Skip to Main Content


Women Veterans Program 


A Message from the Director:

Greetings, fellow women of the Illinois veteran community!

As the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), I consider it a great privilege to be standing up a new Women Veterans Program. 

Many of us have lived what the research says:  women veterans often don’t self-identify as veterans and don’t take advantage of veterans’ benefits to the same extent as their male peers. 

We at IDVA aim to change that by drawing together the women of Illinois’ veteran community and helping to ensure that we’re all plugged into the many resources available.

To do this, we need your help!  As we develop our Women Veterans’ Program, we need a better understanding of your experiences, perceptions, and needs.  Make your voice heard through our Women Veterans’ Survey – and tell a friend, too!

In the meantime, we are pleased to offer the resources below.

I am honored to be a part of the community of strong Illinois women who have served in uniform.  Thank you all for your service.  All of us at IDVA look forward to serving you better in the months ahead.

With gratitude,

Erica J. Borggren


Women Vetrepreneurship Program

Are you a woman veteran thinking about starting your own business?

Many of the qualities veterans possess, including being a resourceful problem solver, persevering through adversity, being willing to take risks and having a can-do attitude, are the same ones that make successful entrepreneurs.

The Women Vetreprenurship Program is a unique program for women veterans who are pursuing self-employment or business ownership as a pathway to economic security, independence and empowerment. Offered by the WBDC, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the program will create a women veteran’s support infrastructure that will leverage existing resources to cover both business development and social service needs.

Program Highlights:

Proven WBDC business development training programs and services

  • Women Veterans’ Affinity Group to connect participants in a meaningful, ongoing community and to educate and assist in accessing available benefits and support services

  • A network of partner-provided social services for women veteran support

  • No-cost child care services during program participation provided through the WBDC’s child care business clients

  • Direct lending to eligible program participants to start or grow a business

  • Mentoring program pairing successful small business women with program participants

Nicole Mandeville joined the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) in August 2013 as the program lead for the Women Vetrepreneurship Program (WVP).  In this role she serves as the liaison between women veterans and the WBDC as they begin or continue on their entrepreneurial path.  As a part of her responsibilities she is the one out in the field and in the office offering training, counseling and technical assistance.

For more information on how to enroll, please contact Nicole at: 312.853.3477, extension  410

The Women Vetreprenurship Program is sponsored by a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Upcoming Women Veteran Events

  • Next Women Vetrepreneurship Program Orientation:

    Please contact Nicole Mandeville (312.853.3477 x 410) for details on the next WVP Orientation.
  • Affinity Group Meetings

    WVP Participants, please join us from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm on the first and third Tuesday of every month for our Affinity Group Sessions.  These sessions are part of our Women Vetrepreneurship Program, which gives women veterans access to veteran-related resources and allows them to participate in business training through our partner, the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC). At these sessions you will learn about veteran-related resources and benefits available to you while socializing and networking with fellow women veterans, business owners, and WVP participants.
  • The Affinity Group Meetings take place at AKArama Foundation Inc. Community, 6220 S Ingleside Ave, Chicago.

    For questions and to register please contact:   Women Veterans Coordinator, email:


VA Women's Health Benefits

USDVA Women Veterans Healthcare

Hines VA Hospital Women's Health

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Women's Health

Danville VA Women's Health

VA Health Benefits Call Center

1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387)

Veteran Benefits Administration


Transitional Assistance

Business and Professional Women's Foundation

Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)

Women Veterans in Transition

Mentoring Plus 

Domestic Violence and Abuse

VA Domestic Abuse Awareness and Prevention
National Domestic Violence Hotline

Military Sexual Trauma

VA Services for MST

VA MST and Mental Health Services

Service Women's Action Network (SWAN)