AMGEN
 

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!

CVE

By Debbie Gregory

Each year, government entities such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) set aside contracts specifically for companies owned by Veterans. There are even stipulations for large companies to subcontract out to Veteran-owned businesses in order to be awarded certain contracts. Up until just a few years ago, any business owner could win government contracts and subcontracts through larger corporations by merely checking a box on a form stating that their firm was a Veteran-owned business­. There was no follow-up, and no one checked.

Today, firms wanting to utilize procurement opportunities through the VA must be verified through the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).  The verification program was established to reduce the number of businesses that were fraudulently claiming a Veteran-owned status. The program also serves to protect the competitive edge that the set-aside contracts provide to Veteran-owned small businesses.

The verification program utilizes a meticulous process to ensure that businesses claiming to be either a VOSB or a SDVOSB are in fact owned and controlled by a Veteran, or multiple Veterans. The CVE has established a Verification Assistance Program (VAP) that helps Veteran business owners through the process.

The key function of VAP is application assistance. To accomplish this function, the CVE has developed a partnership to grow and sustain an inventory of VA certified verification assistance counselors. These individuals, located throughout the country, provide “no-cost” assistance to Veterans throughout the verification application process. Veterans have admitted to paying as much as $20,000 for similar services.

The CVE has also begun hosting Verification Program webinars and virtual town halls to provide comprehensive information to potential new applicants, firms re-verifying, and those who have achieved verification.

The schedule of webinars includes:

  • 1st Tuesday of each month – Preparing for Re-verification Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms whose verification will expire in 5 months or thirty days.
  • 3rd Tuesday of each month – Pre-Application Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms interested in submitted their first CVE Verification application. Also, firms who have been inactive in the program for some time and now desire to submit an application can also benefit from this session.
  • 4th Tuesday of each month – How to stay Verified Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms who have been verified in the last six months.

To learn more about CVE and the verification program, please connect via  http://www.vetbiz.gov

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: Make Sure Your Company is a Verified Veteran-Owned Business: By Debbie Gregory

SBA New hampshire District Office
www.sba.gov/nh

Attention women veterans with an entrepreneurial passion!

V-WISE is coming to BOSTON on August 21-23, 2015

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) is a premier training program in entrepreneurship and small business management. V-WISE helps women veterans and female military spouses / partners find their passion and learn the business savvy skills necessary to turn an idea or start-up into a growing venture. V-WISE is operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).


As of January 2015, over 1,400 female veterans, transitioning female service members, and female military spouses have taken part in the V-WISE experience. Based on post-training assessments, the impact of the V-WISE experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

• 97% report the V-WISE online courses to be useful & appropriate for their needs.
• 61% of grads have launched a new venture or report a positive impact on existing venture.
• 96% report their overall experience at the V-WISE conference to be positive.
• 95% gave high ratings for V-Wise content, instructors, guest speakers and staff.

Space is limited so apply for admission today online at: http://vets.syr.edu/vwise

For questions call (315) 443-4629 or email  vwise@syr.edu


SBA New Hampshire District Office
55 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-225-1402


leader

By Debbie Gregory.

It seems that you can’t watch an hour-long news program without the mention of at least one of many hardships Veterans are facing. Along with VA scandals, there are struggles with PTSD, unemployment, homelessness, and underemployment. These societal ills have scourged all generations of Veterans, and are taking an extreme toll on the Post-9/11 generation. But from pain and discomfort, the strong usually seek ways to improve their situation. It is for these reasons that Veterans are 45% more likely to seek self-employment through entrepreneurial ventures that their non-Veteran peers.

But Veterans aren’t just shucking off their uniforms and conforming to life in business suits. They are taking their military experience with them into entrepreneurship, and getting positive results. Many in the business world are now looking to Veteran business owners as examples of the ideal business owner. Here are a few examples of why:

  • Efficiency- It is commonly joked about that the most effective military leaders are the ones who are free to goof around on their computer all day. While we know that this isn’t true, the culture of military leadership is to prioritize tasks and delegate work as needed. Veteran business owners are more likely to heighten efficiency by delegating tasks, freeing them up for more critical tasks.
  • Leadership- Everyone in the military answers to somebody else, and at some point in their career, most enlisted personnel have others below them. Taking and giving orders is a skill, just like anything else, and Veterans have had some of the best training around. Those with military leadership experience have the conditioning to make important decisions and assign tasks in a manner that can instill confidence from their employees.
  • Team Building- Veterans know that the key to accomplishing any mission is to have all members of their team working together, as one unit. It doesn’t matter if that mission is securing a building, cleaning the workspace, or meeting a sales quota, the principles are all the same, and Veterans have been conditioned with the mentality to apply that principle to any task.
  • Selling Commitment- Most living things instinctivelydo whatever they can to preserve their lives. Service members rush towards danger. That’s not by accident, that’s by mental conditioning and by being sold on a commitment to your comrades, to your unit, and to your country. There are no better cheerleaders and brand sellers than military personnel and Veterans.
  • Gathering Intel- This is an attribute that is often overlooked. But because of the thought process involved with immersing one’s self into battle, Veterans have been conditioned to study the field, know the rules of engagement, and keep a constant tally on their assets. This type of thinking is second-nature to those who have served, and comes in handy when developing and carrying out a business plan.

Veteran business owners apply these same skills to their businesses. There are numerous other skills and attributes that Veterans picked up through their military experience that contribute to their success as business owners. With the right resources and the right mindset, Veterans know that they can accomplish anything.

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: Five Examples Why Veteran Are Successful Business Owners: By Debbie Gregory