Conference held for female military entrepreneurs

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–“A New Mission” was the theme of an event held today in Jacksonville targeting military women as entrepreneurs.

Hundreds of women gathered at the government center to listen to a panel of military women who have businesses answer their questions and offer tips for challenges many women face, like trying to obtain funding.

The event urged them to focus on the unique advantages they possess as women.

“The more women understand what their unique competitive advantages are and the pitfalls they may have, the better they’ll be able to reach their goals, be satisfied in their work, get the funding they need or whatever it may be,” Becky Sheetz, the keynote speaker, said.

Sheetz says women’s competitive advantages include emotional intelligence and the ability to collaborate.

The event gave hundreds of women resources to further their business interests.

Single mom Natalie Wilson is looking to open her first business to serve the youth in her community.

“I decided to come to this event because it’s a great opportunity to network with other young individuals that started their business and get ideas on how they started and got their push,” Wilson said.

The conference hopes to help transitioning female military members avoid homelessness after leaving the military by starting their own businesses.

“There’s a staggering number of military women who are transitioning out and who are going into homelessness,” Briles Johnson, executive director of the NC Women’s Business Center, said. “We decided to come up with this conference to help explain the resources and how to start our own business.”

This is the third year the event’s been held in Jacksonville.

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