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vetowned

By Paul Mara

According to the Office of Advocacy for the U.S. Small Business Administration in their publication, visit this Veteran-owned Businesses and their Owners, data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, nurse Military Veterans are a driving force in our national economy. The census estimated that in 2007:

  • There were 2.45 million businesses with majority ownership by veterans
  • These veteran-owned firms had sales/receipts of $1.220 trillion, 5.793 million employees, and an annual payroll of $210 billion

The vast majority of military veterans business are small businesses. In 2007, for veteran owned firms:

  • More than half (53.4 percent) had from one to four employees
  • Businesses with fewer than ten employees accounted for 80.4 percent of firms
  • Those with fewer than twenty employees accounted for 90.2 percent
  • Businesses with twenty or more employees accounted for 9.8 percent of all firms
  • Those with fifty or more employees accounted for only 3.6 percent

VAMBOA is committed to the success of these military veteran business owners, and does so by working with corporations to meet their military veteran supplier diversity goals, as well as their hiring initiatives for veterans. VAMBOA is also in the process of creating local infrastructures around the country to provide one-stop, turnkey resource/referral communities; the goal of which is the overall success of these veteran owned businesses.

VAMBOA is a California based 501 (c) 6 non-profit trade association, established in 2010, with a nationwide membership of over 6,000 Veteran & Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners.  Along with our sister site (www.MilitaryConnection.com), we have over 524,000 combined followers (and growing!) on Twitter and Facebook.   VAMBOA is quickly becoming the Go-To-Trade Association for Veteran and Military Business Owners, and those who want to support them.

For information about corporate sponsorship and local associate memberships, contact Mr. Paul F. Mara, Director of Development at [email protected] or 612-889-5887.

 

business ownerBy Debbie Gregory.

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. But for many Veterans, transitioning from service member to CEO may be a more natural path than they might have imagined.

Most experts agree that the two biggest components for Veterans preparing to start their own businesses are choosing the right kind of business for them, and securing capital. They also recommended that aspiring business owners take time to think about where their passion lies.

VetFran Manager George Eldridge encourages Veterans interested in business ownership to do their research and examine all possibilities.

“In the military you think, ‘I can’t fail,’ but sometimes you have to think about the risks you’re getting into and have a balanced expectation when getting into something like this,” he said.

Veterans who are considering franchise ownership may want to start by surfing VetFran’s website. With more than 100 different franchise industries to peruse, there is something for every interest. The most popular franchises are in the food industry, followed by hospitality, home-based businesses, child care and pet care.

Although VetFran does not offer funding, it connects Veterans with funding assistance by working closely with the SBA and lenders within its supplier group.

The SBA offers a checklist for Veterans interested in starting a business. It suggests starting with a business plan, which is like a roadmap to determine your starting point, where you are going, and how to arrive at success through proper planning, preparation and management. The checklist also covers things like licenses, tax ID numbers, taxes, finance, location, etc.

Financing opportunities are plentiful for Veterans. The SBA, through its 68 field offices around the U.S. and 1,000 resource partners, has Veterans Business Outreach Centers around the country offering information on how to gain access to capital.

For Veteran-specific programs, the SBA helps businesses obtain reduced loan fees for any loan under $350,000.

Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC) is an online tool that connects loan seekers and lenders. By answering just a few questions, applicants can reach out to lenders all over the country.

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: Ready to Start Your Own Business?: By Debbie Gregory

The Bunker Austin

In the fall of 2014, this  The Bunker, a business incubator conceived to house Veteran-owned technology companies, launched in Chicago. In December, 2014, the Bunker Austin branch opened, and will be headquartered out of the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Bunker Austin was championed by Veteran Entrepreneur Joseph Kopser. Kopser, a West Point graduate and a twenty year Army Veteran, co-founded the transportation app RideScout with fellow Army Veteran Craig Cummings in 2011. The two raised approximately $2.5 million in funding for their company, and employed 16 people before selling their app for an undisclosed amount. The duo of Veteran entrepreneurs credit the help they received through The Bunker Chicago, as a major contribution to their success.

The Bunker Austin is designed to be a one-stop hub for Veterans to access all of the resources available to them in and around Austin. Veteran-led startup companies will have access to mentorship and a network of veteran entrepreneurs, as well as assistance with finding venture capital. The first program runs from January 21st through July.

Kopser and Cummings also put up $70,000 of their own money for the Student Veteran Entrepreneurship Endowment they established in November. The endowment will be named the Pippin Award, after retired Command Sergeant Major James D. Pippin, whom Kopser served with.  The first Pippin Award will be presented to the most promising startup in the Texas Venture Labs, where The Bunker Austin is housed. The first Pippin Award is expected to be a $2,000 endowment, and is intended to augment funding available to provide for the education of Veteran entrepreneurs through the GI Bill.

The Bunker is looking to expand to six other cities this year, including: Los Angeles, Tacoma, Colorado Springs, Kansas City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. The Bunker is also seeking and accepting additional corporate sponsorships, as well as private funding, to pay for its programs.

If you would like more information about the Austin Technology incubator, please visit: http://ati.utexas.edu/

If you would like more information about resources available through The Bunker Austin or how to donate to or sponsor to the program, please visit www.thebunkeraustin.com/

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, aBlog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans.Join Now!

VAMBOA: The Bunker Austin and the Austin Technology Incubator: By Debbie Gregory

EBV

Today, illness many Veterans are struggling to transition into corporate jobs, tadalafil even as their own bosses. Many lack the specific business skills and confidence needed to succeed in this new environment. But why do these men and women, who thrived in uniform, consistently continue to struggle after separating from the military?

To answer to this question, Veterans should think back to the start of their military careers. Did they enter their branch of service automatically able to find success? Of course, the answer is no. Service members had to spend time learning the fundamentals of how to do their jobs, so that they would be capable of working and leading in their military occupation. And before that, they were sent on a crash-course, called Basic Training or Boot Camp.

Can anyone who served ever fathom beginning their military career without going to basic training first? That would be ludicrous. How would anyone expect to know about the basics of military life without going to boot camp first? In the same vein, Veterans can’t be expected to spontaneously know all they need to know in order to be successful in civilian careers and entrepreneurial ventures? But in reality, too many Veterans attempt to do so.

The good news is that there are programs, such as the one through the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) Foundation to assist them. The EBV program is designed to open the door to economic opportunity for Veterans and their families. This is done by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. EBV is basic training for Veterans looking to start their own companies, but who need to learn the fundamentals of business and business ownership first.

Veterans who graduate from EBV leave with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to start their post-military careers as businessowners. The program also offers graduates grant funding and a support system to better ensure success. EBV is free to all Veterans with a disability rating from the VA. To see all eligibility requirements and apply for an EBV program near you, please visit www.ebvfoundation.org

If you are interested in becoming an EBV mentor, donating to the program, or otherwise supporting EBV or Veteran businesses, please get involved here.

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: Why You Need Bootcamp: By Debbie Gregory

sharktankABC’s “Shark Tank” will air all-Veterans episode.

“Shark Tank” is a reality television show that captures the dramatic experience of entrepreneurs making a sales pitch to would-be investors. For this show, buy more about the would-be financiers are “sharks, buy ” and they can be as ruthless as their namesakes.

Entrepreneurs  make their pitch to a panel of sharks, page with the hope that one or more of them will make an investment in their business or product. The sharks can participate by giving capital in exchange for equity or royalties, or opt out. Most contestants are at the mercy of the sharks, but a select few have been creative or savvy enough turn the sharks against each other, sparking a feeding frenzy. Dozens of entrepreneurs have survived the tank to earn huge investments and financial backing.

The current list of sharks include: Barbara Corcoran, a real estate mogul from New York; Kevin O’Leary, a financial investor who made it big after selling his software company; Daymond John, founder of the FUBU clothing brand; Lori Greiner, the “Queen of QVC;” Robert Herjavec, who founded two successful internet security companies; and Mark Cuban, arguably the most recognizable shark as owner of the  Dallas Mavericks.

Since 2009, hundreds of entrepreneurs have braved the waters of ABC’s “Shark Tank” for a chance to convince the sharks to invest in their business or product. Just in time for Veterans Day 2014, the reality show will be airing an all-Veterans episode.

The special episode will air on Friday, November 7. This episode will feature a Navy SEAL from Tucson, AZ, an Army Captain from Louisville, KY, a Marine from Columbus, OH, and an Army Veteran from Front Royal, VA.

This episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank” is a great opportunity for transitioning service members and Veterans to see that entrepreneurship is a real path for them after service. The all-Veterans episode also gives the show’s viewers further insight to the struggles that Veterans have transitioning when their service to their country is through.

Be sure to check your local listings for ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

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: “Shark Tank” Airs All Veterans Episode: By Debbie Gregory

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