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VA launches new accelerator focused on women veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the PenFed Foundation have launched a new accelerator with a first cohort of 80 women veteran entrepreneurs. The goal is to prepare them for sustainability and growth in federal and commercial marketplaces.

Participants came from 29 states and are VA Center for Verification and Evaluation verified, have three to five years in business and have past performance as a prime or subcontractor.

“It’s important we provide an environment where women entrepreneurs can receive strategic and deliberate education, empowerment, engagement and access to enhance their businesses,” said VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Executive Director Sharon Ridley. “Through entrepreneurship, women Veterans have an opportunity to leverage their military and leadership skills to increase and create economic opportunities.”

Classes are focused on relationship building, product/market analysis, business development and growth preparation. Participants meet in small groups and receive coaching from industry leaders such as AstraZeneca and Halfaker & Associates and OptumServe.

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