From nurturing a product idea to scaling a business responsibly, Hiring Our Heroes’ new monthly educational series walks military spouses through every step of the entrepreneur journey.
The Military Spouse Entrepreneur Resource Program, in collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration and The Rosie Network, provides vetted resources and subject matter experts to military spouses thinking about entrepreneurship and small business ownership. The information is delivered through free one-hour webinars. These interactive webinars cover a variety of topics ranging from pitch contests to tips on how to successfully move a business with the military lifestyle.
The idea for the resource program came directly from Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Spouse Professional Network members, a network comprised of approximately 50,000 military spouses across the globe that voiced the desire for more resources to program leads.
In addition, “Military Spouse Career Journeys: Examining Entrepreneurship, Remote Work, and Upskilling as Drivers for Economic Success for Military Spouses” white paper found about one in four military spouses surveyed either currently or previously owned their own business or have been self-employed.
Survey respondents said they started their own businesses either for the flexibility or because they felt unable to find a more traditional job. The most common reason given for discontinuing their business was due to a military move rather than lack of profitability.
In the report’s recommendations, the findings pointed to a need for additional resources and transparency for military spouses regarding business funding opportunities and highlighting entrepreneurship among the military spouse community.
This is where the Military Spouse Entrepreneur Resource Program comes in.
“We know from working in the military spouse employment space that there are tried-and-true resources and programs out there specifically catering to the military spouse entrepreneur community,” said Brian Alvarado, Deputy Director of Workforce Development for the Military Spouse Program at Hiring Our Heroes.
Instead of creating an entire new program from scratch, Hiring Our Heroes launched the Military Spouse Entrepreneur Resource Program in collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration and The Rosie Network.
“Both have resources and programs specifically suited to the military spouse and veteran community that support, guide, and in some cases, even fund small businesses. It was incredibly important to Hiring Our Heroes that we bring in the very best of these programs as we sought to build this program and we certainly believe that we found that in the SBA and TRN,” Alvarado said.
The program kicked off with its first session in January where the conversations focused on an introduction to entrepreneurship and independent contracting. More than 60 military spouses attended January’s session. Many participants told Alvarado that they were grateful for the information. Participants also told him they were looking forward to February’s webinar, a military spouse entrepreneur roundtable discussion featuring several successful military spouse-owned small businesses including R. Riveter, Sassy Biscuit Co, and shePR. Nearly 130 participants registered to attend that session.
“The consensus was that they are hungry for more,” Alvarado said.