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SBA Awards $150,000 in Funding to Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program at Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families

Release Date: 
Friday, May 15, 2020
Release Number: 


WASHINGTON – The  U.S. Small Business Administration awarded half of this round of national $300,000 grants to organizations offering entrepreneurship training to women service members, veterans and military spouses to the Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University’s Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program.

“The U.S. Small Business Administration is proud to award the V-WISE program at Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families $150,000 as a direct result of their stellar track record fostering entrepreneurship to women servicemembers, veterans and military spouses,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees the federal agency’s operations in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The V-WISE program at Syracuse University’s IVMF is an intensive three-phase program containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a three-day residency program, and post-training technical support. This premier training program in entrepreneurship and small business management assists women veterans, female military spouses/partners and service members find their passion and learn the business savvy skills necessary to turn an idea or start-up into a growing venture. 

“Women veterans represent a fast-growing segment of the veteran population. As that number grows, so has the number of female veterans who continue to serve their country by becoming small business owners. The SBA Syracuse District Office has a long established relationship with the V-WISE program at IVMF, a top-notch resource in Central New York’s backyard. Together, we can continue empowering our veterans and military entrepreneurs,” stated SBA Syracuse District Director Bernard J. Paprocki.

The Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program will use this SBA funding to support their entrepreneurial training program for female veterans of all service eras and branches. The program works with those applicants who possess an interest in either starting a new small business or growing an existing one.  V-WISE enables female veterans to find their passion and learn business-savvy skills in order to turn their ideas or businesses into growth ventures while recognizing entrepreneurship as an important part of economic growth nationwide. 

“Our long partnership with the SBA has created significant opportunity for those who have worn our nation’s uniform. We are honored and grateful for this most recent grant and look forward to working alongside SBA to propel veteran business owners toward their goals of successful entrepreneurship, both for their benefit and to the benefit of our communities,” said Misty Stutsman Fox, Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Programs at the IVMF.

The two other awardees in the country are:

San Antonio Lift Fund ($75,000), a non-profit that helps small business owners with limited access to capital, which offers in-person and online training opportunities, as well as one-on-one advising for women veterans, transitioning service members, active duty military, and spouses who are aspiring or currently operating small businesses in Texas; and

ONABEN: Beyond the Boots: A Veteran and Service Member Initiative ($75,000), an organization that provides entrepreneurial training services to support the growth of women veterans, service members, as well as women spouses of military personnel in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas through coaching, webcasts, and training.

To learn more about the SBA’s small business start-up and expansion resources for veterans, visit