The MilSpouse Collective is a network of Canadian military spouses focused on support, collaboration, and celebration. The collective is a fresh take on networking that combines business, networking, and a whole lot of fun! The founders of the collective created it to address the need to develop both a social community for Canadian military spouses and alternative career options for a population that struggles with underemployment.
There are over 50,000 Canadian military spouses - some are growing their business, some are looking for new or flexible employment, while others are looking to start their own business. You are not alone.
Entrepreneurship is an attractive option for a population that is transient and requires the flexibility that owning your own business can provide. Many military spouses start their own businesses to have something portable that they’re passionate about and so that they can carry that passion with them across the country.
We are an online and in-person community for professional and entrepreneurial Canadian Military Spouses.
One of the most important things we’ve learned on our journey of entrepreneurship, is that community is key. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs and other women in business. Cultivate a community you can learn from, that will support you, and that will help you grow as a business owner. We’ve been so lucky to connect with some amazing women locally, and be a part of some wicked women in business networking groups. However, we wanted to create a network that focused specifically on military spouses, a network of people who, you know, get it.
So of course we put on our Paperback Girls hats and hosted an event: #BossBabes, a networking night for military spouses. With the apps plated and the Sangria poured, #BossBabes connected women from our community who had been self-employed for years, who were new to entrepreneurship, and who were considering making the switch to owning their own business. The one thing we all had in common, we all lived the realities of military life. #BossBabes was the start of an important network of military spouses here in Petawawa and was an outlet for us to troubleshoot some of the issues we have related to owning a business. The first #BossBabes networking night focused on social media marketing for small businesses. We’ve since run a number of other events for military spouses including a business café, a book swap, a Galentine’s day party, and a session on networking marketing.
Building a community amongst Canadian Military Spouses who own their own businesses is invaluable; not only here in Petawawa, but across the country. We’re thankful to be a part of an online network of incredible entrepreneurs who help each other with business advice and support. Most importantly, when a posting comes up, you already have a network of like minded women waiting to support you wherever you end up. We’re excited to be a part of this community - to learn from other military spouses and to support each other throughout this journey. In 2017, we won our local Start Up Canada Pitch night by proposing an annual conference for military spouses called the MilSpouse Collective Annual Conference. In 2019, we are seeing this plan come to fruition.
Our dream with the collective is to help other military spouses realize the potential of entrepreneurship and start or grow their businesses while being supported by an incredible community, or rather collective, of entrepreneurs to cheer them on. We hope to grow this collective and conference across Canada and to create a network of military spouses aggressively supporting other military spouses!
You can join the collective by attending the first annual conference, attending one of our pop-up events, requesting a pop-up event in your own community, or joining our nation-wide digital network of spouses through our Facebook, Instagram, and E-Community.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
We're Katie and Jess, owners of Paperback Events, founders of The MilSpouse Collective, entrepreneurs at heart, creatives, dreamers, and proud military spouses!
As military spouses, we know the struggles of finding full-time, quality, and permanent employment when you're living that military spouse life! We started Paperback Events as an outlet for our creativity and it soon grew to be our primary source of income and work. Not only do we love creating every day, but we also love the flexibility and portability entrepreneurship offers us. We founded the MilSpouse Collective to create a collaborative and valuable network for Canadian Military Spouses and to spread our love and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship to them.
See you at the 2019 MilSpouse Annual Conference!