Female servicemembers are stepping into more small-business roles with the help of new initiatives, the New York Post reports.
Launched in 2011, Veterans as Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship trains women veterans and military spouses in business and marketing strategies through a 15-day online course. Once the participants finish the course, they attend a three-day conference held in various cities throughout the nation, where they meet other like-minded women veterans who have found success in operating small businesses.
According to the news source, the program already has roughly 900 graduates. Tina Kapral, director of educational programs at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, where the program is currently administered, told the Post that nearly 60 percent of the graduates have successfully founded their own small business.
Why are women veterans naturally able to helm their own businesses? Kapral claims it's because they already have beneficial skills in key areas.
"[The veterans] already have a built-in mentality for bootstrapping and key leadership characteristics," Kapral told the news outlet. "They're used to being in situations in which they take calculated risk and they know how to work out a contingency plan as backup."
Currently, only 4 percent of the 3 million veteran-owned small business are led by women, according to data provided by the Small Business Association. But as the unemployment rate of female veterans continues to drop, Kapral hopes it will encourage more women servicemembers to jump into entrepreneurship.