In today’s world, the self-made person is becoming more prevalent. New technology and the Internet have not only instilled a want for independence in business, but a need for it.
Veterans returning home from duty are seeing the benefits of being self-starters. It is not a secret that finding a job as a veteran can sometimes be a difficult task. So, starting a business can have two major benefits for a veteran. 1) The veteran can make money for him or herself, not living paycheck to paycheck; 2) Veteran-owned businesses provide jobs for other service members.
Of course, beginning a new venture is not easy. It requires the three Ds: devotion, dedication and determination. In addition, veteran business owners need to be super aware of the resources available to them.
For veteran business owners, the Department of Veteran Affairs has provided a valuable tool resource.
Vetbiz.gov is a free service and informational website that helps veteran entrepreneurs get their business off the ground and into the marketplace. The site keeps veteran entrepreneurs up-to-date on new opportunities that the Federal Government has to offer.
Through mentorship programs, coaching, outreach and vendor directories, Vetbiz.gov gives business owners a good foundation to start on.
Keep in mind that the following services are only offered to service-disabled and veteran owned businesses. The business should be 51% or more owned by service members who were honorably discharged.
Vendor Information Pages (VIP)
VIP lists businesses that are 51% or more owned by service-disabled veterans. It is a marketing tool much like creating a page on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The VIP web portal averages over 5,000 visits per month.
A veteran owner can create and update his or her business profile in the VIP database. This will attract Federal agencies and other business contacts looking to provide veterans with assistance in receiving government contracts, grants and other funding chances.
The Assistance Program Pages (APP) is basically a resource center for a veteran interested in business ownership, but has not taken the dive yet.
The APP database can help veterans look for the financing, training and the development that they need to make a potential startup successful.
The Center for Veterans Enterprise Conferences
Experts from the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) help veterans through business coaching, networking and outreach. They also provide counseling. The CVE has over 100 annual conferences that boost veteran-owned small businesses into the marketplace.
With all the above resources, Vetbiz.gov is one of the top resources of its kind for veteran entrepreneurs.
Photo thanks to NYCMarines under creative common license on Flickr.