AMGEN
 

Boots to Business ClassesBy Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reached a huge milestone for their entrepreneurship training programs for Veterans. SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, announced on April 21, 2015, that the agency has trained 25,000 transitioning service members through its Boots to Business program.

The Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education program that the SBA facilitates as part of the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). All service members are required to complete TAP classes before they separate from their service branch. Boots to Business is offered as an optional portion of the TAP class to service members who are considering starting their own businesses after they separate.

The Boots to Business curriculum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, providing the fundamental knowledge needed for developing a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Beginning as a pilot program in 2012,  Boots to Business expanded nationally in 2013. In order to provide the education and training to service members and their spouses, the program utilizes SBA resource partners, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC),Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), and SCORE.

Over the last two years, the Boots to Business program has been made available to transitioning service members and their spouses, at no charge, on more than 165 military installations around the world. The education and training program provides them the opportunity to explore the possibilities of business ownership and self-employment. It also helps them evaluate the feasibility of their business concepts, and connects the aspiring business owners to SBA’s network of resource partners.

This milestone is proof of the SBA’s commitment to serving the community of military and Veteran entrepreneurs. From the beginning of her tenure, Administrator Contreras-Sweet has made deliberate attempts to support and provide for Veteran entrepreneurs and Veteran-owned small businesses, which she believes are essential to turning around our nation’s struggling economy.

“My first day on the job was just over a year ago, and my first meeting was with Veteran entrepreneurs because I wanted to honor them and emphasize the value they bring to small businesses across the nation. We know Veterans have the courage and the determination to become great entrepreneurs, and the United States is investing in them,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Boots to Business helps our service members and their spouses explore careers in entrepreneurship by showing them how to apply their military skills to start and grow their business. Our Veterans deserve every chance at success, and our economic future requires that we help them acquire the skills necessary to start the next generation of great American businesses.”

For more information about the Boots to Business program visit www.boots2business.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: SBA’s Boots to Business Program Reaches 25,000 Served: By Debbie Gregory

SBA Office of Investment and Innovation

The SBIR Road Tour is coming to a city near you! This is a national outreach effort to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Over the course of this year individual program managers from the 11 participating agencies representing $2.5 billion in early stage funding will embark on a 20 state road tour, participating in a series of events alongside technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters from across the United States.

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm, don’t miss this opportunity. Every SBIR Road Tour stop provides an in-depth understanding of agency technology funding priorities, and one-on-one meetings with high level decision makers.

Register
Today for Our Latest Tour Stops!

South
Central Tour – April 27 – May 1, 2015

Long
Beach, MS – Monday, April 27, 2015

Ruston,
LA -Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oklahoma
City, OK – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wichita,
KS – Thursday, April 30, 2015

Columbia,
MO – Friday, May 1, 2015

Road
Tour Stop

Fairmont, WV – Thursday, May 14, 2015

Register
Soon

North
Central Tour – the week of July 13th

Indianapolis,
IN

Chicago,
IL

Iowa
City, IA

Omaha,
NE

Sioux
Falls, SD

Pacific
Northwest – the week of August 17th

Bozeman,
MT

Seattle, WA

Portland,
OR

Boise,
ID

Learn
more by visiting www.sbirroadtour.com 

@SBAGov #SBIRRoadTour #SeedtheFuture

Successful team of business people giving high five in the offic

By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be launching its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition that will award monetary prizes, totaling $4 million, to entrepreneurial ecosystems and accelerators.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the competition last week at Manufacture New York. For the second year, the SBA will be conducting its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, awarding separate prizes of $50,000 to winning entrepreneurial accelerators. In 2014, the SBA awarded 50 winners a total of $2.5 million in monetary prizes. For the 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, the SBA will award 80 winners with $50,000 each for a total of $4 million.

“We’re launching a second Accelerator Growth Fund competition to spur even greater opportunities for America’s small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet.  “Last year’s event was so successful, we’re looking forward to discovering and empowering the next trailblazers. Accelerators provide valuable resources to potential startups: a physical infrastructure to work in their infancy, mentoring, business-plan assistance, networking, opportunities to obtain venture capital, and introductions to potential customers, partners and suppliers—all critical elements to ensuring that small businesses flourish and succeed.”

Accelerators provide mentorship and guidance to startup small businesses, and are a vital resource for entrepreneurs. The SBA uses the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to support the development of accelerators and the startups that they support, especially in industries and areas of the country where there is limited access to startup capital.

For the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, several panels of judges, both from the public and the private sectors, will select the winners. While “Accelerator” is in the name of the competition, it is also open to incubators, shared-tinker spaces, co-working startup communities and other models that promote multiple startup businesses.

The panel of judges will give special consideration for accelerators in under-resourced geographic locations. They will also look to support accelerators headed by or that support women or other underrepresented groups. The SBA has also ordered that manufacturing accelerator models be given special consideration, because manufacturing is critical to strengthening the U.S. economy.

The application period for the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition will run from April 10 through June 1, 2015. To learn more about the SBA, accelerators and the competition, visit www.sba.gov or go to the 2015 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition application.

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: SBA Announces Contest for Business Accelerators: By Debbie Gregory

WebBanners336x280By Debbie Gregory.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in America has dropped to 5.5%, the lowest that it has been since 2008. The unemployment rate among the Post-9/11 era generation of Veterans is at 6.5%, among the highest in the nation. Many government and private initiatives have started to hire more Veterans. But the answer to eliminating Veteran unemployment may not be solved by finding jobs for Vets, but rather by allowing them to create jobs themselves.

Veterans are 44% more likely than their non-veteran peers to start their own business, according to the BLS. Many have speculated that years spent following orders drives Veterans to want to call their own shots in their second careers. Others have guessed that after years of deployments and frequent PCS moves, Veterans want to create their own businesses in order to lay down roots for themselves and their families in a particular region. While there may be some substance to these hypotheses, the truth of the matter is that Veterans become entrepreneurs because it utilizes their knowledge and skills that were enhanced through their military experience.

Service members, especially those in leadership positions, wear many hats, much like business owners do. And much like successful military leadership, successful business ownership requires the ability to delegate, the discipline to stick to a strategy, and the fortitude to inspire yourself and others to continue in the face of death or failure.The willingness to work hard doesn’t hurt.

But in battle and in business, guts and glory aren’t always enough to accomplish your mission. Successful campaigns and successful business require proper training and knowledge of the tactics that will be used. That is why programs such as the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) are a necessary first step for Veterans wishing to start their own companies.

The EBV program is a partnership between several of the country’s top business schools and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The schools offer free courses in entrepreneurship and business management to selected Veterans and military spouses. The aim of the EBV program is to open the door to economic opportunity for Veterans and their families by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.

No one should go into battle unprepared, and they shouldn’t enter into an entrepreneurial venture unprepared either. Make sure that you have the training that you need to start your business and then utilize VAMBOA to continue learning and growing as a Veteran business owner.

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!

SBA Santa Ana District Office

PLEASE NOTE:  The correct date of the conference is May 6th.  A previous message erroneously had the date as May 2nd.  The correct date is May 6th.

8a conference flyer


This year’s 5th Annual SBA Southern California 8(a) and Small Business Conference promises to be the biggest and best ever.  Conference attendees can count on learning from a full range of informative and engaging workshops offering insights, tools, and hands-on learning experiences for 8(a) and non-8(a) certified small businesses.

For government contracting novices, workshops will explain certification, getting started in federal procurement, writing a compelling capabilities statement, and accessing financing, including SBA-backed loans.

For growing government contractors, seminars will look at honing your marketing tools, learning insider tips from contracting officers and consultants, exploring teaming opportunities, and more.

For established government contractors, workshops will include procurement forecasts from local buying activities, expanding commercial opportunities through prime contractors, and a discussion on new government contracting initiatives that affect small businesses.

Every business participating in the conference will be able to take advantage of one-on-one matchmaking appointments with corporate and government buyers and incredible networking opportunities, right here in Orange County.

There aren’t many opportunities to attend events focused on Federal government procurement here on the West Coast, so register today to reserve yourself a seat at the 5th Annual SBA Southern California 8(a) and Small Business Conference!