Punto Final: Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs – Initiatives and Innovation, Helping our Latina and Military Spouse Community
By Moni Jefferson
From the beginning, I knew I had to serve the underserved—the military spouse. And most importantly, the minority military spouse. As a Latina entrepreneur and business owner, I have faced a tremendous struggle in building my business. I lacked network, mentorship, and access to funding because of my ever-mobile military lifestyle. However, what stands out the most, and what I consider the hardest was my inability to find opportunities. Oftentimes, I was the only Latina military spouse in a room among a sea of white business owners and professionals.
In 2014, I decided to become a business owner and had to learn the hard way that access to information on how to start your own business was all over the place, and not easily accessible. At that time, organizations were serving career-driven military spouses, and in my humble opinion, not a good fit for me, which is why it fueled my passion and interest to fill that gap where no one was serving — not only Latina military spouses but for spouses of every color.
When Flossie Hall, Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs (AMSE) COO and I set out to launch the AMSE, we knew we had to be an inclusive and diverse network for ALL spouses. This is our “why” and the cornerstone of our organization. This set the foundation for how we committed to being present in our community for both the Latina and military spouse community of entrepreneurs (both super niche and often forgotten) regardless of race, creed, gender, and religion. One of our core values at the AMSE is to cultivate a culture of mi familia; Like my Puerto Rican roots (Tai-no Indians, Spanish, and African) a military spouse entrepreneur is made up of a very diverse community that is only successful and strong as a family. All of which is a perfect combination when supporting minority-owned businesses in the military space.
Not only does AMSE provide masterclasses, and digital resources. We provide a space where Latina spouses have a diverse network and community support to thrive and grow with like-minded individuals. Above all else, a network that wants to see other military spouse entrepreneurs win, and in turn is willing to lend a helping hand by getting an invitation at the table that are oftentimes excluded from but where their voices are most needed. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was 24 percent, now more than ever AMSE is a key ingredient in helping minority and military spouses build businesses with the support they deserve.
The pandemic has brought about many new opportunities for Latina and military spouses to expand their remote business opportunities, which is why in 2020, we released the Latinx and Hispanic Military Spouse Owned Business Directory, where AMSE showcased over 50 entrepreneurs who have stayed afloat, thrived, and pivoted during the pandemic.
So many military spouse Latinas are changing the world and doing remarkable things. Take Nicte Cuevas, an award-winning graphic design, and branding firm that continued to create courses on LinkedIn Learning and has thrived during the pandemic. And our organization provides a place for spouses to start, scale and sustain their business.
AMSE provides resources and networking for military spouses to virtually ask questions, collaborate, and pivot to running an online business with the Build Your Business the AMSE Way Curriculum where national leading experts provide instruction and teach spouses in our curated masterclasses, personalized group coaching, and virtual coworking space.
Our focus and advocacy at AMSE are to bring our underserved agile milspouse entrepreneurs to the forefront of society. Military spouses demonstrate grit and resilience like no other community.
Moni Jefferson is a serial entrepreneur, public relations strategist, milspouse entrepreneur advocate, and minority business leader. Moni has worked for several celebrity and corporate organizations to build audience transparency and trust and gain public visibility. She has successfully launch niche communities to build economic impacts like the MilSpouse Creative and the Assoc. of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs. Also known for her work in the tech space, she has successfully raised capital for MilEmoji and My Ultimate PCS. Moni has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Communications and is a proud Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority member. She has been married for 23 years and has three children that keep her busy. In her downtime, she enjoys cooking and teaching her children traditional Puerto Rican dishes, enjoys travel to visit new places, spins, and just hanging out at home with her family. For more information visit https://www.amse.co/