Women ‘Vetrepreneurship’ Program a means to economic independence


The Women’s Business Development Center and AllenForce, a nonprofit created to help veterans transition to civilian life through fitness training and recreation, will have booths Oct. 27 at the Illinois Women’s Veterans Fair held at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. To learn more, call the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs at 217-782-3418 or email womenveterans@illinois.gov.

In the Chicago area, several groups serve the growing population of female veterans and their specific needs: to help them navigate the maze of qualification, registration and utilization, and also to feel empowered to succeed.

Since 1986, the Women’s Business Development Center has served more than 66,000 Chicago-area women. The center’s next project, a partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve female vets to help them be financially independent through entrepreneurship. The Women Vetrepreneurship Program is still in its planning stages, with a goal of launching in January.

In light of sometimes disappointing job-placement statistics for female veterans, said WBDC Chief Development Officer Georgia Marsh, business ownership can be a good alternative. Women in this group have traits well suited to this endeavor such as leadership, perseverance, organization and dealing with uncertainty, she added.

In addition to WBDC’s standard training in entrepreneurship and business mentoring, the program is working on adding a direct-lending component for female vets with entrepreneurial aspirations.

Interested vets and organizations can contact Marsh directly at gmarsh@wbdc.org for program updates.