Editor’s Note: The monthly Resource Spotlight is an Q&A that provides information about nonprofit organizations who serve military spouses and their families. The purpose is to connect military spouses with available resources designed to help them thrive in military life.
What’s the history of your organization? When was it founded?
The Rosie Network (TRN) was founded in 2012 by 3 spouses of San Diego-based active-duty Navy SEALs in the spirit of that iconic World War II American military spouse, Rosie the Riveter. The original concept for TRN came from CEO & Founder Stephanie Brown, spouse of retired U.S. Admiral Tom Brown after spending hours searching Angie’s List and Craigslist for a contractor to do repair work on their home outside of San Diego. Not comfortable having someone unknown coming into their house and preferring to hire a veteran, Stephanie set about creating a means for the American public to locate our nation’s military family-owned businesses. Many months later, Rosie’s List and technology platform was born.
Today, based on the needs of member military family-owned businesses nationwide, The Rosie Network, a publicly supported non-profit organization offers so much more to military family-owned businesses. The team has developed and launched programs that directly support military spouse and veteran entrepreneurs in promoting and growing their businesses.
TRN’s core leadership team has first-hand understanding and recognizes the unique challenges that military spouses and their families face, having encountered many of them throughout their spouses’ careers.
“We are the only non-profit search tool which features verified veteran and military spouse-owned businesses, provides them with a business profile page and doesn’t charge them a dime,” says Stephanie. The Rosie Network has also partnered with other like-minded non-profits to provide budding military entrepreneurs the kind of business training and support needed to ensure the greatest opportunity for success. “We actively promote our businesses– we don’t just list them on our site.”
Each founder brings a vast knowledge of the military family-life experience, and valuable connections within the Department of Defense’s family support services arena, to TRN.
CEO and Founder Stephanie Brown, wife of recently retired Rear Admiral Thomas L. Brown (SEAL), is a standing member of the Secretary of Defense’s Spouse Ambassador Network roundtable. Meeting four times a year at the Pentagon to address the concerns of today’s military spouses, this forum ensures the current leading issues of lack of meaningful employment and financial stability are addressed by our nation’s military leaders. Stephanie’s greatest passion and legacy to the families she serves, is her role as an advocate.
Please describe the mission of The Rosie Network: The Rosie Network (TRN) is a publicly supported non-profit organization that strengthens today’s military families by providing our nation’s military entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to launch and grow their small businesses. By leveraging our technology, online marketplace and engaging in community outreach efforts, TRN creates a link between our military entrepreneurs and today’s consumers.
What services does your organization offer? As a non-profit organization supported by generous donations and sponsorships, all of our services and programs are offered at NO-COST to our military families (spouses and veterans):
The Rosie’s List Technology Platform
A free online search tool featuring products and services provided by military family-owned businesses. Military affiliation is verified using technology provided by ID.me. The Business Profile Page provides a photo gallery, logo, content tabs and more.
TRN’s Small Business Resource Center
The Small Business Resource Center provides the tools, training and ongoing support our members need to launch and grow their small businesses. Navigating the ocean of programs and resources available to military families is a time-consuming and often frustrating endeavor for the entrepreneur. Our team has done the research and vetted the best programs, freeing our members to focus on what’s important: building their business. TRN also offers our Small Business Showcase events regionally to provide our members with direct access to consumers in their markets through out the year.
Rock the Dot! Small Business Grant Program
Our Rock the Dot! Program is a need-based grant program offering business grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to our TRN members.
Which population(s) do you serve (spouses, veterans, children)? TRN serves military spouses and veterans.
How can NextGen MilSpouse readers support your organization? Readers can support in a variety of ways–financially with generous tax-deductible donations, support our member businesses by accessing them through the Rosie’s List Search Engine, help raise awareness to military spouses and veterans looking to start their businesses, and become Ambassador Volunteers. Our website is www.therosienetwork.org or they can email Jill Ivie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything else our readers need to know? Our vision is for The Rosie Network (TRN) to become the nation’s premier online shopping platform for the 70% of Americans who prefer to patronize military family-owned businesses, while building the gold standard source of collective information, support and resources for today’s military entrepreneurs. All direct services provided to TRN military family-owned businesses are provided at no-cost to our families, through the generous support and investments by corporations.
Does your nonprofit organization serve military spouses? Are you looking to spread the word?
Send an email to NextGen MilSpouse Content Editor Michelle Volkmann at michelle<at>msbnewmedia<dot>com to find out how your organization can be a future Resource Spotlight.