An Air Force veteran, Mills harnessed the leadership and determination she developed in the military to open her yoga studio, Honest Soul Yoga, in 2013 in Alexandria. Through VEIP, PenFed is providing Mills with a capital investment to grow her business in Northern Virginia, expand her business into San Antonio and access to a large network of business leaders for mentorship and support as she continues to grow her business.

Our foundation has raised over

“We’re proud to invest in Suzie Mills and her growing business,”

—James Schenck

“We’re proud to invest in Suzie Mills and her growing business,” said James Schenck, president & CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of PenFed Foundation. “An investment in one veteran is an investment in the entire community. Veterans are 30% more likely to hire other veterans – a remarkable statistic that Mills has already eclipsed. Over half the instructors at her practice are military or military spouses.”

Honest Soul Yoga grew out of Mills’ experience with yoga as a source of personal empowerment and physical restoration following her time in the Air Force Reserves and deployment to Afghanistan. When her first attempts to lease a professional space did not receive approval, Mills persevered, redesigning her own basement into a studio space and developing branding and marketing materials. The business quickly expanded, allowing Mills to open a studio just outside Fort Belvoir and hire several other instructors. Over half of Honest Soul employees are members of the military, veterans or military spouses who also attest to the restorative power of yoga.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to have been selected,” said Mills. “PenFed’s dedication to the military community is truly remarkable. Not only do they support entrepreneurs like me, but they also come alongside struggling families and help them on the path to financial stability. I’m thrilled to participate in VEIP and be a part of a program that is supporting female veteran entrepreneurs.”

PenFed Foundation’s VEIP program exists to help Mills and other veteran entrepreneurs overcome their biggest obstacle: obtaining capital and a network of support. Program participants can receive an investment from the Foundation to grow their business and are connected with a support network of over 1,700 business partners. After launching in 2018 with $1.4 million, PenFed expanded the program to include support specifically dedicated to women veteran entrepreneurs through the Women Veteran Fund.

“The PenFed Foundation is investing in women whose grit, compassion and determination transform their communities and generate a huge return on investment,” said Nicholson. “Partnering with Mills is helping to create a strong business ecosystem in which women who have served can continue to thrive.”

Ready for the Next Level?

VEIP can contribute to your company in multiple ways. Whether your company is at the idea stage or ready for financing rounds of venture capital, there’s a program here to suit your company’s needs.

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