in the government-contracting field. Despite only being in its second year, the event attracted inspiring individuals who helped to elevate the organization as a vehicle that empowers women Veteran entrepreneurs and gives back as well—a portion of every event that WAVE puts on goes to the Women’s Memorial in Arlington.”

Halfaker is proud to sponsor WAVE in their mission of promoting success among Women Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Working with the government doesn’t have to be complicated, and WAVE is making strides in breaking down the barriers to make the contracting process as easy as possible. They are currently working on promoting an initiative with the Department of Education and have a Mentor Protégé Program Launch scheduled for May 3rd and a Matchmaking Mixer on May 22nd.

To learn more about WAVE’s work with the Department of Education’s Mentor Protégé Initiative, please visit: http://bit.ly/InVX8o

To learn more about WAVE’s upcoming events on their Facebook Page or visit: http://bit.ly/Huln11