AMGEN
BMS-center-logo
 

By Debbie Gregory.

WWII Army Veteran Bob Evans, whose small truck stop restaurant in Ohio grew into a national chain and a line of pork sausage products that bear his name, created a corporate culture that recognizes and appreciates military service. To that end, one of the largest veteran-only business grants in the country is provided by the Bob Evans Farms “Heroes to CEOs” business grant.

As a way of giving back to the men and women who keep America safe, the grant program was born out of a need to provide funding and assistance to veteran entrepreneurs.

“Our company has a passion for helping those who serve,” said Mike Townsley, CEO and President of Bob Evans Farms. “Serving in the military and beginning a new-business venture can feel worlds apart for many vets.”

Judging criteria for the grant includes categories such as “Success,” “Reason” and “Opportunity.”

Those who have served make excellent entrepreneurs because of the skills and traits garnered through their military service. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, more than 2.5 million small businesses in the U.S. are veteran owned.

Last year, the grant recipients were:

Army veteran Carson Goodale,  co-founder of Fanfood, an app that gives you the power to order concessions directly to your seat at sporting events.

Air Force veteran Charlynda Scales, who founded Mutt’s Sauce, an all-purpose, tomato-based specialty sauce. The condiment recipe was passed down by and is named for her grandfather, Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell.

Army veteran Jerry Martin, who founded Vet Veggies, which provides fresh, pesticide and chemical free vegetables grown locally by military veterans in a sustainable environment.

The deadline for the 2018 program is June 27th, and three $25,000 business grants will be awarded to veterans or active-duty members who either have their own business or an entrepreneurial business idea. Last year’s awardees will also serve as judges for this year’s grant competition.

In addition to the grant money, the three recipients will also receive a three-day trip for two to New York City, as well as a half-day mentoring session with Daymond John, Co-Star of ABC’s Shark Tank.

Learn more about this year’s “Heroes to CEOs” contest or submit an application at https://www.ourfarmsalutes.com.

By Debbie Gregory.

Making and sticking to a realistic budget is an effective way to help keep your business profitable. Budgets involve making revenue forecasts and estimating your costs, which will determine whether you make a profit or loss.

In this day and age, where there seems to be an app for most things, here are some apps to help you navigate your business finances:

Albert is your financial genius – a smart and powerful financial assistant. Albert connects to all of your accounts and helps you put your financial plan on auto-pilot. The app provides a team of human financial geniuses to guide you through your financial journey and answer your most complex questions.

Clarity displays your financial picture, helps you cancel wasteful accounts, and delivers insights to you. The built-in service scans your accounts for subscription fees and verifies your usage of the service or product. It also has tools to remind you to pay bills, budget, and save.

Fudget is a simple and fast alternative to feature-rich, complex budget planner / personal finance apps. There are no categories to manage, no charts to interpret and no learning curve.

If you share expenses with another person, Honeyfi allows you to choose what to share with your partner and see all of your balances and transactions in one place. You save time when you simplify your finances.

Mint keeps all of your bills and money together in one place, making it easier than ever to track.The more accounts, cards and bills you link, the more the app will help you stay on budget. See what you have and what you owe. Understand where money goes and where you can cut back. Create budgets, track investments, discover new ways to save and more.

Wally lets you take control of your money. Balance your income and expenses. Understand where your money goes. Set and achieve your financial goals. Seamlessly and intuitively. The app gives you a 360 view on your money; what comes in, what goes out, what you have saved, what you have budgeted.

You Need a Budget helps you to be mindful of how you are spending your money, asking you to think about what you want your money to do before you spend it.


According to the most recent census data, there are 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. Veteran entrepreneurs contribute to the economy through their businesses and their willingness to hire veterans.
There are a number of funding resources available to veterans in order to get their business off the ground, or expand an existing business.
• The Office of Veterans Business Development, through the Small Business Administration (SBA) supports new and existing veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses. The program offers a variety of training and financial services. The SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans program offers loans of $150,000 or less with no guaranty fee. Larger loans carry a low guarantee fee. SBA Express Loans have no upfront borrower fee for eligible veterans and military spouses on loans up to $35,000. Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital matches businesses with SBA-approved non-profit lenders. The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s most common loan program, and includes financial help for businesses with special requirements.
• The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great starting point when looking for financing, and has created the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP), which can help you quickly identify financing resources for your business.
• The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan provide funds to eligible small businesses to meet necessary operating expenses that it could have met, but is unable to meet, because an owner/essential employee was “called-up” to active duty.
• The USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant, run by the Department of Agriculture, aims to bring traditionally underserved people into farming through training and technical and financial assistance.
• The VetFran(R) program is designed to help veterans start their own business. While these aren’t traditional business loans for veterans, the program offers financial incentive for veterans to launch a franchise.
In addition to lending resources, don’t discount the value of networking resources. Who better to share advice than those who have walked the path before you?
• American Corporate Partners links veteran entrepreneurs with successful businesspeople for training and mentorship.
• National Veteran-Owned Business Association presents you with a great networking opportunity and the chance to learn much more about running a business.
• SCORE Foundation Veteran Fast Launch Initiative offers advertising, marketing and business mentoring, all at no cost.

• Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families provides entrepreneurial training. Their Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans program is free for post-9/11 veterans.
• Veterans Business Resource Center provides business consulting and mentoring.
• Veterans Business Services can assist in obtaining capital for your business.

portal

By Debbie Gregory.

Many U.S. military veterans leave their service branch with skills and attributes necessary to succeed as veteran business owners.

Often times, the main roadblock for these entrepreneurs is financing their new mission: to become a veteran business owner or a service disabled veteran business owner.

If you’re looking to start or expand your business, there are a number of financing options available.

Start with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran Entrepreneur Portal.  The website features all things related to veteran entrepreneurship, including a customized wizard that will identify financing resources to support the start-up, development, or growth of veteran owned small businesses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration created the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan to offer very low-interest loans to help reservists rebuild their businesses after serving their country. Reservists who are also business owners have to balance those two responsibilities in addition to their families. This loan is limited to businesses that the SBA determines would be unable to recover without government assistance.

Another SBA program designed to serve a particular subsection military veterans is the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program. Veterans with a service-connected disability who are principal owners of a small business may be connected with sole-source government contracts of up to $5 million.

StreetShares offers a loan platform where investors compete in an online auction format to fund different portions of an applicant’s business loans. The investor that offers the lowest interest rate “wins” the agreement.   StreetShares’ non-profit foundation has partnered with JP Morgan Chase to commit $10,000 per month in awards to eligible reserve or active-duty service members and military veteran small business owners. Three winners are chosen monthly to split a $10,000 prize based on the merits of their business plan and the potential impact of the business on the military and veterans communities.

Non-profit Accion Veteran-Owned Business Loans provides loans up to $1 million, depending on the business’ need. Accion is often able to fund loans for veteran business owners who may not be eligible for commercial loans.

vamboa article

By Debbie Gregory.

Many veterans exhibit advanced team building skills, high levels of resiliency and strong organizational commitment, traits that contribute to making them successful entrepreneurs. There are numerous resources that assist veteran business owners thrive, including the following:

VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, is a non-profit trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners by providing networking, collaboration, mentoring, education, certification and advocacy. Membership is free.

American Corporate Partners is engaged in national corporate career counseling for returning military. The non-profit connects veterans to business leaders for mentorship and career advice.

BusinessUSA provides users with an interactive questionnaire that guides them to the most relevant federal, state, and local services, tools, trainings, and opportunities, assisting in starting or expanding a veteran owned small business.

DVBE, the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, empowers, provides resources to, and works side-by-side with disabled veterans to promote and support them in establishing, maintaining and growing viable business enterprises.

EBV Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities offers training in entrepreneurship and business management to post-9/11 veterans with service related disabilities.

Federal Business Opportunities is a portal for all businesses, not just vet owned, looking for active federal contracting opportunities.

Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. provides resources such as grants, scholarships and a fellowship program to veteran entrepreneurs, designed to build leadership qualities.

Institute for Veteran and Military Families provides a wide variety of resources geared towards military veterans re-entering the workforce or looking to start their own businesses.

National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)  is the nation’s leading third party authority for certification of veteran owned businesses of all sizes.

National Veteran Small Business Coalition supports veteran owned small businesses by promoting policies that encourage participation of veteran owned businesses in federal contracting opportunities.

Patriot Boot Camp  focuses on helping active duty military, veterans and their spouses build technology companies. The three day event provides participants with free education, training and mentorship.

Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a multitude of assistance to veterans in their local communities, including Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Boots to Business,

SDVOSBC , the National Center for Veterans Institute for Procurement, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), and Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC) .

Streetshares brings together business owners in search of funding and investors looking for both financial and social returns.

21 Gun Salute Initiative supports service-disabled veteran owned businesses with the goal of reserving 3% of contracts for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses.

VetBiz is a VA website that provides information about the Center for Verification and Evaluation’s verification process for veteran owned businesses looking to gain eligibility for the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program.

VetBizCentral is a veteran run site that assists veteran and active duty military entrepreneurs through training and counseling, networking opportunities, mentoring and advocacy.

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal provides access to a number of business tools and services, from business education to financing opportunities.

Veteran Fast Launch Initiative provides mentoring and training, along with free software and other services, to military veteran entrepreneurs.

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship  provides resources, courses and mentorship to female veterans who have started businesses or are looking to do so.

Vetrepreneur Mentoring provides mentoring services to help veteran entrepreneurs with everything from contractor registration to website creation.

Victory Spark is an accelerator program focused on startups led by U.S. military veterans. The program includes a 12-week mentor-driven Lean LaunchPad Program, along with grant funding for entrepreneurs who complete the program.

 

 

ibmpos_blurgb