U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce Announces Historic First
Instant Teams is our First Certified Military Spouse-Owned Enterprise
U.S. military families give up a lot in the name of freedom with frequent relocations, time away from family, and the difficult reality of maintaining a career with tenure. Standing alongside our nation’s service members are military spouses who bear the weight of the family and the military lifestyle. Secure employment for spouses continues to be an enduring sacrifice with military spouse unemployment being four times the national average, pre-pandemic.
- Milspouse Unemployment (Pre-2020) 24% 24%
- 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 military spouse demographic is huge, with approximately one million spouses of uniformed service members currently serving on active duty, or in the guard and reserves forces. There are also 18 million veterans in the United States, whose spouses face the impacts of lost earnings during prime career years that compound over time, and now face problems finding viable retirement solutions.
Hundreds of organizations are rallying 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 spouses turn to entrepreneurship with 48% of spouses having been self-employed or operating their own business.
With so many military spouses turning to entrepreneurship, Stephanie Brown, CEO of the U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce, believes that enabling military spouse-owned businesses is a solution that kills two birds with one stone.
Brown said: “Veteran and military spouse business owners are 10x more likely to hire fellow veterans and spouses. By empowering these individuals with meaningful training and mentorship, we are impacting their families, their communities, and our nation’s economy.”
By empowering military spouse businesses, more military spouses obtain traditional employment opportunities at these companies as a result. Instant Teams is a perfect example with Erica McMannes, Instant Teams COO and Founder stating:
“At Instant Teams, we’ve successfully scaled to over 300 remote employees, closed 2 rounds of funding, and are strongly positioned in the B2B space with customers like Walmart, the USO, the Air Force, and Seesaw. Military-centric values and service leading the way.”
The U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) is advocating to land the military spouse business owner a seat at the table. For the first time in history, “military spouse-owned” has been formalized as a corporate vendor category through the MSCC’s Military Spouse-Owned Enterprise Certification. MSCC is building relationships with corporations at the Billion Dollar Roundtable to garner nationwide corporate recognition of the military spouse-owned category. Instant Teams proudly claims the title as the very first certified military spouse-owned business in history.
“Supporting and investing in military spouses is central to Instant Teams’ mission, and to founders Liza and Erica’s identities,” says Guy Filippelli, Instant Teams board member and Managing Partner of Squadra Ventures. “We are proud that Instant Teams is the first company to earn the MSE certification and excited for them to continue their work to support military spouses and their customers.”
Hiring military spouses is a good business decision for any company.
“Instant Teams has demonstrated that companies win when they hire military spouses,” says Filippelli, “The MSE certification demonstrates Instant Teams’ commitment to supporting military spouses, and we’re excited to see them continue to serve the military family community and connect spouses to remote work.”
Hiring military spouses for traditional employment opportunities is not the only avenue of support, now, corporations can hire military spouse-owned companies as a diverse vendor for B2B enterprise. In an unprecedented commitment to land military spouses a seat at the table, interested corporations can be among the first to recognize the certification and to track supplier diversity spend with military spouse-owned businesses.
Since 2012 military spouse unemployment remains statistically unchanged. It’s time to look at the entire picture, including the 48% of military spouse entrepreneurs in the campaign for military spouse careers. Supporting enterprise with military spouse-owned companies is a win-win movement for business. By economically empowering the military spouse, it directly impacts the quality of life for the service member, influencing higher military retention rates and national security.
McMannes concludes: “If you’ve never witnessed the firsthand value and impact that military spouse owned businesses can bring to companies and communities across the world, you’re missing out. Military spouses are most often, first and foremost dedicated community contributors. This brings a deep value driven edge to all business development, innovation, and customer care happening within the ‘walls’ of military spouse owned companies… Majority of the world has no idea the power, skill, grit, and innovation that sits in this community. It’s time they know.”
About the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce
The Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce (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.
About the Military Spouse-Owned Enterprise Certification
The Military Spouse Chamber is forging the path to B2B opportunity for military spouse owned business. The Military Spouse Owned Enterprise Certification (MSEC) certification is the first and only “military spouse-owned” certification of its kind. The MSEC certification allows corporations to formally recognize and track supplier diversity spend with military spouse businesses and opens a new door for military spouse economic empowerment. To learn more about the certification, please visit www.milspousechamber.org/certification.