Women Veterans, Servicemembers and Military Spouses to Receive Entrepreneurship Training May 28-30 at V-WISE D.C.

Conference Organized by Institute for Veterans and Military Families, With Support of U.S. Small Business Administration, Citi and Newman's Own Foundation

Winners of Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream Business Plan Competition to be Announced

SYRACUSE, N.Y., May 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE), the nation's leading entrepreneurship training program for women veterans, active duty service women, and female partners and spouses of service members, is hosting a regional entrepreneurship training conference in Washington, D.C., May 28-30, 2015.

During the conference, over 200 innovative women will learn business best practices, build networks, and develop their entrepreneurial skills as they seek to launch or grow sustainable business ventures.

V-WISE was created in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Whitman School of Management and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.Attendees of the conference will receive in-depth instruction from prominent business owners, leadership consultants, educators, veterans and other experts who will help shape their development as entrepreneurs. Sessions will focus on business planning, marketing, accounting/finance, business law, technology for business, human resources and work-life balance.

V-WISE D.C. will also host the semifinal and final rounds of the second Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream Business Competition, a national initiative designed to recognize and support veteran entrepreneurs with the best business plans. On May 30, 12 winners will take home a combined $130,000 in seed funding from the Citi Foundation. Official rules of the competition can be found on the IVMF website.

Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream competitors are graduates of the V-WISE and Boots to Business entrepreneurship training programs delivered in a public-private partnership between IVMF, SBA, and private sector supporters. Last year's Realizing Your Dream winner, V-WISE graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran Kristina Guerrero of K9 meal company TurboPUP, built upon her victory with a January 2015 appearance on the hit ABC TV show "Shark Tank," where she walked away with a $100,000 investment from investor Daymond John.

"We are proud to continue our support of veteran entrepreneurs and their families through V-WISE D.C. and the Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream Business Competition," said KC Choi, Citi Salutes Program Director. "Last year's competition showed the talent, dedication and determination of our nation's veterans, and we are excited to be on board again to support the next generation of successful veteran entrepreneurs."

"V-WISE empowers two of America's best sources of entrepreneurs – women and veterans. Investing in this powerful combination is a great way to incubate new small businesses – the pillars of job creation and our economy. Women veterans and military spouses have the skills and commitment needed to succeed as small business owners. V-WISE provides them additional knowledge and a fantastic source of sisters in arms,"said Barb Carson, Acting Associate Administrator for the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD).

V-WISE offers two parallel tracks of training: a growth track for participants who have already launched a small business, and a start-up track for potential entrepreneurs. Participation starts with a 15-day online course before attending the regional conferences. Ongoing support and mentorship is delivered to graduates of the program through a robust, comprehensive network of mentors and partners. V-WISE has impacted close to 1,500 women veterans and military spouses from all service branches and eras in over 46 states. More than 61 percent of V-WISE graduates have started or expanded a business.

"The women veterans and military spouses attending V-WISE D.C. have stepped up to challenges before and are preparing to do so again," said Robert Forrester, President and CEO of Newman's Own Foundation. "We are excited to support these women as they pursue their entrepreneurial dreams."

IVMF will host two more regional conferences in 2015, bringing the program to Boston, MA and Kansas City, KS. To learn more about V-WISE and to apply online for future conferences, visit http://vets.syr.edu/vwise/.


The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Learn more about IVMF at http://vets.syr.edu.


Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. SBA provides assistance primarily through its four programmatic functions: Access to Capital (Business Financing); Entrepreneurial Development (Education, Information, and Technical Assistance & Training); Government Contracting (Federal Procurement); and Advocacy (Voice for Small Business). The SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development formulates, executes and promotes policies and programs to empower veteran small business ownership and serves as an ombudsman for Veterans to ensure all SBA programs are accessible to servicemembers, veterans, and their families. For more information visit www.sba.gov and www.sba.gov/vets.


Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi


Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman's Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman's Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman's Own Foundation have given over $370 million to thousands of charities around the world. For more information, visit newmansownfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Media Contact Wayne Westervelt, Director of Communications Institute for Veterans and Military Families (315) 443-5690 wwesterv@syr.edu

Source:The Institute for Veterans and Military Families