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Entrepreneurship for Veterans: Another Way to Win

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As over a million of service men and women are returning to the civilian workforce in the next five years, entrepreneurship may be an attractive option for some of them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Report on Veterans Small Business Development, veterans own 2.4 million American businesses or 9 percent of all the American's business. When including businesses in which veterans are at least half owners, these numbers rise to 3.7 million businesses or 13.5 percent of U.S. businesses.

The following information is excerpted from Executive Summary – Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development.

[Military parade], Digital ID 92461, New York Public LibraryHalf of working Americans either own or work for a small business, and roughly two of every three new jobs are created by small businesses. American's small businesses are the central drivers of innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. Today, America is at a crucial moment in ensuring that the businesses have all the tools they need to do what they do best — create jobs.

In sum, America has both an unquestioned responsibility and a compelling incentive to empower veterans through entrepreneurship, enabling them to become successful small business owners. This Task Force strongly believes that serving veterans who are — or who want to become — small business owners is crucial to America's overall job creation, economic growth, and competitiveness in the world economy.

There are a growing number of programs that help veterans start their own businesses that include:

Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities

Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)

Operation Endure & Grow

Veteran Business Outreach Center Program (VBOC)

In appreciation for the dedication of all who served, New York City Veterans Business Partnership, a group of non-profit organizations, provides free services to help veteran business become more successful. Services in this partnership include:

  • Assisting in developing a business plan
  • Providing professional counseling and mentoring in the specific industry
  • Offering preferred lending terms to qualified veterans and their families who own and operate business in New York City.
  • Creating a success path by maintaining an ongoing role, working together with veterans and their businesses
  • Having access to education resources such as
    • Determining your business legal structure
    • Developing and implementing your market strategy
    • Personalization strategies to attract and retain customers
    • Using technology to improve your cash flow.

The following is a list of partnership organizations:

SCORE's mission is to provide aspiring and already-functioning business owners in the New York City area with mentoring, information and teaching services. An important aspect of this mission is to actively pursue the expansion of these services to all sectors of the small business community.

NYS Small Business Development Center Veteran's Business Outreach Program and the Veteran's Services and Assistance Program work in coordination to provide targeted training, counseling, and mentoring to help veterans start and grow a small business. SBDC Business advisors help veteran small business owners improve opportunities, and provide valuable assistance in terms of establishing businesses on stronger organizational and financial footing.

Veterans Across America's mission is to enhance the economic well-being of America's veterans. Since 2009, VAA has met that mission through its Champion Mentoring Program. The program has achieved an unprecedented 65% job creation record for thousands of enlisted service persons, by being a multiplier of employment opportunity through career catalysts and business advocates.

Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to creating economic opportunity by connecting people to the financial tools they need to improve their lives. It has helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents — Africa, Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

For more information, please register for a counseling session with a SCORE counselor at the Science, Industry and Business Library at 188 Madison Avenue and 34th Street, or email: jackson@score.org or call 646-493-4838, or 212-264-4507.

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