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Veterans Helping Veterans

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

Entrepreneurial Training






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VetBizCentral Nominates LeHost LLC. for 2nd Lady Pence Visit to Detroit

LeHost LLC Picture Here

LeHost LLC. owners Haith and Henry Johnson were nominated by VetBizCentral to receive a visit by 2nd Lady Pence on July 31, 2020 to honor Veteran Spouse Owned Businesses.

In 2007, she founded the business, which provides custom-made and designer wigs, as well as wig care products. Le’Host Hair & Wigs also serves weave, natural hair and hair loss (such as alopecia or cancer) clients, which is its specialty.

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Michigan Small Businesses Now Eligible For SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

LANSING – Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Michigan and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan small businesses are now eligible for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Please see below for more information:

Low-interest loans of up to $2 million are available for small businesses and private non-profits

Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills and have repayment options of up to 30 years

Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits

Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions



Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

SBA Resource Partners are ready to help with no-cost, one-on-one business counseling regarding COVID-19.

Visit for the latest official health information and for a full list of the nation’s whole-of-government response, including safety, business and tax tips, worker assistance and more

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has extended unemployment benefits for those impacted by Coronavirus - Here's how to apply

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit

Other Michigan government efforts pertaining to Coronavirus response can be found HERE

U.S. Small Business Administration Logo Here...

SBA To Provide Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement today in response to the President’s address to the nation:

“The President took bold, decisive action to make our 30 million small businesses more resilient to Coronavirus-related economic disruptions. Small businesses are vital economic engines in every community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world. Our Agency will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. Additionally, the SBA continues to assist small businesses with counseling and navigating their own preparedness plans through our network of 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners located around the country. The SBA will continue to provide every small business with the most effective and customer-focused response possible during these times of uncertainty.”

Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.

Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center.

Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)

E-Mail: .

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Jovita Carranza Pledges to Create More Opportunities for Women, Underserved, and Veteran Entrepreneurs
Received Broad Bipartisan Support During U.S. Senate Confirmation as New SBA Administrator

Jovita Carranza, U.S. Small Business Administration Director Pic Here...

WASHINGTON – Jovita Carranza now serves as the 26th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Administrator Carranza will lead the only federal agency exclusively dedicated to assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting, growing, and expanding their businesses. Additionally, the SBA provides targeted recovery support in the event of a declared disaster.

This is Administrator Carranza’s second tenure at the SBA. She served in the George W. Bush Administration as Deputy Administrator, from 2006-2009. The President nominated Administrator Carranza to lead the SBA while she was serving as the 44th Treasurer of the United States. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a strong bipartisan vote of 88-5.

I want to thank the President for his confidence in me to be an advocate in the Cabinet for our country’s 30 million small businesses, and I want to express my sincere gratitude to the U.S. Senate for confirming me in a bipartisan fashion,” Administrator Carranza said. “I look forward to helping elevate female entrepreneurs and our military veterans, expanding access to SBA resources among entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities, and continuing to prioritize disaster relief.”

“I would like to thank former Administrator Linda McMahon for her leadership at the SBA, and the dedicated professionals at the Agency during this transition,” said Administrator Carranza.

Administrator Carranza’s experience includes a remarkable 30-year career with United Parcel Service, where she began as an hourly dock worker, rose to oversee operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, and ultimately retired as the highest-ranking Latina in the company’s history.

In testimony on December 11, 2019, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Administrator Carranza discussed her hands-on experience in the private sector, public service and the life-changing potential of entrepreneurship:

Throughout my life – as a young girl in a working-class community, as an executive leader at a global company, and as a government official – I’ve seen the transformative power entrepreneurship can have on individuals, communities, and the global economy.”

Administrator Carranza pledged to preside over an Agency focused on creating more opportunities for women and historically underrepresented entrepreneurs while ensuring the SBA remains prepared to assist displaced homeowners and small businesses impacted by disaster:

Members of this Committee, whatever success I achieved in life has been a function of not only hard work, but also opportunity, guidance and advocacy I received from others.
… I will leverage the power of this agency to continue to provide the same kind of support that I received, to entrepreneurs who need it most. I intend to put particular emphasis on opening more doors for women and for entrepreneurs in underserved communities, including military families and veterans. And I intend to prioritize disaster preparedness

Administrator Carranza earned her MBA from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and received executive, governance, management and financial training at the INSEAD Business School in Paris, France; Michigan State University; and the University of Chicago.

National Veteran Week Articles

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Mid-Michigan Organization Helping Veterans Start Their Own Business

WNEM – Rebeca Velazquez

On Veterans Day, we honor veterans across the nation and one nonprofit organization is doing just that in Mid-Michigan.

Located at Mott Community College in Flint, VetBizCentral is helping veterans in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.

Matt Sherwood is an Army Veteran who had a business degree and was always entrepreneurial. Even as a kid, he was mowing lawns, selling ice cream, and just about anything to make a buck. It was that business mindset that helped Sherwood discover his true passion of helping veterans start businesses.


Veteran and Wife Run Knob Hill Bed and Breakfast in Flint

WNEM – Guests from around the world visit Knwb Hill Bed and Breakfast in downtown Flint, which is owned by veteran Allen Griggs and his wife Diana.


From Boots to Business Owner: Veterans Realize Their Dreams of Owning a Business

WJRT – Allan Griggs says being drafted into the Army in 1967 is the best thing to ever happen to him in his life.

The proud Army Veteran from Oklahoma served for two years.

When his military career ended he worked as an engineer in the oil industry.

A few years ago, his wife Diana had her eyes on a vacant house in one of Flint's most exclusive neighborhoods.


SBA Kicks off National Veterans Small Business Week 2019
Veteran-Owned Businesses Contribute Nearly $1 Trillion Each Year to U.S. Economy

U.S. Small Business Administration Logo Here...

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration will celebrate the accomplishments of veteran, service member, and military spouse small business owners nationwide during National Veterans Small Business Week, Nov. 4-8.

“This week is dedicated to celebrating the nation’s 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses who contribute nearly $1 trillion each year to the U.S. economy,” said SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “The SBA is proud to collaborate with our district offices, resource networks, and agency partners to empower veterans throughout every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.”

This year’s National Veterans Small Business Week theme is Mission #VetBiz Success. During the week, the SBA will highlight and connect veterans nationwide to the resources available to help them accomplish small business success.

During National Veterans Small Business Week, each day will be devoted to a different topic related to veteran entrepreneurship. Topics will include transition assistance, entrepreneurial training, stakeholders and resources, access to capital, disaster assistance, and government contracting.

SBA district offices, resource partners, and local organizations will host National Veterans Small Business Week activities nationwide. The events will include a Twitter Chat on veteran entrepreneur resources at @SBAgov (follow the chat with the hashtag #VetBiz), a Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference in Arlington, Texas; a panel discussion for women veterans in government contracting in Huntsville, Alabama, and the 2019 Southwest Veterans Business Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The SBA encourages veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses to join the online conversation and share their entrepreneurial stories and best practices, including the resources they used to establish successful businesses, using the hashtag #VetBiz.

For more information about National Veterans Small Business Week and to find events near you, visit For more information on the resources available for veteran entrepreneurs, visit

Grow Your Veteran-Led Business With Digital Tools

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Running a small business can be great second career after serving in the military. As a U.S. Army veteran, I would know. In addition to my role at Google helping small businesses get found online, I also co-own an occupational therapy practice with my wife in Kirkland, Washington.

We were one of the first small businesses to add the “Veteran-Led” attribute to our business profile on Google My Business after it was introduced last August. It’s a simple way to share a piece of the personal history behind our business with fellow veterans and people in my community. Since then, thousands of veteran-led businesses across the U.S. have added the attribute to their business profiles, including Old School Boxing and Fitness Center in San Diego, California, and Honest Soul Yoga in Alexandria, Virginia.


At Propel Electric Bikes in Brooklyn, New York, owner and U.S. Army veteran Chris Nolte uses the attribute to help his veteran-led business stand out on Google Search and Maps. And with Google Ads, Chris is able to put his bikes in front of potential customers in New York and across the country. With support from digital tools like these, he’s successfully grown his business, even opening a second location in California.

Now, in honor of National Veterans Small Business Week, Grow with Google is introducing a resource hub where veterans like Chris can find products, tools, and programs to start or grow their businesses. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find there.

Almost one in four transitioning service members have an interest in starting their own business. So to make it simpler for veterans to grow their business and marketing skills, the Primer app offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons that they can access from anywhere. The lessons offer helpful tips on topics like creating a business plan, increasing sales, managing finances, and more. Primer also offers custom mini-courses tailored to veterans and military spouses that you can find by searching “veteranled” or “milspousebiz” in the app.

This National Veterans Small Business Week, we’re also inviting veteran business owners to a livestream workshop focused on growing a small business. Viewers will learn how Google My Business can help an entrepreneur establish a local online presence, build a loyal customer base, show off products or services and drive online and physical traffic to their business. We’ll also be joined by the California Veterans Business Outreach Center, a program from the Small Business Administration, to hear more about their offerings for veteran-owned businesses. Tune in on YouTube for Tuesday’s livestream workshop.

When I was making my own transition to civilian life in 2013, I looked to fellow veterans for career guidance. As a Googler and a business owner myself, I’m proud to help fellow veteran-led businesses find new online resources to grow.

VIDEO: Grow with Google: Veteran-Led Small Business

SBA MDO Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week
VBOC Grand Reopening- - Flint, MI

U.S. Small Business Administration Logo

Dr. Walker, Matt Sherwood, Constance Logan and The Honorable Dan Kildee pics here...

Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, President of Mott Community College
Matt Sherwood, Executive Director of VetBizCentral
Constance Logan, SBA MDO DD
U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, 5th District of Michigan

DETROIT – On Thursday, November 8, the U.S. Small Business Administration Michigan District Office and VetBizCentral hosted a grand opening for the new Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC), located at the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center.

David "Matt" Sherwood pic here...

Matt Sherwood, Executive Director of VetBizCentral

The center, funded by the SBA, provides business counseling and services for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses within a three-state radius, covering Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Ronders, Sherwood, Logan and Kildee pics here...

Edward L. Ronders, Founder of VetBizCentral &
Director of Veteran Affairs for Lapeer County
Matt Sherwood, Executive Director of VetBizCentral
Constance Logan, SBA MDO DD
U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, 5th District of Michigan

The grand opening took place during National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW), November 5 through November 9, 2018. During the week, events are held nationwide, celebrating veteran entrepreneurs and bringing awareness to resources and programs available to the military and veteran community.

During the grand opening, the public was welcome to take a tour of the VBOC’s facilities and resources.

Trump Donates Salary for Vet Entrepreneurship

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday donated his second quarter salary to a new Small Business Administration initiative to help veteran entrepreneurs, the second time this year he has given money to federal veterans initiatives, according to the White House.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the donation at a White House briefing on Wednesday. Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, accepted the $100,000 check, saying the funds “would be put to good use.”

Agency officials plan to use the money to launch a new seven-month training program for transitioning troops looking at starting their own businesses. The program will be based on the existing Emerging Leaders Initiative, but tailored to veteran-specific needs.

Read the rest of the story at Millitary Times RebootCamp

SBA’s Michigan District Director Constance Payne Logan to be recognized by Walker’s Legacy in Washington, D.C.

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DETROIT – Walker's Legacy will recognize the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan District Director Constance Logan at its second annual Women in Economic Development and Civic Leadership Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, September 13, 2018

Walker’s Legacy, a global platform for professional and enterprising multicultural women, will present Logan with its Woman in Economic Development and Civic Leadership Award, which honors champions of policy and programs to advance economic development, entrepreneurship ecosystems and job opportunities within their community.

“We are proud to elevate and celebrate women who work daily to ensure economic and entrepreneurial opportunities,” stated Natalie Madeira Cofield, Founder & CEO of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation. “We received hundreds of nominations from across the country and are honored to recognize Constance Logan for her the achievements and her embodiment of leadership, determination, and civic leadership.”

For more than 20 years, Logan has served in various roles throughout the U.S. government at the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency and the SBA. Currently, as the SBA’s Michigan district director, she implements the federal agency’s programs and services throughout Michigan’s 83 counties. She also oversees the SBA’s resource partners in the state, including 11 regional Small Business Development Centers, nine SCORE Chapters, three Women’s Business Centers, a Veteran’s Business Outreach Center and seven micro-lenders.

Prior to this role, she led the district’s business development division, overseeing the 8(a) and HUBZone certification programs and served as executive staff member leading small business initiatives for underserved and economically distressed markets. She successfully implemented and directed the Detroit Empowerment Zones’ One Capital Shop Detroit and for three consecutive years led the SBA’s prestigious Emerging Leaders’ program.

The Walker’s Legacy event is being held in partnership with the National League of Cities, African-American Mayors Association and media partner Axios and in tandem with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2018 annual legislative conferences.

For more information on Constance Logan, contact Hodari Brown at (313) 324-3629 or email

For more information on the Walker’s Legacy Women in Economic Development & Civic Leadership Awards luncheon, please visit

VA and Small Business Administration Team up to Help Veteran Entrepreneurs

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide education and support to Veterans with disabilities interested in self-employment.

VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services entered into an agreement with SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development in early December to provide self-employment guidance, assistance and on-the-job training to Veterans with disabilities.

“Our partnership with the Small Business Administration brings together the best of public and private business resources to help Veterans with disabilities start their business on a firm footing,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This program is available to Veterans who want to transition to self-employment and want the guidance and mentorship provided by SBA partners to increase their success.”


Trendway Wins 2018 Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year

Don Heeringa and Matt Sherwood

(Lt.) Matt Sherwood
Executive Director
VetBizCentral (VBOC)
(Rt.) Don Heeringa
Chairman and CEO
Trendway Corporation

HOLAND, MI – Trendway today announced it has been honored by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) as the 2018 SBA Michigan Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year.


Recipients of the award must be owned by a veteran, have 500 or fewer employees, demonstrate long-term business success, and have promoted opportunities for members of the military community.

Don Heeringa

The 2018 MCSB awards are presented at the annual event to honor small business across the state in Lansing.

“It is an honor to have been nominated and awarded this recognition,” said Don Heeringa, chairman and CEO of Trendway Corporation. “Trendway could not have achieved this level of success without our incredibly talented and passionate employees. It’s their ongoing commitment to customer service and our community that is the core of our company.”


Dog Tag Inc.


Dog Tag Inc. (DTI) empowers transitioning service-disabled veterans, military spouses, and caregivers to discover personal and professional fulfillment in the civilian world through an innovative five-month business and entrepreneurship-focused fellowship program.


DTI’s Fellowship Program combines business and entrepreneurship coursework, ample personal development opportunities, and hands-on rotations throughout Dog Tag Bakery, our small business venture. Over the course of five months, Fellows explore a variety of career paths, learn about and how to utilize available resources, and establish vast personal and professional networks as they develop a strategic plan for achieving personal and professional fulfillment post-service.



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.


Seven (7) courses resulting in a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies:

Principles of Management - Business Accounting
Principles of Marketing - Entrepreneurship
Business Policy - Financial Management
Communications in Organizations
Hands-On experience working within different areas of Dog Tag Bakery and Dog Tag Inc.
Learning Lab series with guest speakers discussing lessons learned running a business, workshops on resumes, and specialized courses on telling your story
Networking opportunities with business leaders and members of the veteran service organization community
Soft skills development


The Dog Tag Bakery Fellowship program expects Fellows to commit to a five-month, four-day a week schedule, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This allows Fellows to have Fridays and weekends to attend to medical appointments, family commitments, community service commitments, etc.

Classes are admitted twice per year: January & July.


Post 9/11 Military Veteran with service-connected disability, Caregiver, or Spouse
Eager to learn and engage in professional development
Preparing for a career in the civilian workforce
Able to provide own transportation to and from the location in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.


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.

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

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“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.


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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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Managing Your Business Through A Crisis

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25 August 2020
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Virtual Resources to Explore Global Markets

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27 May 2020
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