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Entrepreneurship Essentials for Service Members and Military Spouses

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This webinar will discuss entrepreneurship as a career option for service members and military spouses. Rutgers University professor and Extension specialist, Dr. Barbara O’Neill, will discuss characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, advantages and disadvantages of self-employment, a comparison of working as an independent contractor versus as an employee, and five business and financial planning issues that entrepreneurs need to address: writing a business plan, managing
irregular cash flow, income taxes, health insurance, and saving for retirement. The second presenter, Jaime Wood, from the Small Business Administration, will provide additional information about entrepreneurship and discuss entrepreneurship opportunities and resources for military families.

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Dr. Barbara O’Neill, financial resource management specialist for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, has been a professor, financial educator, and author for 35 years. She has written over 1,500 consumer newspaper articles and over 125 articles for academic journals, conference proceedings, and other professional publications. She is a certified financial planner (CFP®), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC®), accredited financial counselor (AFC), certified housing counselor (CHC), and certified financial educator (CFEd). Dr. O’Neill served as president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and is the author of two trade books, Saving on a Shoestring andInvesting on a Shoestring, and co-author of  Investing For Your Future,Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women, and Small Steps to Health and Wealth.  She earned a Ph.D. in family financial management from Virginia Tech and received over three dozen awards for professional achievements and over $900,000 in funding for financial education programs and research.

Jaime L. Wood joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in 2014. She is the Director for Policy and Engagement for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). At SBA, Ms. Wood develops, promotes and employs policies and programs that support veteran owned small business. Her efforts focus on SBA veteran related programs for active duty and reserve service members, service disabled veterans, and military dependents and survivors.

Most recently, she worked as the Chief of Strategy and Integration for the Office of Communication and Engagement, U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. She worked with NATO allies, partner nations, and U.S. inter-/intra-agencies to develop communication strategies that enhanced European theater defense activities and was a lead strategist in refining the EUCOM key leader engagement process.

While in Germany, she also served as a senior strategist for the EUCOM Office of Strategic Communication; as the deputy director for the Secretariat of the Joint Staff; and, as a civilian public affairs specialist with both U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs and EUCOM Public Affairs and in support of Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). Her duties included several deployments to Africa and within Europe.

The Cover image Child Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand 50 Cents Each Qiqi Lourdie June 24, 20111 by Stephen Depolo  for this webinar is licensed Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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