By Debbie Gregory.

It is expected that over the next three to five years, more than 250,000 service members are expected to separate from the service each year. These Veterans will face stiff competition in the job market, as well as a consistently higher unemployment rate than their non-veteran peers. With unique work and leadership experiences and a tradition of hard work and resiliency, these Veterans will look for alternative options to provide for their families. Economists contend that self-employment will help stimulate our struggling economy. With an abundance of opportunities provided to them by federal, state and local programs, combined with the desire to work for themselves after their service, many Veterans will seek out entrepreneurial ventures. For these Veteran Entrepreneurs to be successful, in addition to the leadership skills and drive that they developed in the military, they will need to acquire the knowledge necessary to run a business. One of the most effective programs for Veterans launching their own businesses is the Boots to Business program. Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This program is an elective track within the Defense Department’s revised Transition Assistance Program called Transition Goals, Plans, Success (Transition GPS).  The course is offered in three parts. The first part, the Entrepreneurship Track Overview, is an introductory video shown during the mandatory five day Transition GPS course. The second part is a two day classroom course called Introduction to Entrepreneurship. The third part is an eight week instructor led, online course called Foundations of Entrepreneurship. This section offers detailed instruction on the elements of a business plan, and tips and techniques for starting a business.

The Boots to Business curriculum provides indispensable knowledge to transitioning service members who are interested in exploring self-employment opportunities. The program guides soon-to-be Veteran Entrepreneurs through the stages of business ownership, including evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan. Participants in the Boots to Business program are also introduced to the SBA resources that they can use to access startup capital and much more.

Having a sound business plan is critical to getting the startup capital and other lending approved. The Boots to Business program will help Veteran entrepreneurs develop and implement a business plan that will raise their chances of obtaining the funding to get their businesses off the ground.

The best part of the Boots to Business program is that it is available free of charge at participating military installations to service members who are retiring or otherwise transitioning from the service, as well as their spouses.

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: What Boots to Business Does for Veterans: By Debbie Gregory


Many of the articles we write address the fact that Veterans are 45% more likely to go into business for themselves than their civilian counterparts. But many Veterans don’t have the business or marketing backgrounds that are advantageous to create, grow and maintain a thriving company from the ground up. That’s why, more and more, Veteran entrepreneurs are turning to franchising opportunities in order to be their own boss.

Franchising is not for everyone, or even every Veteran. But those who have military experience have found great success, working within established systems, using established brands, and other corporations’ established practices to run successful businesses.

To simplify the process, franchising utilizes the method of distributing products or services with at least two levels of people involved. The first level is the franchisor (corporation) that sells memberships for use of their trademark or brand name and their established business system. The other is the franchisee (entrepreneur), who often pays fees and royalties for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and system. The contract binding the two parties is the “franchise,” but we often hear that term used to mean the actual business that the franchisee operates.

Whether Veteran entrepreneurs decide to buy into a franchise or start their own brand from scratch, there are a number of important questions they should consider, including:

What type of business do you want to own? Depending on the industry that you want to break into and the saturation of that industry in your area, a franchise could either be the less costly or more costly choice. It’s better to narrow down the business type first, and then look at franchises available to you in that industry. Research each franchisor thoroughly, and see the initial fee and royalties that they will charge, and what they require from you to be a franchisee. Also, take a careful look at what support they are offering you in return. Click here to see franchisors approved for SBA loans.

How are your business and marketing skills? If they are strong, and you have an interesting idea for a unique product or brand, then you might want the freedom to operate your business your way. If you have less business experience, you might find comfort knowing that you have the backing and know-how of a larger corporation behind you. It is important to remember that in franchising, the franchise brand is more important than anything else. While providing a quality service and product are important, the customer’s loyalty is to the brand, not the individual franchisee.

What brand, product, service can be your life? If you own a business, you will need to live, breathe, eat, sleep and be that business. You should consider industries that you have experience in, as well as a passion for, and an extreme desire to succeed in.

Do you have the necessary support system to start a company or franchise? If your family doesn’t support the decision, the business could fail before your grand opening. You also need a banker, investors, an accountant, and even a lawyer to help you get your business contracts signed to start and maintain your business or franchise. Also, make sure that the franchise owner requirements listed by the franchisor fit in to your skill set and lifestyle.

Your success as a franchisee is based on your willingness to work within a pre-existing system, and help build the value inherent in the brand. This should not be a problem for Veterans, especially those with leadership experience. Still, franchising is not for everyone, so you have to be honest with your ego, and make an informed decision.

For more information or advice, you can also seek assistance from the SBA.

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: Veteran Entrepreneurs Should Consider Franchise Opportunities: By Debbie Gregory

New Jersey District Office

              WHEN: Thursday, January 15, 2015
TIME:   10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

How to connect to the Webinar through Your PC:  <CLICK HERE>
How to connect with your telephone only (no computer)
1. Choose one of the following numbers to dial:
* Caller-Paid number: 646-746-3008
* Toll-Free Number (in USA): 888-858-2144.
* Blackberry (Caller-Paid): 6467463008×4719200#
* A number in your country or in a country close to you (may be toll free): <Click Here>

When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 4719200#. To prepare in advance for the conference (for all devices):<Click Here> . To view supported Operating Systems and devices: <Click Here>

For additional information about this webinar, please contact Janett Peralta-Torres at 973-645-4651 or via email at


This 90 minute-long webinar will cover: • Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification • Technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program • Common misconceptions about the 8(a) Program • The top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned.

Those who wish to participate should have a minimum of two years in business. This is a perfect program for small disadvantaged firms to gain access to federal government contracting opportunities. A firm that is controlled at least 51 percent by socially and economically disadvantaged owner(s) can receive sole-source contracts up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing.

The New Jersey district office is in need of companies that have been in business two or more years and have experience in the following areas: *Custodial Services *Environmental Services *Food Services *Landscaping *Pest Control *Trucking *Moving & Storage *Armed & Unarmed Guards *Specialty Construction Trades *Plumbing *HVAC *Electrical *Paving and Roofing In addition to those areas of expertise, we are also looking to manufacturers of electronic related items or machine shops.

Please join us on the Jan. 15th learn about SBA’s 8(a) Program and whether your firm can benefit from receiving certification.

Remember the Meeting Access Code is: 4719200#

image003Taking place over three Mondays – January 12th, January 26th  and February 2nd,  the Small Business Brigade Entrepreneur Program is an all-encompassing entrepreneurship training program.  In the Long Beach, CA program, each military veteran or spouse of a veteran will learn about business planning, marketing, legal structures,  web development, accounting and finance taught by current business owners.  Upon completion of the training program, each participant will be assigned a business advisor who assists you one-on-one as you complete the planning stage and start your business. If you are looking to start your own business and do it the right way then this program is for you! *Particpants must be a Veteran or the Spouse of a Veteran*

For more information, go to:


 Welcome to the New Year 2015


Veterans Small Business Forum

hosted by


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

8719 Colesville Road – Suite 100

Silver Spring, MD  20993


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10 am – 12 pm


 Planning to Attend – Click Here to Register

(All are Welcomed)


Tuesday January 13, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST


Vietnam Veterans of America Headquarters
8719 Colesville Road
Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20993

Near Silver Spring Metro on the Red Line


This New Year 2015, the VET-Force will start its Veterans Small Business Forum with the January session be hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) at its headquarters location in Silver Spring, MD.  


This first session of the year will be dedicated to finalizing the strategic plan for 2015.  The Agenda will include:
1.  2015 Top 5 Legislative Priorities
2.  Member – Sponsor Donations
3.  Executive Committee Appointments
4.  VET-Force Election Committee
5.  114th Congress Review
We will also discuss the VET-Force supported initiative to increase the number of Employment and Business Opportunities for Veterans in the Airport Industry.  


Participation by Phone 


 (805) 399-1200

Code 877589#

 (Call lines will open up at 9:55 am)


Please be mindful to mute your phone using *6 when listening then you may press *6 again to unmute when you are speaking. 


 Thank You!


Coming Soon
VET-Force is a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to advocate for the implementation of legislation, programs, and regulations to increase contracting opportunities for Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners. Efforts are also made to identify employment opportunities for veterans and Corporations that are committed to hiring Veterans.


VET-Force organizational members include the Vietnam Veterans of America, National Association for Black Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans, Blinded Veterans Association, Vets Group other Veteran Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations and hundreds of Veteran Business Owners.


VET-Force has no dues or fees but from time to time we do have expenses. If you would like to make a donation to help support the work of the VET-Force – checks should be made payable to the VET-Force Foundation. Per request, you will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.




Thank you for your support!
Joe Wynn
Vets Group


202 365-0482