Women vetpreneurs power up thanks to grants

Three women veteran-owned small businesses have earned business development grants. Photo credit File photo

Three women veteran-owned small businesses have earned business development grants that will be used to support their companies in the marketplace.

The recipients received a total of $30,000 from participating in the Oct. 4 Women Veteran GovCon Bootcamp Accelerator Pitch Competition.

“I thought I knew a lot about federal contracting because of my military service,” said first-place winner, Army veteran and president of Abrado Analytics, Lisa Van Wormer. “However, this program taught me things I needed to know as a business owner. The program really helped me focus on the path I had to take to grow my company.”

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The pitch competition was the finale of a series of business-development training co-hosted by the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and the PenFed Foundation.

Judges considered several criteria, including the value proposition of the pitch, if it offered a better solution than what is currently available on the market, and how the grant might help winners scale and grow their businesses.

Second place winner Veronica Lane, Navy veteran and president of WJM Professional Services, has been in federal contracting for more than 27 years and recommends the program to any women veteran-owned small business looking to expand their knowledge base.

“Knowledge is power, knowledge is key,” she said. “You're going to learn that the government contract landscape changes on a daily basis. You get a different experience through every program that you go through. Learn as much as you can and pursue your dreams.”

Finishing third was Liseth Velez, National Guard veteran and president of LJV Development.

“I had some experience with federal contracting, but this program went right to the nitty-gritty. I knew I was going to learn something that I could apply right away,” she said.

The goal of the program is to empower women veteran entrepreneurs and improve women veteran business owners’ well-being by getting them access to nationwide resources.

Learn more about PenFed Foundation’s VEIP program here. Information about VA’s program to help women veteran entrepreneurs can be found here.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.