A former soldier in the U.S. Army and participant in the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) Atlanta program, Glenett Hannah says her first love is giving back to veterans. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a degree from Columbia University, and she found that she connected to veterans and their families in a way that others didn’t. “A lot of people do not understand veterans and all that they go through, and a lot of people do not even understand what the families go through. I knew that was my niche,” she explains. Along with the tools, connections and support she received from V-WISE Atlanta, the Stone Mountain local got the final push she needed to begin her business when doctors found a blood clot in her lung in 2015, and then again in 2017. “I thought that was God saying, ‘This is it. This is your path to becoming your own boss.’” Since launching Hannah Innovative Solutions, a consulting firm providing mental health counseling, administrative support, and training development, two years ago, Hannah has specialized in holistic counseling for veterans and their families as they reintegrate back into civilian life from the military. Through methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, Hannah is able to provide a safe space for her clients to be open about their issues. “One of my most rewarding moments was when a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran was able to release the trauma, guilt, and tormenting thoughts and nightmares he had from serving. After a few sessions, the veteran broke down and said, ‘Why did I live when so many of my friends died in front of me?’ It choked me up to see how the darkness of war had consumed him and how being able to release the past allowed some sunshine to enter back into his life. I can’t even imagine the trauma he carried all those years,” Hannah says. “This is why I do what I do for veterans and their families.”
What were some of the barriers you faced when launching Hannah Innovative Solutions?
I had no clue what it would take to start a business—from the kind of entity it would be to the accounting and legal advice I needed, there was so much to learn. Not to mention, the crucial questions I needed to ask myself such as, ‘Who needs my services and why? What makes me different from all the other counseling services out there?’ And most of all, ‘Is this really something I want to do? Am I doing this for me?’