Navigating government contracting can be a challenge, but women veterans have the experience and leadership skill it takes—they just need a place to begin. To help women who are transitioning out of military service and into business ownership, several regional partners have collaborated to create a free, 14-week training series. The VetBizLadyStart program will provide the information, tools and connections needed to start a small business and position it for success with federal contracting opportunities.

VetBizLadyStart is a collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Women Veteran Small Business Initiative, the DC Women’s Business Center, the Old Dominion University Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Women’s Business Center/Veterans Business Outreach Center/Business Development Center in Virginia, and the Maryland Women’s Business Center.

Successful women contractors serve as training experts, teaching participants regarding a variety of business areas, including products and services, pricing, processes, funding and marketing. Classes started in September and meet weekly for virtual instruction plus additional networking and mentoring opportunities.

Over 40 women veterans have participated in the first program cohort. The sessions consist of a curated 14-week training module administered through Growth Wheel and successful women mentors in Government/Federal contracting and business.

Starting next month, all MWBC business consultants will be certified in the Growth Wheel program. GrowthWheel is a visual toolbox and online platform used by business advisors, incubators, and entrepreneurship educators to help businesses make decisions and take action.