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On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, from 10 am – 12 pm attend the Veterans Small Business Forum hosted by US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Small Business Programs, Washington, DC

The agenda includes: Doing Business through USAID, New Veterans Small Business Coalition, VA Veterans National Small Business Conference – Pittsburgh, Doing Business with WMATA, and Kingdomware at the Supreme Court.

Network with new and experienced business owners. You MUST Pre-Register at http://conta.cc/1j0Zsbp to attend. If you can’t make it in person, you can participate by phone: (641) 715-3605, Code 877589# (Call lines will open up at 9:55 am)

Boots to Business: VAMBOA

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boots_to_businessBoots to Business is an introduction to starting a business for veterans and transitioning military. The entrepreneurial education and training program is offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

Speaking at a recent “Boots to Business” boot camp, James Williams, the lead economic development specialist for the Richmond, Virginia District Office of the SBA, told the story about a group of his peers who sold sandwiches to pay for college tuition.

“We laughed at them,” he said. “Fast forward to today — they’re called Subway.”

“Boots to Business” is part of a push to better prepare troops for life after the military and improve TAP, the target of many a veteran’s distain for what has previously been considered to be a superficial approach to transition. Formerly aimed only at troops close to separation, the program was recently opened to all veterans and troops, regardless of how much time they have left in the service.

Williams said that “Boots to Business” serves as a reality check about the very difficult road ahead for anyone starting a business. He added that the structure and discipline troops learn while in the armed forces serves them well in business, but that there’s often an adjustment to leaving the military bubble, with its free health care, readily available services and housing stipends.

“One of the big hurdles is becoming acclimated to civilian life again,” he said. “They have been in a protected kind of life, separated from the general population — some of them have separation anxiety.”

“What we’re really looking to do is give them a vehicle by which they can think about, ‘What is the feasibility of my dream?’ ” he added. “In the end, if you decide, ‘This isn’t for me,’ that’s still a success.”

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!

Boots to Business: VAMBOA: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA: Loan Advantage for Veterans Passes

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actBy Debbie Gregory.

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 was passed by the Senate on July 23, 2015. The amendment is added to the Small Business Act. It prohibits the Small Business Administration (SBA) from collecting a guarantee fee in connection with a loan made under the SBA Express Program to a veteran or the spouse of a veteran on or after October 1, 2015. There is a provision to exempt the act during any upcoming fiscal year for which the President’s budget, submitted to Congress, includes a cost for the program that is above zero.

The amendment also requires the SBA to assess for Congress the level of outreach to and consultation with female veterans regarding access to capital by women’s business centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

Additionally, starting October 1, 2015, the act prohibits the SBA from guaranteeing a loan if:

the lender determines that the borrower is unable to obtain credit elsewhere solely because the lender’s liquidity depends upon the guaranteed portion of the loan being sold on the secondary market, or

the sole purpose for requesting the guarantee is to allow the lender to exceed its legal lending limit.

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: Loan Advantage for Veterans Passes: By Debbie Gregory

smbusiness

By Debbie Gregory.

According to the Small Business Administration, veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. Veteran owned businesses are responsible for employing 5.8 million people and generating more than $1 trillion in revenue. That a trillion, with a “t.”

Over the next five years, is it estimated that more than 1 million men and women on active duty will return to civilian life. If the current trend holds, many of them will start their own businesses.

The business community and some government agencies are rallying to set these newest entrepreneurs up for success. Some examples of this are:

The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is a bridge between serving in the U.S. military and creating technologies that improve lives.

“We already know that Veterans possess many of the hard work, strategic, problem solving skills to be successful,” said Chris Cortez, Vice President of Microsoft Military Affairs. “Whether they choose to start their own business or work for a large company, we want to support their desire to add new technology skills that they can turn into a long-lasting civilian career.”

The MSSA program is a full-time, 16 week, Information Technology (IT) job skills training program, for active duty US military service members who have received their separation date. Qualified participants are assigned to the MSSA program as their new place of duty and with successful completion, will be given the opportunity to interview at Microsoft for a full time position at Microsoft or one of our participating partners.

According to Cindy Bates, Vice President Microsoft U.S. Small Midsized Businesses, “It’s part of our corporate responsibility to assist in job creation by providing access to training, counseling and mentoring to help veterans embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and grow a small business.”

The SBA’s Boots to Business- ReBoot program is tailored for veterans who have already transitioned to civilian life, but have decided to pursue entrepreneurship.”

Another alternative is a business incubator, such as the Bunker. This program has been built by veteran entrepreneurs for veteran entrepreneurs. The Bunker targets existing veteran owned tech startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to come, create, and conquer the business world through their ideas, hard work, and strategy.

Perhaps one of these strategies will help you start up your business, or take your existing business to the next level.

startupent

By Debbie Gregory.

There are three definitive words that come into play when understanding why service members and veterans make great entrepreneurs: desire, more about drive and determination. Of course, investing in veterans and active duty military personnel is a great way to give back to those who have served. But military experience helps prepare would-be-entrepreneurs for business battles as well.

Some of the top “takeaways” from military service include:

Team building: In business, a team is only as strong as its weakest player.

Mission-planning: In business, planning is critical, and so is having contingencies for every possible scenario.

Leadership: From dealing with adversity to problem solving and motivating those around you, leaders are key in the success of both military operations and businesses. ”

Risk Management: Managing risk in the entrepreneurial sense seldom includes life and limb, but running a business carries with it a fair amount of financial and other risks. Far too many entrepreneurs are risk averse, so they are never able to capitalize on the rewards of taking a calculated risk. The military does a pretty good job of teaching its leaders how to evaluate risk and capitalize on opportunities.

Grace Under Pressure: Leading a small business that is often underfunded and understaffed requires business leaders to deal with the stress and pressure of wearing multiple hats.

Working With Limited Resources: Small business owners must deal with this challenge on a regular basis. The ability to prioritize initiatives and tackle those that offer the greatest possibility of success is an invaluable talent that can’t be ignored when money and resources are stretched thin. Almost anyone could successfully run a business if they has unlimited resources.

So, whether you are a former veteran considering entrepreneurship or an investor thinking of investing in a new veteran-owned business, know that those who have served their country have many of the qualities needed for business success.

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