NEW YORK – WeWork (NYSE: WE), one of the leading global flexible space providers, will support and participate today in the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, underscoring the company’s aim to impact one million people each year by supporting local communities and organizations.
WeWork’s sponsorship of the parade coincides with the four year anniversary of the launch of the Veterans in Residence Program, a national business incubator created in partnership with Bunker Labs that provides veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners with coworking space, local community, a national business network, and targeted support to help grow their business. More than 100 WeWork employees, members, and Veterans in Residence program participants will come together during the parade to march alongside the float.
Since the launch of the Veterans in Residence Program, more than 1,442 veterans and military spouses have participated in the six-month incubator program, which is held twice a year. The program utilizes a cohort model to help support business growth and success. According to Bunker Labs, of this year’s first cohort participants who completed the program in July:
- 57 percent increased revenue during program; and, of those, 77 percent reported greater than a 25 percent increase in revenue
- 67 percent are more involved with their business after completion
- 96 percent plan to continue to pursue their business after completion
- 70 percent changed their business model or approach based on their participation
The current cohort, which operates in 22 cities across the country, will culminate with showcases nationwide on December 8, including:
- Monica Fullerton, Spouse-ly (Las Vegas): Spouse-ly is one-of-a-kind marketplace that people can shop small, shop virtually, and make a big impact, as the amazing goods and services on the site are are all created and provided by military spouses, veterans, and first responder families. Said Monica: “For the past decade, I worked remotely for my corporate career, but when I decided to make the full transition into entrepreneurship, I quickly learned that it can be a lonely journey without the right help and support. The Veterans in Residence program has been such a wonderful experience and is exactly the support I needed, especially because I launched my business, Spouse-ly, right before the pandemic hit. Having the opportunity to work with other like-minded entrepreneurs, military spouses, and veterans on a weekly basis creates a greater impact in so many different ways. We not only support one another, we also learn and grow from each other, and to have an amazing space at WeWork to do that has truly been a game changer for both my business and myself.”
- Mario Amaro, DocSpace (Houston): DocSpace is the only all-in-one virtual care stack to help therapists build and launch therapy practices online. Said Mario: “Starting a new business can be extremely lonely at times. When I first learned about Bunker Labs and what they were doing to support veteran entrepreneurs, I knew I had to sign up and become part of this community. On day one, I was flooded with support from so many people who were so eager to help, which was something that I had been missing for months. Everyone from the team leads, to the captains, to the amazing WeWork staff, immediately made me feel at home and reminded me of everything I missed about military service. I’ve worked in several WeWork locations all throughout the United States and each time I was extremely proud to let the staff know that I was a Veterans in Residence entrepreneur.”
- Monifa Caines, Queen of Spades Style (Washington, D.C.): After struggling to find hair accessories for her hair texture, Monifa Caines created Queen of Spades Style, selling head wraps, bandanas and athletic headbands that are handmade by artisans and named after a family member, friend or situation. Said Monifa: “Being a veteran entrepreneur is a whole new world. Veterans are used to operating in teams and when I started my business, it was just me operating by myself. I applied to Veterans in Residence to learn more about maintaining a successful business and to be a part of a collective of entrepreneurs that want to see everyone win. When I was accepted into the program and started meeting at and utilizing WeWork, I found the village I was searching for. My business, Queen of Spades Style, is growing and I am learning from my cohort members across the country. WeWorks provides me with a real, physical space where I can work and concentrate by myself or meet with people and brainstorm. Because we can visit other WeWork offices, I used the podcast room to record a podcast at a WeWork location in Washington, D.C., with two other cohort entrepreneurs when I was a vendor at the inaugural Veteran Expo. The support from my Bunker Labs community, and being on a team again has been an amazing experience.”
“Many veterans turn to entrepreneurship as their second form of service to our nation, and WeWork is helping to lead the next great American economic comeback story,” said Blake Hogan, CEO of Bunker Labs. “Since 2017, WeWork has relentlessly supported more than 1,442 military-connected entrepreneurs and small business owners across 22 cities in America, and the workspace provided by WeWork directly impacts the entrepreneurial dreams of America’s military connected community. Bunker Labs is grateful for our partnership with WeWork; they are a key component to the Veterans in Residence program.”
“WeWork is honored to support the New York City Veterans Day Parade and to grow our partnership with Bunker Labs through our Veterans in Residence program,” said Chris Ferzli, Global Head of Public Affairs at WeWork. “WeWork is committed to harnessing the power of community to make a positive impact on people and the planet, and we look forward to seeing these veteran entrepreneurs continue to thrive and impact their own communities.”
WeWork (NYSE: WE) was founded in 2010 with the vision to create environments where people and companies come together and do their best work. Since opening our first location in New York City, we’ve grown into a global flexible space provider committed to delivering technology-driven flexible solutions, inspiring spaces, and community experiences. Today, we’re constantly reimagining how the workplace can help everyone, from freelancers to Fortune 500s, be more motivated, productive, and connected. For more information about WeWork, please visit us at wework.com.
About Bunker Labs:
Bunker Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a national network of Veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs dedicated to helping members start their own businesses. Bunker Labs is committed to seeing that every entrepreneur and small business owner in the military-connected community has the network, tools, and resources they need to start their own business.