It’s difficult enough for a company to join the ranks of corporate America. Small business owners, particularly veteran owned businesses (VOBs) face overwhelming challenges. Fortunately, caring corporations have created Small Business Administration (SBA)-like programs to help veterans. Here are some of the ways corporations are helping veterans grow their businesses.
One of the biggest hurdles that veterans face in the early years of business ownership is finding funding. While there are a handful of SBA programs to help veterans, there is a wealth of corporate executives who have banded together to form angel investing and venture capital firms specifically serving veteran owned businesses. Companies like Streetshares provide small business loans to veterans, while MB Capital is working with the VOBRT (Veteran Owned Business Roundtable) to build an alternative financing program. This is a great way to get a cash infusion and start off on the right foot! By focusing on VOBs, these investors provide a higher level of service and assistance to the veteran community.
One of the most effective ways for corporations to help veteran owned businesses is to provide training and tools necessary to build a successful business. Our goal is to help VOBs get certified for contract eligibility with government agencies and/or corporations. Then we make sure they have the systems and processes in place to handle working as a supplier to these larger organizations. Once all of the pieces are in place, VOBs are funneled toward our corporate partners where they can make networking connections and develop deals.
Sponsorship of Social Organizations
Social organizations such as the Veteran Owned Business Round Table and other coalitions have united to help veterans network with each other. It is common for corporations to sponsor events for these organizations, or to sponsor training programs in their communities. Their funds go toward supporting programs such as VetConnect, and online resources like MyVETBiz.us. These programs have become an important part of getting small VOBs ramped up to bid for government and corporate contracts.
Grateful Business Communities
These are just a few of the ways that corporate America is helping VOBs and enabling them to achieve success. By providing initial funding and training, they are giving business owners a ladder to climb. By sponsoring local organizations, they are creating stronger networks and improving veterans’ ability to grow and learn over time. Actions do speak louder than words, and corporate America is saying, “Thank you!”