As October wanes into November and many of us are gearing up for a month of giving thanks, one group that earns our most sincere gratitude is veterans. It is only fitting that November 5 – 9, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW). Then, Veterans Day takes place on November 11 as a way to nationally recognize all U.S. veterans.
NVSBW began in 2014 as a way to celebrate and assist U.S. veterans who were either looking to start a small business or who already owned one. This year, there will be a host of free events available to veterans who fall into these categories. Columbus will be host two of these events.
- #VetBiz 101: Introduction & Resources will provide an introduction to “vetrepreneurship” (veteran entrepreneurship), and will cover the resources available to help plan and grow a business.
- #VetBiz Gateway: Starting & Expanding Your Business will be held at Economic and Community Development Institute’s (ECDI) Women’s Business Center (WBC) as a networking and training opportunity for vetrepreneurs and their families.
“These events are filled with knowledgeable people who can assist you with taking the necessary steps you need to elevate your business,” says Sheryl Clark Marrero, a current client of ECDI and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Founded in 2011, Marrero’s business SavKon Construction provides both residential and commercial renovation services in Columbus, Ohio. In 2017, ECDI provided Sheryl with a mobility construction loan to help secure a contract bid that required a large sum of working capital, which was quickly paid-in-full upon completion of the job.
Beyond the affiliation with the SBA’s NVSBW, ECDI is also excited to announce its acceptance to the Veteran LLC Collaborative, funded through JPMorgan Chase. The Collaborative is a multi-state collective dedicated to guiding vetrepreneurs through the trials and tribulations of small business ownership and development. This service is much-needed in Ohio as the state ranks sixth in the nation with a population of about 866,000 veterans.
According to the SBA, U.S. veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. For this reason, ECDI is excited to champion Ohio veterans and add onto the $6 million that the Collaborative has already disbursed to veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. In doing so, vetrepreneurs, their employees, and the communities that are home to these veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) will all benefit.
Now that ECDI is an official member of Veteran LLC Collaborative, the goal is to seek out more Ohio vetrepreneurs like Marrero and assist them in their pursuit of small business ownership and stability. As a member of the Collaborative, ECDI hopes to be a beacon for veterans looking to launch a new venture or provide a jumping off point to grow their existing company.
For more information on Veteran LLC Collaborative please visit: vet.loan.
For a list of event dates and times for NVSBW please visit: sba.gov/veterans-small-business-week-events.
Since 2004, ECDI has assisted Ohio’s entrepreneurs through its one-stop shop business services model, suited to meet the needs of all entrepreneurs, regardless of what business stage they’re in. From providing capital to entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses, to providing focused, business-specific educational opportunities to enhance entrepreneurial skill sets, ECDI works with their clients to meet their unique needs. Whether assisting a new client with a business concept or an accomplished entrepreneur opening a fifth location, ECDI’s “never say no” approach has allowed over twelve thousand entrepreneurs to take advantage of the services it provides. Visit ecdi.org today to learn more.