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The Importance of Social Capital

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social capital


By Debbie Gregory.

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Social capital refers to the connections and shared values between people that enable more cooperation and growth than one person can do alone. When you have taken the time to develop a wealth of social capital you will easily obtain any other resource that you need.


1.)  It Should be Natural Networking

Networking can be unpleasant for most people, but it is truly important to be successful. The best is to start small and be patient. Let the relationship grow naturally by being honest and authentic and show the people that you value them. Start with your own friends, family, and coworkers. Find others in your field that you look up to and connect with them. Just remember to be authentic – don’t put on a fake persona, eventually they will see through it and be less than pleased.


2.) It Establishes You As A Leader

Offering advice or resources to other people without expecting something in return builds trust and establishes your reputation as an upstanding person in your field. If the assistance is helpful, you place yourself as an honorable and knowledgeable person in your field.


3.) It Creates Strong Teams

Social capital is not limited to those who you know personally, who work with you, or those in your company. You can, and should, extend your network as far as you can. Nurturing a wide ranging network will provide you more resources to look to for solving a greater variety of issues.


4.) It Makes People Want to Help You

Once you have provided helpful support and advice to others in your network, they will want to give it back when you need the assistance. Most people genuinely like helping others – especially if they have been helped at some point by that person. Never be afraid to ask for assistance when needed from the network you are carefully creating. It you don’t ask, you don’t get.


Other tips to build social capital:

  • Be honest and do not shy away from hard truths. People value honesty.
  • Help connect others together.
  • Contribute to debates.
  • Actively contribute in your chosen field.
  • Support other people when they need it.
  • Help others in your network with their work.


As the saying goes – every entrepreneur needs three kinds of capital: financial, human, and social. The financial is easy – the other two take a lot of work. Take the time to build your social capital and both you and your Veteran or Military owned business will reap the rewards.

VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, a 501(c) 6 non-profit trade association, is committed to the development, growth and prosperity of Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are not only the backbone of our economy, they are also responsible for job generation.

VAMBOA recognizes that these business owners are highly qualified to build successful businesses as a result of their leadership abilities, and a work ethic second to none

Also championing their success is the Small Business Administration (SBA). Created in 1953, the SBA has numerous programs and resources to help veterans start or expand a small business, including loans, mentoring and training. Especially useful to active-duty members preparing to transition to civilian life is the SBA’s entrepreneurship training program, Boots to Business.

The curriculum of the three year old program leads participants through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and provides the foundational knowledge to develop a business plan.

“The ‘can do’ approach that served them well during their military careers can also be applied to their new businesses,” said VAMBOA founder Debbie Gregory. “When they were in the military, these entrepreneurs were part of a team. Surrounding themselves with people who can give them a hand up as they start or grow their business will help contribute to their overall success.”

Many Veteran entrepreneurs have found success by taking practices, standards and ideologies from their military service and applying them to their civilian companies.

We salute these business owners during their designated week, and all year round.

VAMBOA, a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization, has been providing its members with knowledge of government provisions that help service-disabled veteran business owners, Veteran business owners and military business owners since 2010. VAMBOA’s mission is to help drive the success of these veteran business owners. VAMBOA also connects it members to contacts within large corporations and government agencies who can mentor members, and in some cases, can even directly provide members with government contracts and vending contracts within large corporations. Membership in VAMBOA is complimentary.