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VAMBOA: BlackHat

Black Hat, the world’s largest and most relevant information security conference is offering two free passes to transitioning Veterans who are within 12 months of EAS, or Veterans who are within 12 months of separation, AND who have great interest in information security as a career. The conference will take place August 1-6 in Las Vegas.

If you’ve never attended Black Hat, it is an unreal gathering of hackers, cyber security experts, and everyone between. If you’d like to be considered for the passes, please email Matt Devost at matt@devost.net.  Matt is heading the selection process and mentoring the selectees at the conference. It is an opportunity not to be missed for those interested in information security.

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 CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

vamboa small bizBy Debbie Gregory.

While California has many qualities to brag about, great weather, a beautiful coastline, and more tourist attractions that any two-week vacation could do justice to, the state does have one very big black mark.

California was rated the worst state in the country for small business owners. According to a survey conducted by Thumbtack, last year the Golden State resulted in an “F” rating based on categories such as ease of hiring, regulations, and training and networking programs. California earned a grade of F for its labor, health and safety, and environmental regulations, and a D for its tax code, licensing, and zoning laws.

Among the states rated at the top was Virginia, the high ranking based on the friendliness of its health and safety, labor, and licensing regulations. Also highly rated were Texas and Utah.

Keeping California company at the bottom were Rhode Island, Illinois, and to a lesser extent, Connecticut and New Jersey.

If you’re curious as to how your state ranked in the Thumbtack survey, you can view the results here: http://www.sbecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BTI2015SBECouncil.pdf .

As far as the best places for employees to work for small business, WalletHub looked at 100 of the country’s largest metro areas, considering the number of business with less than 250 employees per every 1,000 residents, small business job growth, diversity of industries, percentage of small businesses offering health insurance to employees and employee earnings adjusted for cost of living.

North Carolina accounts for two of the top 10 locations, with Charlotte taking the number one spot, and Raleigh taking second place. At the other end of the spectrum, the Youngstown, Ohio area takes the title for the worst metro area in which to work for a small business, followed by Stockton, California. The Stockton metro area holds among the lowest rates of small business job growth, lowest numbers of small businesses per 10,000 residents, and lowest earnings for small business employees when adjusted for cost of living.

California holds three places on the “bottom ten, “with Fresno and Bakersfield also joining the ranks. Like Stockton, Bakersfield suffers from low small business job growth, and few small businesses per 1,000 residents.

Sorry, California. But you’re a great place to visit!

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: The Best and Worst States for Small Businesses: By Debbie Gregory

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

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