Written By Jenelle Botts
Today I’m going to share with you something that’s near and dear to my heart. As you know, I’m an Army Veteran and a military spouse. So supporting and serving the military community is something that is very important to me.
This January was the inaugural month for the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce. This is a big deal because never before has the military spouse community been represented as a business entity. You might have seen a push in Washington for employment assistance for military spouses. Moving around every three years is hard, especially for a spouse with a career. The new legislation has pushed for certifications and licensure to transfer between states and for more companies to employ military spouses into their workforce. Organizations like Begin Within and The Rosie Network have worked hard to teach corporate America the value in employing military spouses.
The Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce is the first of its kind and is committed to land military spouses a seat at the B2B table for the first time in history.
The United States has long been defended by members of the armed forces and in a silent role, military spouses support those service members. Cost of living in the U.S. often warrants dual household incomes to cope with high living expenses. Military families give up a lot in the name of freedom, from constant relocations, and time away from family, to the difficult reality that finding a career that fits this lifestyle continues to be a challenge. Secure employment for spouses continues to be an enduring sacrifice with military spouse unemployment being four times the national average, pre-pandemic.
Military spouse employment is a hot topic within the military space with hundreds of organizations working to provide solutions, improve policy, and increase opportunities for traditional employment. Traditional employment is only half of the picture. As the challenge to obtain traditional employment lingers more military spouse are turning to entrepreneurship with 48% of spouses having been self-employed or operating their own business.
“Traditional employment initiatives only account for half of military spouses. To move the needle on military spouse unemployment, we must focus energy on the other half of the equation, self-employment.” Jaime Chapman, COO and Co-Founder, U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce is on a mission to garner national recognition of military spouse business owners through its certification process. Supporting military spouse owned business is a win-win move for both the spouses and the corporation who hire them for B2B enterprise. By supporting the military spouse, you directly impact the quality of life for the service member, influencing higher military retention and national security.
Since 2012 military spouse unemployment remains statistically unchanged. It’s time to look at the entire picture, including the 48% of military spouse entrepreneurs. The best way to find and support a military spouse owned business is to start locally. If you are a business owner, the MSCC has resources so that you can find military spouse owned businesses to add to your supply chain and support with your business. As a consumer, supporting military spouse businesses is direct support to the military community.
But most importantly, if you are a military spouse, the MSCC can provide you with endless resources and a community of support. Registering your business with the Chamber is free and currently, certification with the MSCC is also free.
I’m proud to say I am a certified business with the MSCC! The Military Spouse Chamber is forging the path to national B2B opportunities for military spouse owned business. The Military Spouse Owned Enterprise Certification (MSEC) is the first and only certification of its kind allowing corporations to formally recognize and track supplier diversity spend with military spouse businesses and opens a new door for economic empowerment. To learn more about the certification, visit www.milspousechamber.org/certification
As a business owner, the MSCC is the one stop shop for anything and everything a military spouse business owner could ever need. MSCC is on a mission to ensure that all active duty and veteran military spouse business owners have the tools and resources they need to strengthen their families, communities, and our economy. For more information visit www.milspousechamber.org, and you can connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
I encourage you to check out the MSCC to see how it can serve you as a business owner. And thank you all for your support for this military spouse owned business! This business allows me to serve my family and my community how I need to.