Boots to Business Reboot

In keeping with the its commitment to Veterans, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has sponsored the Boots to Business program. As Veterans transition to civilian life, the Boots to Business program has offered training courses to make their dreams of business ownership a reality.

The widely popular “Boots to Business: From Service to Startup” is a program offered to future entrepreneurs while they’re still in uniform, as a component of the Department of Defense’s redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum for “Boots to Business: from Service to Startup” was designed to introduce concepts, information and resources about business ownership to transitioning service members. Along with the education, the program also connects service members to crucial resources in their local communities.

The SBA has added an additional curriculum to their program. “Boots to Business: Reboot,” is an entrepreneurship training course for Veterans that is being hosted in twelve locations across the country.

Each session will host up to 100 Veterans for a two-day course, titled Introduction to Entrepreneurship, led by the SBA’s resource partners, as well as industry experts from Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF).

“Boots to Business: Reboot” will introduce Veteran entrepreneurs to the basics of business ownership.  The curriculum will lead Veterans through evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan. “Boots to Business: Reboot” will also connect participating Veterans to a network of business support contacts by introducing them to the SBA’s network of Veteran Business Outreach centers, Women’s Business centers, Small Business Development centers and SCORE counselors.

At the conclusion of the two-day training, Veteran entrepreneurs will be eligible to register for an eight-week online course called “Foundations of Entrepreneurship.” This program is led by instructors from IVMF, and offers Veterans in-depth instruction on the elements of a business plan, as well as techniques and advice for starting their own businesses.

After completing “Boots to Business: Reboot,” and “Foundations of Entrepreneurship”  Veteran entrepreneurs will possess the tools and knowledge needed to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local resources, and launch their own small businesses.

The “Boots to Business: Reboot” events run through Aug. 25-26.

July 24 – 25: Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas

July 29- 30: Miami, Florida

July 31 – August 1: Chicago, Illinois

August 1 – 2: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

August 5 – 6: Boston, Massachusetts

August 6 – 7: Albuquerque, New Mexico

August 8 – 9: Kansas City, Missouri

August 13 – 14: Detroit, Michigan

August 15 – 16: Los Angeles, California

August 20 – 21: Seattle, Washington

August 25 – 26: Charlotte, North Carolina

For more information and to register for events Veterans interested in business ownership are encouraged to visit www.boots2businessreboot.org

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: New Boots to Business Program: By Debbie Gregory

BBB Military Line

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is not a government agency, but a nonprofit organization that consists of many independently incorporated local bureaus, spanning the entire nation. The organization serves as a go-between between consumers and businesses, collecting data and providing free reviews on more than four million businesses. In 2012, the BBB handled over one million disputes between consumers and businesses.

According to their website, the BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes their mission by:

  • Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
  • Setting standards for marketplace trust
  • Encouraging and supporting best practices
  • Celebrating marketplace role models
  • Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior

Since 2004, the more than 112 local BBB’s across the U.S. have participated in a program that provides free services to service members and military families. The program, called BBB Military Line, offers resources to military families, including consumer protection and lessons in financial literacy. The BBB’s Military Line is an extension of their stated mission that is specially geared to benefit the military community.

 

The BBB is always looking to add businesses to its list of members. If you, as a Veteran business owner, would like your business to become a member of the Better Business Bureau, begin by contacting your local BBB, which can be found on the organization’s website.

For more information about consumer protection, or affiliating your business with the BBB, please visit www.bbb.org or search BBB Military Line.

By Debbie Gregory

Gov contracts

In today’s competitive marketplace, shopping around for the best deal is the norm. Thrifty shopping is facilitated through modern technology, where price comparisons are just a click away. From individual consumers to corporations,  there can be great financial benefits in shopping around and looking at several offers before pulling the trigger on a purchase. The U.S. government should not be exempted from this frugality, and neither should the military.

Since 2010, The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which facilitates the purchase of various goods and service for federal government agencies, has implemented a program to generate competition when agencies buy office supplies. This competition among the vendors drives down the costs and reduces wasteful spending.

The GSA’s program requires vendors who want to do business with the government to reveal their pricing to both the government buyer and their competition. The ability for vendors to see their competitors’ pricing allows them to lower theirs, saving the government money. It also prevents over-spending on the part of government buyers who, in the past, have sometimes paid more than four times the amount for one product over another.

The pricing bids and purchase receipts are sent to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which review the purchases made, comparing them to the actual bids. This procedure works as a check/balance system, protecting the government from charges of favoritism or misconduct. It also keeps the playing field level for all vendors hoping to participate in government contracts.

The GAO has urged the Pentagon to do more to safeguard against waste. The GAO contends that promoting competitive contracts, through programs like the GSA’s, can help save the government money, curb fraud, and promote accountability.

Recently, the U.S. Army decided not to seek bids for the contract to purchase 100 new helicopters. Instead, the Army chose to offer the contract to Airbus for 100 Lakota UH-72 helicopters. While the Army has its reasons for granting the contract the way they did, one of which was customer satisfaction with Airbus, the GAO and many other vendors from the helicopter industry were surprised with the decision.

In reality, the lack of competition favors the larger companies by excluding offers from small and  medium sized businesses.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

By Debbie Gregory

 

governmentcontracts

Attention all Veteran owned technology and software firms… there is a huge opportunity coming your way. Starting in either July or August of 2014, the Department of Defense will begin shopping for a company or companies to design and manage a new information technology system to maintain all medical records for service members.

For years, Veterans have had to leave the military with fully completed medical and dental records, only to have to reapply with the VA’s health care system. The transition eats up a lot of time and resources. A new record system that carriesover between the military and the VA is long overdue.

In May of 2013, officials at the Pentagon announced that they intended to install an improved electronic system for maintaining service members’ health records. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel promised to work with the VA in developing a “seamless system” for service members and Veterans. In light of this year’s VA scandal involving backlogs and wait times, the time to implement a new records system is now.

Many heavy hitters in the tech industry will be bidding on the contract. Veteran business owners in the tech industry would be wise to pay attention to this, which is estimated to be a 10 year, $11 billion contract. Whoever wins the contract will most likely be mandated to hire sub-contractors who are Veterans or Veteran-owned companies.

Companies that are expected to compete for the contract include Accenture Plc, Northrop Grumman Corp, Leidos Holdings Inc., Hewlett-Packard Inc., and IBM, who has already announced their plan to partner with Epic Systems Corp in a bid for the contract. Maybe your Veteran owned business can be added to this list as well.

The winner of the bidding gets to claim one of the largest contracts in federal information technology. But after the failed launch of the Obamacare website, bidders and their proposals will be under heavy scrutiny.

But either way, Veterans should still come out ahead through better, faster healthcare, seamless healthcare records, and the potential for subcontracting with the winning bidder.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

 

VAMBOA: Upcoming $11 Billion Federal Contract: By Debbie Gregory

Boots to business reboot

 

Beginning July 11th , the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host two day entrepreneurship training courses for Veterans in twelve U.S. cities. The sessions will be part of the “Boots to Business: Reboot” program.

Based on the existing Boots to Business program, Reboot is an entrepreneurial education program offered by the SBA in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). The Reboot program’s curriculum will provide valuable information to Veterans who are interested in starting their own businesses by leading Veteran entrepreneurs through key steps for evaluating business concepts and the tools required for developing a business plan. Participants in Reboot are also introduced to the SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Representatives from IVMF and the SBA’s resource partners will lead the sessions. The Reboot’s “Introduction to Entrepreneurship Class” will train Veteran entrepreneurs on the essentials of owning your own business. The program will also introduce participating Veteran Entrepreneurs to a network of business support available both locally, and across the U.S. by introducing them to SBA’s network of resources that include: Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE Counselors.

Following the initial Reboot training, participants will also be eligible to register for a second training session called “Foundations of Entrepreneurship.” This is an eight-week, online course taught by instructors from IVMF. The course delves deeper into the elements of a business plan, and offers more tips and techniques for starting a business. After completing both Boots to Business: Reboot sessions, Veteran entrepreneurs will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local resources and launch their small businesses.
For more information about “Boots to Business: Reboot”, including schedules of dates and cities, and how to enroll for sessions, please visit www.boots2businessreboot.org.

To learn more about opportunities for Veteran entrepreneurs available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Boots to Business Reboot: By Debbie Gregory