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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

VAMBOA and brazzlebox for VAMBOAThe Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is partnering with Brazzlebox to provide more services to Veteran owned businesses. This co-op is great news for Veteran entrepreneurs!

At VAMBOA, we are proud to provide resources and information for our members. To that end, we have joined forces with Brazzlebox, a social media website that is set to officially launch on September 18, 2014. The website is a networking resource, designed to connect and promote small and home-based businesses. Brazzlebox will allow small owners to create profiles and setup their own custom outreach, based not only on their geographic location, but also their industry.

Brazzlebox’s Founder and CEO Glen Zinszer came up with the idea for the resource through his own experience as a small business owner. Zinszer has owned and operated a retail store and an insurance firm. Brazzlebox is intended to bring small business owners together in order to share ideas and experiences.

As a team, Brazzlebox and VAMBOA will provide Veteran and service-disabled Veteran small business owners with useful information for starting, maintaining and expanding their companies. The co-op will also allow VAMBOA members to use Brazzlebox to create a network of Veteran small business owners so that they can share knowledge, experience regarding their common needs, concerns and goals.

VAMBOA membership is free to all military and Veteran business owners.

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: VAMBOA to Team with Brazzlebox: By Debbie Gregory

DVBEThe California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is announcing its first annual Veterans Business Forum. The forum will be held as part of the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Conference & Expo, hosted by the California Department of General Services (DGS).

The State of California established the Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program to increase business opportunities for the DVBE community. In order to be considered a disabled Veteran for DVBE purposes, the person must have served in the U.S. military, be 10% or more service-disabled, and reside in California.

Eligible disabled Veterans can apply to have their businesses DVBE Certified if their company is at least 51% owned by one or more eligible disabled Veterans. Additionally, the daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled Veterans

California State agencies are required to strive to award at least 3% of their annual contracting dollars to certified DVBE companies. The program helps DVBE companies participate on more of alevel playing field when competing for state government contracts.

CalVet’s first annual Veterans Business Forum is intended to educated disabled Veteran business owners about the support and resources that CalVet and the DGS provide.

At the event, disabled Veteran business owners can learn how to get their business DVBE Certified in order to compete for California’s government contracts.

Some 30 California state agencies will be represented for the purpose of Business Matchmaking. Service disabled Veteran business owners will be able to participate in three to six separate ten minute rotations with state agencies and corporations, as well as a one-hour session with federal procurement agents.

The event will also feature the “State Opportunity Showcase” presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The Veterans Business Forum will be held on October 1, 2014, from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Department of General Services’ Headquarters in the Ziggurat Auditorium, located at 707 3rd Street, West Sacramento, CA 95605.

To register for the Veterans Business Forum, follow the link to the CA.gov Registration page.

 To register for the VA’s “State Opportunity Showcase” and Business Matchmaking session, please follow the link to the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC)– West website at : http://www.procurementregistration.com/wbec/. The link to register ison the left side, halfway down the page. Registration for these events must be submitted by September 17, 2014.

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: CalVet to Host Veteran Business Forum:   By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA VA RFPOn August 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System. This will be the next step in a series of actions that the VA is taking to replace its current scheduling system. The new system is expected to improve access to care for Veterans by offering medical schedulers with innovative scheduling software.  The RFP will be made public by the end of September, 2014. From the day of issuance, eligible vendors will have 30 days to respond.

The VA will issue a draft RFP prior to releasing the full RFP to maximize industry and stakeholder input. The solicitation will require a two-part demonstration of capabilities, consisting of a written proposal and a technical demonstration to scheduling staff. The VA hopes to award the contract by the end of the calendar year.

“VA chose a full- and open-competitive strategy to acquire a ‘commercial, off-the-shelf’ scheduling system,” said Stephen Warren, VA’s Chief Information Officer. “We want a system that is user-friendly and tailored specifically for our Veterans.”

VA Secretary Robert McDonald stated, “We want this process to be open to all eligible vendors to make sure the nation’s Veterans have the full benefits the innovative marketplace has to offer. When we can put a solid scheduling system in place, this will free up more human resources to focus on direct Veterans’ care. As VA recommits to its mission of caring for Veterans and evaluating our actions through the lens of what serves them best, we know a better scheduling system is necessary to provide them the timely, quality health care that they have earned and deserve.”

Even as the VA plans to issue its RFP to replace the existing system, efforts are progressing to make the current system better. The VA recently awarded a contract to improve the existing scheduling interface, providing schedulers a calendar view of resources instead of the current text-based, multiple-screen view.  This update is scheduled to begin roll out in January, 2015.

The VA is also developing two new mobile applications, one which will enable Veterans to directly request certain types of primary care and mental health appointments. The other app will give VA schedulers an easier-to-use interface to schedule medical appointments. Both apps are scheduled to roll out in December, 2014.

Veteran business owners will want to throw their hat in the ring, or at least closely watch which company or companies get this large contract with the VA. The companies who win contracts will most likely be looking for Veteran owned small business to sub-contract to, as part of their agreement with the VA.

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: VA To Issue RFP:  By Debbie Gregory

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