On Wednesday, Aug. 27, three members of ABC’s reality competition series “Shark Tank” --- Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and “Mr. Wonderful” himself, Kevin O’Leary --- attended the White House's Champions of Change veteran entrepreneurship event. The Champions program highlighted 11 veteran and spouse owned-businesses and nonprofits from multiple industries and geographies. From over 600 applications, these founders were chosen for the success and impact they are having on the veterans community.
U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham
Whether currently transitioning or already in the civilian world, veterans should be aware of the Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business program. Boots to Business is a workshop and online training course intended to assist veterans in pursuing entrepreneurship. The program started in 2012 as an option during the classes required as part of service members’ transition out of active duty. As part of a focus on veterans entrepreneurship by the current administration, the program has been expanded as Boots to Business: Reboot to include veterans who have already separated.
During your military career, you may have learned to find solutions and innovate in the toughest of conditions and now you are ready to bring that same determination to your own business. If so, you are in good company. A recent Small Business Administration report found that veterans are 45% more likely to start a company than their civilian peers. If you have the idea, but need a little help getting started, many organizations have stepped up specifically for veterans. I have been lucky enough to meet with many of these groups, and to give you an idea of what is available, here are three that I believe are doing a great job.