The Veterans Resource Center in south Dallas is paving the way for the opening of the first Women Veterans’ Enterprise Center. An official groundbreaking ceremony and women-Veteran celebration took place on June 12.
The full day of activities kicked off with an official groundbreaking ceremony featuring an overview of the proposed center, testimonies from female Veteran business owners and statements of support and announcement of public/private partnerships from political, corporate and community leaders. Over lunch, the center hosted a presentation highlighting women veteran business owners, demonstrating the need for continued support and programming as well as the contributions women veterans are making throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.
“As the fastest growing Veteran population, VA North Texas Health Care System is proud to support the Women Veterans’ Enterprise Center to help women Veterans flourish as business owners,” said Leslie Snowden-Crawford, the facility’s women Veterans program manager. “This groundbreaking marked a special tribute to North Texas women Veterans.”
The day ended on a high note with a reception commemorating the first Women’s Veterans Day for the State of Texas.
The Women Veterans’ Enterprise Center is a pilot initiative for a national model. Each center will provide their CEO Suites of Services, which includes co-working space, enrichment activities and opportunities for expansion and advancement. The center will engage a broad range of women Veteran business owners and is designed to create a measureable socio-economic impact by promoting entrepreneurship and economic development focused on increased revenue generation, employment opportunities and community connections.
The center is a model that demonstrates how nonprofit organizations can work together to achieve a common goal. The Homeless Veteran Services of Dallas is the host organization providing access to the 2,700 square foot facility, being fully remodeled by the property owners to support the center, which includes co-working space for approximately 15 business owners, conference center and café lounge.
“This is just the first of many Women Veterans’ Enterprise Centers projected for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and our nation, each with a commitment to help women Veteran businesses scale for success,” said Women Veterans’ Enterprise Center director V.R. Small.
The center’s slogan “Connecting you is what we do,” rings true as the center also announces its satellite location open in Irving, Texas.
“We are very interested in working with other counties and cities that share our commitment to serve women Veteran business owners,” Small said. “Women Veterans have served their country with honor and now it’s time for us to serve them.”
About the author: Jessica Jacobsen is a public affairs specialist in Dallas with the VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.