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VAMBOA: SBA Learning Center: By Debbie Gregory

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SBA Learning CenterOne of the greatest advantages to running your own small business is that you are your own boss. The down-side to this is that there usually isn’t anyone else within the company that has more experience or knowledge to rely on; it’s just you. As the owner of a small business, you need to be on top of the latest business trends, technologies and laws. Luckily, to that end, entrepreneurs can utilize the SBA Learning Center.

The SBA Learning Center, powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offers small business owners a wealth of resources. The site provides online training courses, videos, and live chat sessions with SBA representatives. Some of these resources help business owners learn about the government programs available to them, including grants, loans and exemptions.

There are also “Featured Training” courses that every entrepreneur should take. Whether you’re just getting your feet wet, trying to tread water, or sailing full-steam ahead, your business questions can be answered by utilizing the learning center’s educational resources. The site also contains tools that go beyond just education.

There is a link that connects small business owners directly to assistance in their area. By clicking on the “Find Resources” tab, under “Get Local Assistance,” entrepreneurs can be locate mentors, counselors, and training from SBA district offices, SCORE chapters, Small Biz Development Centers, and Women’s Biz Centers by zip code.

The SBA Learning Center also showcases the “Featured Tool” that shows entrepreneurs how their small business matches up against similar companies in their communities, in their state, and in the nation.

By clicking “Start Analysis” you are prompted to input your industry and location. From there, business owners can compare their business to industry competitors, find the best places in your town to target an advertising campaign, and map out competitors, customers and suppliers.

There is a multitude of resources available to small business owners through the SBA at www.sba.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: SBA Learning Center: By Debbie Gregory

Boots to BusinessBoots to Business program is set to benefit from $1.12 million in grants.

On September 19, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with America’s Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC). This co-op has agreed to provide a total of $1.12 million worth of funding needed to facilitate resource partner participation in SBA’s Boots to Business program.

The SBA’s Boots to Business program provides training to transitioning service members and military spouses who are interested in business ownership. The program functions as part of the Defense Department’s TAP program. The original Boots to Business began as a pilot program in 2012, and was expanded in 2013.

Each year, more than 250,000 service members separate from the military ranks. With their experience and leadership skills, Veterans have proven to be natural entrepreneurs. Veterans are more likely to be self-employed than those with no active-duty military experience. There are approximately 2.45 million Veteran owned small businesses in the U.S., making up approximately 9% of all American small businesses. Veteran owned small businesses employ more than five million Americans, generating more than one trillion dollars of sales receipts each year.

“Veterans make some of our country’s best entrepreneurs, and we are investing in them by ensuring our partners are funded to maximize the training and support they provide to service members embarking on their post-service careers,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We owe so much to those who have served in our Armed Forces and sacrificed so much.  Our veterans deserve opportunities, and the SBA and our network of small business experts are ready to help them start their next chapter.”

Since January, 2013, more than 16,000 transitioning service members have participated in the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class that was offered on 165 military installations around the globe. This year, the Boots to Business program was appropriated $7 million in the federal budget.

To learn more about the Boots to Business Program and additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

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: Boots to Business Gets $1.12M: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA DOTThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) views military Veterans as a valuable resource, one that needs to be cultivated and utilized. Proving that the department isn’t just offering lip service, the DOT’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has been teaming with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and other partners to administer the Boots to Business: Reboot program to Veterans and Veteran entrepreneurs.

Through the summer of 2014, Boots to Business: Reboot has presented instructional events with discussions on topics such as developing a business plan, molding business concepts, and overall business fundamentals. Veterans were also connected to a network of resources through the OSDBU and its Small Business Transportation Resource Centers.

The OSDBU’s centers work closely with the transportation contracting community to assist transportation-related businesses in their respective regions. The resource centers also serve to provide business counseling to Veteran-owned businesses.

Veteran entrepreneurs participating in the Boots To Business: Reboot were also connected with resources conducive to locating access start-up capital and additional technical assistance. These resources include: Veteran Business Outreach Center, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and SCORE Counselors.

The DOT sees Veterans as natural entrepreneurs who can make a real impact on the transportation industry. Veterans are disciplined and mission-oriented. Veterans are also decisive and are used to being held accountable.

Unemployment among Post-9/11 Veterans has been consistently higher than the national average. With an increasing number of locally and federally sponsored business ownership programs available to current and former Military personnel, it only makes sense for Veterans to pursue entrepreneurship.

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: Training for Veteran Entrepreneurs: By Debbie Gregory

50 Years of SCORE: By Debbie Gregory

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SCOREOn August 14, 2014 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of SCORE.

SCORE, a coalition of experienced and successful businessmen, was officially launched in 1964 as the Service Corps of Retired Executives by then SBA administrator Eugene Foley. From the start, the group was dedicated to the education of entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE mentors have achieved this goal by providing resources and expertise to maximize the success of existing and emerging small businesses.

Today, SCORE consists of more than 11,000 mentors, serving every state in the country. These men and women share invaluable small business wisdom with today’s small business owners. They help with writing business plans, preparing for obtaining business loans and help small business owners manage their revenue, handle their cash flow and market themselves to build their customer base and hopefully go from small businesses to big businesses.

In its half century existence, the coalition became a non-profit organization and dropped the acronym, but SCORE volunteers are still carrying out the original mission of passing their knowledge on to future generations of American entrepreneurs and innovators. Over the five decades, the volunteers have given back because they’ve accumulated a lifetime’s worth of expertise and have chosen to share what they’ve learned with the people of their communities. Their dedication has helped an estimated 10.5 million entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.

See how the mentors at SCORE can help you and your small business at www.score.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: 50 Years of SCORE: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA goals metThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on Friday, August 1, this 2014 that the U.S. government achieved its small business federal contracting goal. The federal government awarded more than 23% of its federal contracts to small businesses, totaling more than $83 billion. This was the first time in eight years that the federal government has reached its contracting goal.

The announcement was made at a press conference that was held at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. She was joined by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Ben Cardin.

“When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win.  Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. while the economy grows,” Contreras-Sweet said.  “Thanks to the president’s leadership and a team effort among all federal agencies, we were able to meet this goal.”

While contract expenditures have gone down in all categories as a result of overall reduced federal spending, small businesses managed to secure a greater percentage of the contracts. This is due inpart to the SBA working with other federal agencies to help small businesses win federal contracts.

The SBA also facilitated the requirement for larger companies with substantial federal contracts to sub-contract with Veteran-owned small businesses.

Along with the announcement, the SBA released the FY 2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecard. These annual scorecard provides an assessment of each federal agency’s yearly small business contracting achievement against its goal, with 20 agencies receiving an A or A+.  Overall, the federal government received an “A” on the government-wide Scorecard.

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: Government Achieves Small Business Contracting Goal

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