Advocate

 “We’re giving military spouse business owners a seat at the table from the corporate board room to Capitol Hill.” ~Stephanie Brown

Current Advocacy Initiatives

MSCC is the voice for military spouse owned businesses all over the globe, check out our current initiatives.

Joining Forces

Joining Forces is a White House initiative to support military families, which includes: families of service members and veterans, caregivers and survivors. A primary focus of the initiative is employment and entrepreneurship for military spouses. We are serving in this initiative as the authority on military spouse-owned businesses.

2021 Year of the Military Spouse Entrepreneur

The 2021 Year of the Military Spouse Entrepreneur is a social awareness campaign designed to drive awareness and support to military spouse owned business. We are advocating at the highets levels to have “Military Spouse Owned” become a recognized category both in the private sector Billion Dollar Roundtable and public sector for government contracting.

HR 4991

Our COO Jaime Chapman is working to include military spouses as a beneficiary of G.I. Bill benefits, unused by the service member, to financially support entrepreneurship ventures. In H.R.4991 the Post-9/11 Veteran Business Acceleration Act, allows service members to elect fincial assistance to establish a business in lieu of educational assitance through the pilot program.

Military Spouse Co-Working Spaces

Our team members Stephanie Brown and Jaime Chapman have been working on an initiative with the Army’s Soldier for Life program to establish co-working spaces on Army installations across the nation. We’re looking at you Navy.

AAFES

Our CEO Stephanie Brown has been working on an initative to get military spouse owned products into AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service). Through The Rosie Network, Stephanie has been working to bring qualified veteran and military spouse-owned products into the AAFES supplier diversity chain and the AAFES National Diversity Veteran Small Business (NDVSB) eMarketplace.

Military Spouse Entrepreneur Task Force

Maria McConville, wife of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, created MSETF to tackle the Home Based Business registration process, and SOFA barriers for overseas military spouse entrepreneurs. Thanks to MSETF, our founding team met and decided to create the Military Spouse Chamber.

Board of Advocates

Our honorary Board of Advocates is a powerhouse. We are lucky to have each and every one of these individuals affecting positive change within the military spouse business community.

Amy Schweizer

Amy Schweizer

Founder of Tiny Troops Soccer

Amy Schweizer played for the Cincinatti Ladyhawks, a team in the women’s division of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). She also interned for the Philadelphia 76ers professional basketball team, with an opportunity lined up to work with the Jacksonville Cougars professional football team when her Marine entered the picture.  

Amy is an USMC military spouse of 10 years, mom to three boys, and an expert in youth sport development, with experience in program creation, coaching and program management, and the professional sports industry. She has a B.S. in Finance and M.S. in Sport Management, with certifications in group fitness, behavior change, and fitness nutrition. She is the Founder and Owner of Tiny Troops Soccer, a developmental program for children ages 1-8 with 35 locations worldwide. She loves creating physical activity programs that benefit the overall well-being of military children, families, and the surrounding communities, and is a passionate advocate for military spouse employment. She has recently published her first book – “I Will Be Okay – Adventures of a Military Kid”.

In the annual survey Amy provides to the participants of Tiny Troops, 63% of parents reported their children having less anxiety and acclimating better to new duty station, 94% reported improved happiness/well-being, and 86% reported increased confidence in group settings through participating in the program. Amy has employed over 100 military spouses thus far, which is one of her proudest accomplishments to date.

Rebecca Feaster

Rebecca Feaster

President & CEO of Feaster & Associates

Rebecca Feaster has more than 25 years of experience providing executive coaching, curriculum development, facilitation and consulting services to federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profits, private industry and individuals. She is experienced in developing communication training curriculum, facilitating multi-cultural/multi-generational community engagements, and providing bias and cultural awareness and sexual harassment training programs. Rebecca completed her undergraduate studies at Tufts University and earned a master’s degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University. She served as an Air Force officer during Operation Desert Storm, and worked in state and city government before launching her own firm.  Her professional recognition includes winning the national Women in Business Stevie Award for developing and delivering America’s best community engagement program; national awards for developing executive education programming; and selection to Fast Company magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Fast 50” as a top national business innovator.

Rebecca’s passion for delivering diversity and inclusion-based training has been honed through her personal experiences with unconscious and implicit bias – beginning with her early years covering the activities of the U.S. Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, and including her role as a communications associate with The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She has worked with countless partners during strategic planning sessions in diverse communities across America, and she has developed communications and training programs emphasizing cultural, racial, generational, historical, and unconscious bias complexities.  Rebecca uses her naturally dynamic and engaging personality and her life-experiences when facilitating courses to immediately establish rapport and credibility with participants. Her ability to relate to participants and recount first-hand stories of the impact felt by racial injustice and implicit bias keeps participants engaged throughout training, and ensures clients a solid game plan for their organizations.

Joey Moehrholt

Joey Moehrholt

Director of Communications of Mindful Yoga Therapy

Hey there! I’m Joey Moehrholt, my pronouns are They/Them. I am a queer Army spouse, located for now at Fort Hood. With my husband enlisting in the Army in 2015, I arrived at Fort Gordon and saw a gap in the military spouse community and advocacy for LGBTQ+ spouses.

By trade, I am a digital marketing specialist with a passion for social media, but as an Army spouse, I saw how yoga helped me through PCS and life changes- becoming a yoga teacher in 2017 while at Fort Bragg. Now Director of Communications at Mindful Yoga Therapy, a non-profit company bringing clinically tested and empirically informed yoga teacher training to help those who have experienced traumatic events and PTSD.

As a queer spouse, I look to create advocacy for the untapped LGBTQ+ spouses as well as Male spouses in our vibrant community. 

Why Advocate for Military Spouses?

Military spouses play a silent role in support of our Armed Forces… The result?

Among the top unemployment rates in the country, without national recognition as a protected class.

  • Military Spouse Unemployment (Pre-2020) 22% 22%
  • Persons With A Disability (2020) 7.3% 7.3%
  • National Unemployment Rate (2020) 6.7% 6.7%
  • African American Unemployment (2020) 6.7% 6.7%
  • Veteran Unemployment (2020) 6.4% 6.4%
  • Female Unemployment (2020) 4% 4%

The Needle Hasn’t Moved

%

Unemployment Remains Statistically Unchanged Since 2012

Despite an overwhelming positive response from employers across the nation to hire military spouses into traditional careers… Military spouse unemployment remains statistically unchanged since 2012, and the pandemic exacerbated the problem. It’s estimated that military spouse unemployment is in excess of 35% in 2020.

Military Spouses Have Spoken

%

Of ALL MilSpouses are Self Employed, Business Owners, or Aspire to Be

%

Of Milspouse Entrepreneurs Feel it's Right for Their Family

%

Of Milspouse Entrepreneurs Would Hire Other MilSpouses

Nearly half of ALL military spouses turn to business ownership or self employment as a viable career option. Of over 2,000 military spouse entrepreneur respondents, 87% believe that entrepreneurship is the right choice for their family.

Not a Small Niche, but a Mighty Force!

There are roughly 12 million military spouses…

Spouses of Current Service Members

Spouses of Veterans in the U.S.

Milspouses who are are Unemployed

Military Spouse Owned Businesses

Breaking Down the Numbers

12.2 Million – Military Spouses in total, defined as the spouse of a veteran or currently serving member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

18.8 Million – Veterans. Nearly 60% are married equating to approximately 11.2 million veteran spouses.

Nearly 1 Million  Spouses of currently serving Active Duty, Guard and Reserve service members.

22 – 24% – Military Spouse unemployment rate — This crisis-level percentage was PRE-pandemic! Estimates for post-pandemic are as high as 35%, but we do not have clear data after the onset of COVID-19.

Currently employed military spouses are related to an increase spousal support to stay in the military.

.

Image of Capitol Hill

It’s Time to Amplify the Voice of Military Spouse Business

Lend Your Influence

We are working on a lot of initiatives ourselves, and in collaboration with a number of organizations. To make positive impacts we believe in “the more the merrier” ideology. There is room at the table for your voice.

Submit Your Ideas

We fly very close to the sun here, sometimes there are issues lurking right under our noses that we may not have thought of. Please email jchapman@milspousechamber.org to submit your ideas for initiatives we can help you advocate for.

The MSCC Philosophy

1.

Integrity First

Entrepreneurship isn’t right for every military spouse. We are here to shepard military spouses in the direction that is best for their career, whether it’s founding a business, or not.

2.

Entrepreneurship is a Lifestyle

Entrepreneurship is just as complex as being a military spouse. We are here to build confidence on the business side of things, so milspouse entrepreneurs can enjoy their military families in their spare time.

3.

Committed to Excellence

We never stop thinking about military spouses, and the life they live each day. Our entire mission is to be the one stop shop, so we can ease their journey to success. We are here to drive economic prosperity, health, and wellbeing for military spouses.

Join Us

Amplify the Voice of the Military Spouse Owned Business