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By Debbie Gregory.

Army Green Beret turned coffee brew master Evan Hafer started Black Rifle Coffee Company to provide a high-quality, roast-to-order, coffee to the pro-2A and veteran communities. Between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he was working on refining both his coffee roasting and his firearms skills.

Hafer’s love affair with coffee started 20 years ago. His deployment to Iraq began his roasting career when he catered to the caffeine needs of his fellow servicemembers.  From that passion grew a company that supported Hafer’s missions: to roast great coffee, have a business that allowed him to hire veterans, and the resources to support the causes that he championed.

One of Hafer’s first hires was a soldier who served alongside him in Afghanistan. With 86 employees, 60 percent are veterans. That was a big part of Hafer’s vision.

“It’s not PR – it’s who we are,” Hafer said.

As with many veteran entrepreneurs, Hafer’s time in the Army served him well.

“In the military, you have to push yourself past mental and physical limits, every day to the point where you’re almost desensitized to the work,” he explained. “Now I feel like I have an endless capacity to just always work. The military gave me the context to reach into basically a bottomless well of endurance.”

Black Rifle Coffee Company roasts over a million pounds of coffee per year and grosses over $30 million annually. The company seems to have approached the box, but prefers to stay outside. The company offers a coffee club that allows consumers to get their coffee delivered to their doors. It also offers the chance to win tactical swag and discounts by teaming up with rifle and tactical gear companies such as LaRue, LWRC, Hodge Defense, Vortex Optics, Tactical Tailor, Freedom Group, Readyman and Article 15 clothing. If exclusive Black Rifle Coffee Company swag is what you crave with your coffee, the company has discount codes for that too.

By Debbie Gregory.

The entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset. It’s an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.

Many millennials get their idea of entrepreneurship from watching Shark Tank, giving little thought to the fact that most of the goods and services they enjoy probably sprang from the imagination of an entrepreneur.

Fred Smith is the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx. In 1962, Smith entered Yale University. While attending Yale, he wrote a paper for an economics class, outlining overnight delivery service in a computer information age. It is said that his professor told him that, in order for him to get a C, the idea had to be feasible.

Following his graduation, Smith served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, one as an infantry officer and one as a forward air controller. There he witnessed the military’s logistics operations, using flight to move personnel and equipment on a massive scale.

After leaving the military with a few distinguishing medals, including a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, Smith bought an aviation company that would grow to be FedEx. He named the company Federal Express because he believed the patriotic meaning associated with the word “federal” suggested an interest in nationwide economic activity.

Federal Express officially began operations on April 17, 1973. That night, 14 small aircraft took off from Memphis and delivered 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities.

Today, FedEx is consistently recognized as one of the most admired brands in the world and one of the best places to work. But like many innovative companies, it started out as an idea championed by a determined person.

servitek

Each year, during National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) District Offices recognize various small businesses for their contributions in their community.

The SBA Los Angeles District Office awarded Geoffrey Reyes of Servitek Solutions the 2017 Veteran Business Champion of the Year Award. The award is given to an individual who has fulfilled a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Servitek Solutions, Inc. is an electrical construction company based in City of Industry, California. Under the skilled leadership of Reyes, Servitek grew from a part-time engineering consulting service operating out of a spare bedroom to a full-service, multidisciplinary electrical contracting company. Servitek builds electrical, data, security, and transportation infrastructure for public works.

Reyes separated from the Navy in 2000.  He obtained his Master’s degree in Engineering Management and worked in the private sector defense industry for five years. His entrepreneurial character, natural negotiating skills and passionate attitude fueled his desire to start his own business. In 2008, Servitek Solutions, Inc. was born.

Reyes is also an avid speaker at various contract readiness workshops, and is featured in the Department of General Services Disabled Veteran Enterprise (DVBE) program.  He also is one of CalVet’s DVBE Advisory Council members.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association congratulates Geoffrey Reyes and Servitek.

Here is a collection of places you can buy bitcoin online right now.

vip

VIP START, a new addition to VIP programming, accelerates the success of Veteran owned small businesses into the Federal marketplace.  VIP GROW, the flagship program of VIP, accelerates the growth of Veteran owned small businesses in the federal marketplace.  VIP START – October 18 – 20, 2016.  VIP GROW – December 6-8, 2016, and something new, VIP INTL. – March 14 – 16, 2017.  Visit them on the web  to learn more and to register for these amazing programs.

EBV10 part2

By Tina M Kapral | Senior Director of  Education and Training
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University

In July of 2007,  Dr. J. Michael Haynie held the first Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) class of seventeen students. These individuals were from across the U.S., from different service branches and ages, but all had the dream of owning their own businesses. The business ideas ranged from construction firms to non-profit organizations helping other veterans. The EBV residency phase was and still is intense — long days of classes, taught from a very practical standpoint, and late nights working on venture pitches to present at the end of the week. This was a purposeful approach.  Servicemembers know what to expect in “bootcamp” and that is exactly what they received, classes delivered on opportunity recognition, marketing, operations, supply chain, government contracts, legal and human resource management to name a few.  It was a great success; all seventeen students graduated at the end of week with pride and a new “mission” in life.

As it is often said, good news travels fast. As other schools heard of EBV and its success, many more schools wanted to have their own EBV programs.  This led Dr. Haynie to create the EBV consortium. First to join, Florida State University, then UCLA, Purdue, UCONN, Texas A&M, to today, where the EBV’s 10-university consortium also includes Cornell, LSU, Saint Joseph’s University, and University of Missouri, with the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University continuing to serve as the national hub. EBV has since helped Dr. Haynie launch other veteran and military family entrepreneurship training programs to include EBV-F, VWISE, Boots to Business, and Boots to Business Reboot

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Dr. Haynie never envisioned EBV to grow to ten schools, nor did he anticipate the launch of the IVMF in 2011. Yet, through these programs and services dedicated to advancing the post-service lives of America’s servicemembers, veterans and their families, the Institute and current Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud are bringing Syracuse University’s commitment to veterans and their families full circle.

In 1940, “The University promised programs that would address individual needs of veterans, whether they wished to complete job training, their high school diploma, or an advanced degree.”  Post-World War II, Chancellor William Pearson Tolley recognized the role that higher education can play in advancing our nation’s returning veterans. He announced Syracuse University’s “uniform admissions program,” which ensured all military personnel admission to Syracuse upon return from war.” http://vets.syr.edu/about/role-impact.

History repeats itself, but this time in a positive, impactful way for our aspiring vetrepreneurs.

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