Women veterans in the region win grants to develop their businesses | New

For the first time in four years, an Entrepreneur Program has awarded grants to more than 20 veteran women-owned businesses in Texas as part of an ongoing commitment to promote women entrepreneurs.

Of the 76 applicants across Texas, the Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Texas Woman’s University selected 27 female veterans for the grant, including four from Denton County. Each company will receive an award valued between $ 1,000 and $ 10,000 as part of CWE’s inaugural Veteran Entrepreneur Grant program.

Over the past four years, CWE has awarded more than $ 1.2 million in grants to women-owned businesses, but this is the first time that it has awarded grants specifically to veterans.

Tracy Irby, director of CWE, said female veterans sometimes receive fewer opportunities than women in general, and the program felt it would be important to reach out to them as a demographic group.

CWE is part of TWU’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, which is dedicated to preparing women for successful roles in business and public service. The funds will help businesses with necessary purchases, equipment or other business-related activities aligned with the goal of the program.

The companies were chosen by a team of judges who ranked them according to different categories.

“There is a project story that [the businesses] give back, and we look at things like, “Is this going to create jobs?” Is it a sustainable business? How is this going to impact Texas? ‘ Said Irby. “We’re funded by the state legislature, so we always want to make sure there’s a benefit. “

Here are the four Denton County grant recipients:

Cura Bello Skin Care

Army veteran Lisa Crawford-Thomas opened Cura Bello Skincare in 2014, five years after creating her first natural skin product for eczema and dry, scaly skin. Crawford-Thomas, who struggled to find the right products, began mixing her own formulas to take care of herself and her daughter’s sensitive skin. She eventually created the Original Body Moisturizer and has since expanded to four different variations for specific skin types. She said the grant would help her with her plans to expand the business.

“I hope this grant will help me grow my business and manufacture in larger quantities and get it into the hands of people who really need it,” she said.

Devil Doc Publishing

Founded by Desert Storm and Hospital Corpsman veteran Christine Walker, Devil Doc Publishing is a nod to other soldiers who served in the Fleet Marine Force or 8404 in the Marine Corps. The publishing house has been in existence since July 2020 and currently publishes the National by-veterans-for-veterans comfortable ! magazine. Walker, who is also an editor, plans to add more local publications in the future while continuing to develop comfortable !, and will start by modernizing its technology.

“I am using a computer that is 11 years old,” Walker said. “We are improving all of our technologies to facilitate the publication of our magazine. “

Cane Corso believers

The Believers Cane Corso is a breeding program established by army veterans Sylvia and Edward Johnson because of their love for their guard dog companions, an Italian breed of mastiff. The couple started raising cane corsos four years ago and started selling the puppies nationwide last year, as well as donating dogs to veterans.

One transporter takes the puppies to their new homes, and others travel to Dallas to pick them up, but Edward also drives for hours to meet new families halfway and drop off their puppies for free. The Cane Corso believers are currently housing 16 puppies and will use the grant for their benefit.

“Right now we are trying to have enough kennels for all the puppies we have, and we are trying to improve their living space,” said Sylvia Johnson. “Our next step is air conditioning.

CKH Coaching & Consulting

Christine K. Herschbach, certified trainer and Air Force veteran, has been coaching women servicemen and veterans for many years, but started her business eight years ago.

“I help women veterans and military men find a new sense of belonging and secure a place at the table in their post-military careers,” Herschbach said. “Coaching is really about focusing on the future, finding and creating the next internal steps to get where you want to go. “

With the grant, she plans to switch to a new computer, which doubled as a home education computer during the pandemic, as well as using the funds for more marketing and website design. Her long-standing goal is to create a retreat for veteran and military women to help them embrace their identities and bond with one another and their peers.

Laureates will also receive small business training courses organized by CWE with course topics that cover business plan development, marketing, law, insurance, accounting and finance.

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