Jaime Chapman, entrepreneur and military spouse, won the inaugural edition of the Best Military Spouse-Owned Business Award Sept. 10 at the 3rd annual Military Influencer Conference in Washington D.C.
Chapman’s career service business Begin Within won by popular vote in an online voting campaign and had been nominated by one of her team members in May.
“When she sent me the email, I didn’t know what it was at first,” Chapman said. “And then I looked it up and thought, well, this is pretty cool, but there’s no way I am going to win it.”
She started her business in 2016 as a hobby blog. When she lost her full-time job in 2018, she made Begin Within her first career.
When she started selling career services, she immediately noticed that she met a need in the community. There was a line of people waiting for her services, especially for dealing with USAJOBS, she said.
“It’s notorious for its difficult application process,” Chapman said. “I had people lined out the door to get these resumes, which was a great problem to have, but it was just me. So I got overwhelmed, and I had to bring on help as fast as January in 2019. So, I started hiring writers.”
By now, she leads a team of five people — all five are military spouses — and focuses on career coaching, resume writing, job interviews and salary negotiations. The goal is to help high achieving people advance and get promoted in their careers, she said.
“We don’t limit ourselves to the military community, … but our demographic data included 70% military community members,” Chapman said.
At MIC, Chapman was announced as the winner and presented with her award by Florent “Flo” Groberg, medal of honor recipient and Chief of Staff for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in front of 1,000 people in the audience.
“I hope this is an inspiration to the members of our community,” she said. “Military spouses have a certain grit and resilience, and I believe that no matter where we live in the world, if you put in the hard work, you can find your version of success.”