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Veterans Helping Veterans

Assisting Veterans, Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Members in the formation and expansion of their businesses.

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NVBDC Matchmaking Event a Runaway Success!


DETROIT – Veteran business owners and corporations alike have great things to say about our 2 day National Matchmaking Event.

NVBDC is thrilled to report record attendance at our veteran business matchmaking event on November 7-8, 2017. Read a bit about the education and matchmaking below. We are already getting started on planning for our 2018 events, so be sure to SAVE THE DATE for what we have on the calendar so far:

May 7-9: Keeping the Promise Business Expo in Partnership with DVBA - San Diego
July 19: NVBDC 3rd Annual Doing Business with The Federal Reserve and Private Business - Chicago
September 11-12: NVBDC National Veteran Business Matchmaker and Vets Night Out


We couldn't be more proud of our presenters. At times it was standing room only. With so many positive reviews, we are sure our veterans got a lot of valuable information out of the 4 learning sessions. And since nearly all of those enrolled actually showed up to learn, we know it was worth all the planning.


After a long day of learning sessions, our veterans and corporate sponsors were glad to relax a bit while networking in a beautiful setting overlooking the Detroit River. What better way to meet new contacts! What a great turn-out - we had more than 4x our attendance over last year.


With over 267 one-on-one meetings scheduled, we are sure that lots of connections were made! In addition, our veteran business owners had the chance to network with even more buyers from over 30 corporations and government agencies at the resource tables in the main room.

SBA Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week
Oct. 30-Nov. 3

Small Business Administration Logo

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration will celebrate veteran, service member, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouse entrepreneurs during National Veterans Small Business Week, Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

“Veteran-owned businesses are a critical pillar of the U.S. economy as they contribute more than $1.14 trillion to the nation’s annual total sales and receipts,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “Through entrepreneurship and business ownership, these veterans continue their service by not only contributing to the economy, but also by creating economic opportunities for other Americans. The moments that matter for veteran entrepreneurs matter to us as well, and SBA is proud to celebrate, honor, and support them.”


Throughout the week, SBA district offices, resource partners, and local communities across the U.S. will host local and virtual events focused on access to capital, federal and commercial procurement opportunities, and entrepreneurial training. From Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot courses to webinars and workshops, there will be various opportunities to participate in NVSBW 2017.

On Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. EDT, SBA will host a Twitter chat, “Business Tips for Veteran Entrepreneurs.” Tune in to the conversation by using the hashtag #MyVetBiz.

“From officially opening a business to making a revenue goal, there are so many moments that matter during a veteran’s entrepreneurship journey,” said Barb Carson, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. “This year’s NVSBW is such an exciting opportunity for SBA to celebrate these moments that matter while highlighting the ways SBA is here to support each incredible journey.”

NVSBW 2017 will also feature two events in Houston and Miami, respectively, focused on disaster assistance for local veteran-owned small businesses affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At these events, SBA will connect VOSBs with local resources and share information on SBA’s disaster assistance program to help these companies rebuild, and develop a business continuity plan.

SBA encourages veterans, service members, Reserve and National Guard members, and military spouses to share the moments that matter during their journey in business ownership using #MyVetBiz, joining SBA and local stakeholders in the ongoing online conversation.

For more information about NVSBW, including events and ways to get involved, visit For more information on the resources available for veteran entrepreneurs, visit

Ford Motor Company Presented National Veteran Business Development Council’s Founder Award

(l-r) Dan Shipman Ford, Keith King NVBDC, Renee Jones Ford, John Savona Ford, Kathryn McIntyre Ford, Richard Miller NVBDC

(l-r) Dan Shipman-Ford, Keith King-NVBDC
Renee Jones-Ford, John Savona-Ford
Kathryn McIntyre-Ford, Richard Miller-NVBDC

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA - The National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) has presented the Ford Motor Company with its highest award. The “Founders Award” is in recognition of a sponsor’s early and continuous support of both the NVBDC and the certified Service Disabled and Veteran owned businesses (SD/VOBs) they represent. The Ford Motor Company was one of the very first corporations to encourage the NVBDC to develop a National Certification program that would meet corporate standards.


“When we first started asking corporations about hiring SD/VOBs it was Ford that told us there are very specific certification standards that would have to be created by any Veteran business certification body and if the NVBDC was going to that body, then we would have to be a 501c-3 nonprofit foundation. They introduced us to the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and the Great Lakes WBENC people who were kind enough to become our mentors. Ford was there when we did our beta-test of presenting the credential of three Veteran Owned Businesses that we felt met the standards we were taught. They said we got it and go build the organization and they would support us and they have lived up to their promise.

Ford has been and continues to be one of the leading corporations engaging Service Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses that have been certified by the NVBDC. They were one of the first corporations to capture and track Veteran spend as a part of their total diversity spend. When Ford announced their 2016 $1.1 Billion spend with certified SD/VOBs, or with those whose certification is pending; what we saw is the true value of the NVBDC SD/VOB certification.

Over the past three years, Ford demanded that all SD/VOB suppliers become certified and the amount of the spend with NVBDC certified companies has grown proportionately. We can proudly say that Ford has more than lived up to their promise to support our certified Veteran Businesses and for all of these reasons we are proud to present to the Ford Motor Company our Founders Award”, said Keith King, President of the NVBDC.

Americhem Wins 2017 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year

Matt Sherwood and Bruce Whetter Photo SBA Awards

(Lt.) Matt Sherwood
Executive Director
VetBizCentral (VBOC)
(Rt.) Bruce Leslie Whetter

DETROIT – Americhem Sales Corporation has won top honors by garnering the 2017 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year Award at an annual event hosted by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB).


MCSB remains on the forefront of championing small business and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan. The MCSB's role is to serve as a catalyst for creating an entrepreneurial culture while inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award,” said Bruce Leslie Whetter, President of Americhem Sales Corporation, “and I want to thank everybody who made this possible!”

The event was a wonderful way to celebrate Americhem Sales Corporation’s success. Bruce was honored to have his family and coworkers attend the event and be a part of the celebration. According to attendees, it was a most impressive affair with over 750 entrepreneurs and guests present.

“We at the National Veteran Business Development Council are particularly delighted that Americhem is NVBDC-certified and that this designation contributed to such an exciting recognition,” said Keith King, President of the NVBDC. “This underscores another element of just how valuable it is for Veteran-owned businesses to get this certification.”

Recognition For Outstanding Success

Located in Mason, Michigan, Americhem Sales Corporation is a long-established, award winning full line distributor and blender of solvents, oils and industrial fluids. They provide their industrial customers of all sizes with chemical and oil requirements on a 24/7 basis.

The company has state-of-the-art facilities, with storage on-site capability of over one million gallons of product. The company-owned fleet of trucks, tanker trailers and vans provides dependable, on-time delivery of drums, totes and bulk quantities to their customers.

Americhem has won numerous industry awards, including this 2017 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year Award in Michigan. Matt Sherwood, Executive Director of VetBizCentral, himself the 2017 winner of the National Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) of the year as selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration and a member of the NVBDC Advisory board was honored to provide the winning nomination for the 5th year in a row.

Flint-Based VetBizCentral Selected as National SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center
U.S. Small Business Administration

Matt Sherwood, VetBizCentral

Matt Sherwood

DETROIT – The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that VetBizCentral, an SBA funded Veterans Business Outreach Center based in Flint, Mich., has won the National SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center, Excellence in Service Award for 2017. Matt Sherwood, VetBizCentral’s executive director, will accept the award on behalf of the organization on May 4, 2017 at the 13th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event at The Lansing Center in Lansing. He will also receive the national award at the National Small Business Week awards event on May 1 in Washington, D.C.


As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA has been recognizing the special impact made by outstanding American entrepreneurs and SBA resource partners since 1963. “Under Matt’s leadership, VetBizCentral has helped veterans and their military families to start and grow businesses, create jobs, and contribute to the national economy,” said Constance Logan, SBA Michigan district director. “Matt and the entire staff are truly deserving of this national recognition.”

VetBizCentral was selected for excellence in providing value to veterans and the veteran small business community by increasing the number of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the SBA, the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Small Business Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Business Network in a collaborative effort to showcase the economic power of Michigan’s small business.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Has Named the NVBDC as Certification Body for SD/VOBs


Detroit, MI - Following on the heels of the highly-touted 2016 NVBDC's Meet & Mingle at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - Detroit Branch, the 2017 event promises to be just as successful.


“The feedback from last year was overwhelmingly positive,” said Mark J. Hands, Supplier Diversity Program Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “We would like to convey our sincere thanks to your entire organization. We look forward to the upcoming 2017 event.”

Last year's event featured over 20 corporations, as well as Federal, State and local government officials in attendance. They met with representatives of 150 Service Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses.

The 2017 Meet & Mingle will be held on July 20th. It will be attended by representatives of leading corporations and government bodies, as well as NVBDC-certified SD/VOBs.

The Meet & Mingle affords SD/VOBs the opportunity to network with executives of organizations that are committed to supplier diversity, and who have special interests in building relationships with qualified Veteran business owners.

This year, we are especially honored to announce that The Federal Reserve Bank is now an Educational Partner, with a host of benefits for participating Veterans that go along with that role.

The Federal Reserve Bank has also committed to hosting the 2018 event in Chicago, for which planning has already begun.

The Federal Reserve Bank has become the second Agency to accept the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) as their certification body for Service Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses (SD/VOBs). The Federal bank joins with Freddie Mac in partnering with the NVBDC in this endeavor.

New Administrator Announced
U.S. Small Business Administration

Linda McMahon, the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration

Linda McMahon

Congratulations Linda McMahon, the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration!

As Administrator of the SBA, McMahon will direct a federal agency with more than 2,000 full-time employees, with a leading role in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance and training, and federal contracts. SBA also plays a leading role in disaster recovery by making low interest loans.


7 Free Resources Veteran Entrepreneurs Will Use To Crush It In 2017

Forbes Magazine
Mark L. Rockefeller, Contributor

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

A new year brings new possibilities.For many veteran entrepreneurs, that means starting or growing a new business.

Here are 7 absolutely free resources veteran entrepreneurs will use to crush it in 2017.


Free University Entrepreneurship Training

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is the national leader in veterans entrepreneurship training. IVMF organizes the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a free training program for post-9/11 veterans with a service-connected disability. This program is offered by a consortium of great universities including Cornell, Syracuse, Florida State, UCLA, Texas A&M, Purdue, UConn, LSU, Saint Joseph’s, and the University of Missouri.

EBV consists of an online, instructor-led 30-day curriculum, followed by a 9-day in-residence session at the university. Participants also receive follow-up support and mentoring after the program. EBV has produced over 1,300 graduates in 10 years serving veterans.

IVMF also has separate entrepreneurship training programs for veterans’ families (called EBV-F) and one specifically for women veterans (V-Wise). I’ve been privileged to speak at a couple of these events and was impressed with the quality of the students and mentors.

Air Force veteran, Derek Ketelsen, who attended the EBV at Cornell University, described it this way: “EBV is a priceless experience for vetrepreneurs. I received Ivy League instruction from Cornell professors, learned a great deal about entrepreneurship, and most importantly the program helped me develop my business concept.”

EBV runs programs from March through November each year. Seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. All costs are covered for qualified participants.

Free 3-Day Technology Entrepreneurship Training

For aspiring technology entrepreneurs, Patriot Boot Camp (PBC) is a shorter, more condensed alternative. Since starting in 2012, PBC has held 9 programs in 7 cities and trained over 550 veterans, active-duty members, and spouses. PBC historically hosts 2-3 events per year, including two intensive 3-day entrepreneurship bootcamps and an alumni conference.

I spoke and mentored at PBC’s 2015 event at Goldman Sachs in NYC. The energy at a PBC event is palpable.

PBC is a non-profit organization, run by Charlotte Creech, an alumna of PBC’s inaugural program in 2012. “Many active duty military members, veterans, and their spouses have an interest in tech entrepreneurship but often lack the community support and network needed to effectively guide them to the right resources,” Charlotte said.

PBC fills this gap. The results of the graduates are impressive. Charlotte told me that PBC graduates include successful exits via acquisition, 8 accepted to Techstars accelerator programs, 2 accepted to Y-Combinator, and 2 graduates appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank TV show, including a $1.5M offer from Mark Cuban . A 2016 sample of 55 graduates found they are generating a combined $9.5M in annual revenue and employing 1,175 individuals.

This year, PBC is holding a bootcamp in San Antonio in February, another bootcamp in Denver in the fall, and an alumni event. Attendance at PBC is encouraged if you’re considering a tech startup. PBC is free to veterans, active-duty members, and spouses.

Free Online “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” Course

Bunker in a Box is a short and simple online mini-course in veterans entrepreneurship. Lessons are divided into 14 “missions” and include topics such as confidence to be an entrepreneur, thinking like an entrepreneur, testing hypotheses, and working on a venture as a team, plus many more.

Each lesson has a short video from the Bunker team, as well as relevant third-party articles, interviews, podcasts and presentations from prominent entrepreneurs and experts, such as the Kauffman Foundation’s superb “SketchBooks.” The material draws on a diverse variety of resources, includes a helpful discussion section, and tracks your progress at each step.

Bunker in a Box is a short, simple introduction to entrepreneurship. Bunker CEO Todd Conner said, “When I was on active duty with 6 or 12 months left before I separated, I was wondering what I wanted to do with my future. The Bunker in a Box is a first-stop for exploring entrepreneurship .”

Bunker in a Box is free to sign-up and use. Bunker Labs is a non-profit organization and hosts other great events at their network of 14 different locations around the country. Check out their annual “Muster” events, pitch contests, and their current “Bunker Builds America Tour.”

Free Veteran Business Grant Money

The StreetShares Foundation gives away $10,000 in veteran business grants to veteran or military spouse entrepreneurs each month. The Foundation is a non-profit associated with the military social lending platform, StreetShares.

The application is easy and straightforward. To qualify, applicants first engage with the Foundation’s educational content. Qualified applicants submit a short description and video. Foundation staff then select 5-10 finalists each month, based on five criteria: business idea, product-market fit, team and company history, use of award funds and potential impact, and influence of the business on the military and veterans community.

Winners are selected from among the finalists by public vote. The foundation receives thousands of votes each month for the best veteran-owned small businesses.

First, second, and third-place awards of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 are awarded. Applications may be submitted at any time, and awards are based on the applications received during the previous calendar month. [Disclosure: I am on the Board of Directors of StreetShares Foundation and the co-founder/CEO of StreetShares, Inc.]

Free 7-week “Mini Entrepreneurship MBA.”

VetToCEO, a Georgia-based non-profit, offers a free 7-week online program called “Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors.”

Lesson content is divided into 7 modules; each module is two-hours in length. One module is offered each week. Taken together, the modules include all the “nuts and bolts” you need to start your business: business entity selection, marketing training, how to pitch, finance, growth management, logistics, exit strategies, and more.

Courses are offered online and in-person by veteran entrepreneurs for veteran entrepreneurs. Lessons are recorded for later viewing in case you miss one. A full course outline can be found HERE. Veterans can join the program at any time through a simple registration process in a rolling enrollment model. Enrollment is free for veterans and transitioning military members. The course has specific target outcomes such as a complete business canvas, financial statements and projections, and a profile on GUST—a startup investment platform—which the veteran can use to connect with investors.

Free Government Resources: SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great point of access to the vast ecosystem that has emerged in recent years to support veteran business owners. SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) is focused on empowering veteran and military entrepreneurs from transition to small business success and offers veterans, service members and their families free business counseling and training programs, access to capital, and business development opportunities through government contracts.

If you’re looking to start, purchase, or grow a business, your local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) is a good resource for training, counseling and mentoring, and resource referrals.

VBOCs also provide transition assistance programs via Boots to Business part of the military’s formal Transition Assistance Program, offered on military installations around the world. Boots to Business assists service members, military spouses and veterans identify business opportunities, draft their business plans, and launch their enterprises. Other programs supported by OVBD are geared specifically for women veterans, service-disabled veterans, and veterans interested in federal procurement.

Free Government Resources: VA

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hosts the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) housing resources on starting, financing, and growing a business, in addition to government contracting opportunities, and links to resources at the state and local level as well. Local resources are tailored based on zip code.

The VA site content is focused on government contracting. Veteran-Owned Businesses may be eligible for set-asides or sole-source treatment in federal procurement, and a large number of veteran entrepreneurs choose to compete for government contracts at the federal and state level.

The VA entrepreneurship resources include a tool to explore government contracting and special information on how to obtain government certification as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) to qualify for government contracts.


Keep an eye on current legislation. The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act (VET Act), originally proposed in 2015, would allow the SBA to conduct a 3-year pilot program for up to 250 veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to start a business. The Act had widespread support from veterans’ groups, but did not receive a full Congressional vote before year’s end. The new Congress will need to get this legislation across the goal line.

Mark is CEO of StreetShares and an Iraq War veteran. His mission: build the next great generation of American small business owners.

Contract Professionals Inc
U.S. Veterans Magazine Article

U.S. Military Magazine Logo

“Colonel Larry Phelps Finds Employment
After Service to Our Nation”

U.S. Veterans Magazine - When the lights click on at the Contract Professionals, Inc. (CPI) offices long before 8 a.m., the CPI staff sets to work with one goal in mind; to put veterans to work. A global staffing top secret cleared technical solution company founded by Steve York in 1982, and headquartered in Waterford, Michigan; CPI has spent more than 34 years partnering with companies to provide work to veterans after they have been discharged from the military.

“As a veteran and the CEO of CPI, I feel a deep obligation to ensure that my fellow veterans are given the opportunity to thrive long after their military careers have ended,” said York. “When they succeed in the civilian marketplace, then CPI has done its job.”


DTMB Simplifies Process for Veteran Participation in State Bidding
Now Accepting Nationally Recognized Certification

State of Michigan Seal

Lansing, MI — In an effort to assist veteran businesses competing for government contracts, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget will now accept the National Veterans Business Development Council (NVBDC) certification when determining eligibility for the state’s service-disabled veteran-owned business pricing preference.


Veteran-Owned Small Business Award
Contract Professionals of Waterford

Oakland Press Contract Professionals, Inc. (CPI), a Veteran Owned global staffing company based in Waterford, was recently awarded the Veteran Owned Small Business Award from the Michigan Small Business Administration. “As a veteran-owned company, CPI has been working to put out processing military personnel and veterans to work for more than 34 years,” said Jim Cowper, president, CPI.



E-Center Registration Button

The U.S. Small Business Administration requires all clients to complete the Request for Counseling (Form 641). This form will act as our Confidentiality and Code of Conduct Agreements. All client information is held in strictest of confidence.

To start the process, please click on the above e-CENTER button to access our electronic Request for Counseling form. After submission, a counselor will contact you shortly.



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Verification Process Training Opportunities

Preparing For Re-Evaluation

1st Tuesday of Each Month

Preparing for Re-Verification Webinar & Town Hall

Designed for firms whose verification will be expiring

Verification Training

3rd Tuesday of Each Month

Pre-Application Webinar & Town Hall

Designed for firms interested in submitting their first CVE Verification application

Staying Verified

4th Tuesday of Each Month

How to stay Verified Webinar & Town Hall

Designed for firms who have been verified in six months


Center For Verification

Apply here for VOSB or SDVOSB status with the VA


CVE Business Locator


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A Nonprofit assisting veterans since 2005, serving Michigan, Ohio and Indiana