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Women Veterans Program 


Women Veterans Program

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports all Illinois veterans whether they are long-time veterans, new transitioning veterans, or service members on active duty.  Of particular note, our women veterans have long served in various critical roles in our military, and although a small percentage of the veteran population overall, this group is very skilled, adaptable, and strong.   Through our Women Veterans Program, we hope to serve the woman veteran in any way possible, addressing each of her unique concerns - developing programs, community collaborations, opportunities and connections to help equip and empower her to grow personally and strengthen the woman veteran presence in Illinois.

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 

Illinois Joining Forces – Women Veterans Working Group

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)