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Event held to give small-business advice to military women entrepreneurs

By Alison Parker
Published On: May 21 2013 03:12:38 PM CDT
Updated On: May 21 2013 03:13:00 PM CDT
CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

First Lt. Danielle Gibb is an active duty Marine who attended an event aboard Camp Lejeune Tuesday to learn how to go about starting a business.

"After working in the military and seeing what runs efficiently and what doesn't, I would like to go into the next step of life and work somewhere that I could possibly help using the experiences I got in the military," Gibb said.

She along with about 100 other military women gathered to get advice from local organizations that help small businesses or entrepreneurs looking to start one.

First Lt. Rachel Opperman came to find out how.

"I guess my biggest issue is trying to find an idea, what I'd like to do, but I think it would definitely be interesting to start your own business and be able to do something you really enjoy," Opperman said.

Chamber of Commerce President Laurette Leagon hopes the event inspires women to take the chance.

"I think there will be a lot of motivation," Leagon said. "They'll learn about financing. There are opportunities for minority-owned businesses to get special financing."

Leagon says women own 28 percent of the small businesses in North Carolina. She hopes an event like this will inspire more women to become entrepreneurs.

Keynote speaker Sue Malone says having an organized, military mindset gives those who want to start a business an advantage.

"They can make their own decisions," Malone said. "They don't need to have someone above them make it. They can do it. They can execute, and they can pull the trigger when they want to execute."

Leagon says it's OK to ask for help when starting a business, and there are plenty of places in Onslow County to start.

You can find help through:

Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce: http://www.jacksonvilleonline.org/
Coastal Carolina Community College: http://www.coastalcarolina.edu/
North Carolina Military Business Center: http://www.ncmbc.us/
The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina: http://www.ncruralcenter.org/index.php?option=com_sobipro&pid=106&sid=183:Womens-Business-Center-of-North-Carolina&Itemid=122