The year is coming to a close and 2019 is just on the horizon. This month, we’re reflecting on 2018, highlighting the successes and milestones we reached as a veteran business community.
This year, the SBA celebrated many achievements: the 1000th graduate from the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP); the milestone of training over 86,000 in the Boots to Business program; a joint report with the New York Federal Reserve that identifies areas for improvement in the veteran access to capital space; and an official partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to host an intensive training program for veteran entrepreneurs using the 2nd Quarter Presidential Salary Donation. In addition to these successes, we highlighted our #VetBiz community during National Veterans Small Business Week 2018 – inviting veteran and military business owners to give us a glimpse into their #VetBiz communities across the nation.
Look back at the entrepreneurial journey you took this year and let us know what it looked like. Did you take an entrepreneurial training course like Boots to Business? Did you finally tackle the process of applying for a 7(a) loan? Regardless of where you are in the entrepreneurial process – whether you drafted your business plan, made your first sale, or celebrated your fifth year in business – the SBA is proud to connect you with the resources you need to start, grow, expand, or recover your veteran-owned business. As we look towards the year ahead, here are eight #VetBiz resources you can leverage as a veteran, service member, National Guard or Reserve component member, or military spouse:
- Your local Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC): With locations across the nation, VBOCs are your one-stop shop for entrepreneurial support and resources. VBOCs offer business training, workshops, mentorship, and lender readiness prep. Wherever you may be on your path to business ownership, VBOCs guide and support you through every step of the process.
- Your local SBA office: Your local SBA office is fully equipped to connect you to the resources you need to start or grow your veteran-owned business. From business training to accessing capital, the SBA has the resource to ensure your business success.
- Boots to Business/Boots to Business Reboot (B2B): Boots to Business is a two-day course offered through The DoD’s Transition Assistance Program’s (TAP) Entrepreneurship Track. Free for all transitioning service members and their spouses, B2B introduces you to the basics of entrepreneurship. B2B Reboot brings the same curriculum off base, and into your local community.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC): SBDCs deliver comprehensive programs to address your small business’ specific needs. Tailored to your local community, SBCDs offer technical assistance, consulting, and training to help your business start, grow, or thrive.
- SCORE: If you’re interested in direct support, SCORE connects you with a mentor to support your new or existing business venture. In addition to in-person counseling, SCORE brings the counselor to you with online mentoring and free online workshops.
- Women’s Business Centers (WBC): For women looking to start or grow your own business, WBCs strive to level the playing field. WBCs offer training, counseling, and access to capital, with a focus on preparing you for the unique obstacles women face in the business world.
- Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP): SDVETP provides service-disabled veterans with immersive and hands-on entrepreneurial training. Tailored to the specific needs of service-disabled veterans, SDVETP will prepare you for the challenges and opportunities for SDVOSBs.
- Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP): If you’re already operating your veteran-owned business and want to take it to the next level with government contracting – VFPETP is for you. Delivered by the National Center Institute for Procurement (VIP), VFPETP prepares you to enter the federal marketplace, and increases your ability to win government contracts.
As we bid farewell to 2018, it’s time to look toward the future – where will you take your #VetBiz next year? For more information about the resources available to you and your veteran-owned small business, visit sba.gov/veterans.
OSD CEO & Executive Director Glenn Banton is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs (ACVBA) providing an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the SBA administrator, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development, Congress, the President and other U.S. policymakers on programs affecting veteran-owned small business from all segments of American society.