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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses


Shauna Vo Pulayya, Director of Content Marketing

Recent Posts

5 Reasons Why Veteran-owned Small Businesses Get a Small Business Loan


Seeking funding for your veteran small business can be one of the biggest hurdles you overcome as a business owner. There are many ways to go about it. Depending on the stage of your business, you may be looking for equity financing, debt financing or you may be bootstrapping and doing it all on your own with your savings and/or with money from friends and family.

When you have money, you can make more money. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s one of the most important factors in running a small business. In fact, 82 percent of businesses fail because of cash flow problems, according to a U.S. Bank study. Cash flow is the movement of money in and out of your business. Not having enough cash or inaccurately analyzing your cash flow can affect everyday operations.

Once you have enough cash flowing in and out of your business, you’re probably at the stage of growing your business. If your cash flow is steady, how do you get more money to boost your business even more? Let’s look at a few veteran small business owners who took the debt financing route to grow their businesses with small business loans and lines of credit.

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10 Veteran Business Owners Made Final Round for Veteran Business Awards

Since the StreetShares Foundation launched on Veterans Day last year, we've had tons of Veteran small business owners get equipped with educational resources as well as apply for the Veteran Small Business Award. 

Last month, we awarded Chris Dyer, Marine Veteran and owner of Grunts Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream with the first place award of $5,000. Amy Crispino, military spouse and co-owner of Chameleon Kids, and Melissa Washington, Navy Veteran and founder of Women Veterans Alliance put up a good fight and came in second and third place, respectively. 

Congratulations to this month's award finalists! 

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2016: The Year of Veterans Funding Veteran Small Businesses

We’re finishing our third year in business and making waves. With almost 30,000 members across the country, StreetShares has hit many milestones this year. We now offer lines of credit and all Americans can invest in Veteran-owned small businesses through Veteran Business Bonds. We’re accomplishing our mission to fuel the American economy, one Veteran small businesses at a time. As we approach the New Year, join us in celebrating and reflecting back on 2016.

1. Focus on Veteran Businesses (Vetrepreneurs)

Approximately 2.5 million business are Veteran-owned in the United States, according to the SBA. As a Veteran-owned and operated company, StreetShares understands what Veterans experience in battle and in business. Veteran entrepreneurs or Vetrepreneurs, like our founders, rely on four key lessons learned in the military: 1. Set a clear mission. 2. Recruit talented people. 3. Keep the mission focused. 4. Lead from the front. Vetrepreneurs understand commitment and perseverance better than any other group of individuals in the country and that makes them great business owners. StreetShares is focused on supporting and creating a community where Veterans fund Veteran small businesses.

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Spotlight Veteran Business: Major Mom Builds Success from a $5,000 Award

“Being a combat missile crew commander was the most stressful career field I’ve ever had. We had the keys to the nukes,” said Angela Cody-Rouget. “Our mission was to go down a hole with another crew partner behind two 10 ton steel doors and wait for a message from the President to launch nukes. We got a lot of fake messages and had to decode the cookies to determine if it was an authentic message from the President.”

For 15 years, Angela Cody-Rouget had a highly technical career in the United States Air Force. She started her career in the ROTC at Indiana University. She went through undergraduate base training as a space communication major and became a satellite command controller, where she monitored flying satellites 26,000 miles into space.

“I was on track to becoming a colonel in the United States Air Force, a very high ranking title and prestigious corporate career. My husband called me “Major Mom,” which is where the name of my business came into play,” said Angela.

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Veteran Small Business Award 1st Place Winner: Grunts Frozen Yogurt

Our top 10 Veteran small businesses put up a good fight for the first round of awards presented by the StreetShares Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The public vote lasted for about a week and a half. Without further ado, the winners of the Veteran Small Business Award are…

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Spotlight Veteran Business: Q&A with MN8 Foxfire/LumAware

We had the chance to sit down with Zachary Green, Founder and CEO of MN8 Foxfire/LumAware. Zachary served in the Marine Corps for eight years. He also served as a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. He’s a true veteran entrepreneur who has owned his own company for the past six years. MN8 Foxfire/LumAware specializes in the development and implementation of safety products utilizing advanced photoluminescence technology. Here’s Zachary’s story.

SS: Tell us the story of Zachary Green leading up to founding MN8 Foxfire.

ZG: Ever since I was a very, very young kid I wanted to be in the Marines. My friends were outside riding their bikes and playing soccer but I was running in the woods putting mud on my face pretending like I had machine guns. My parents kept thinking I would grow out of it but I kept getting more and more interested.

When I turned 18 years old, I signed up for the Marine Corps and went to Parris Island. I was in university at the same time. After serving and being enlisted right out of college, I went through the officer candidate program in Quantico. So, I got to experience both the officer side and the enlisted side of the house.

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5 Ways Veteran Businesses Can Participate in Small Business Saturday

The biggest shopping season of the year has begun. Black Friday sales have already started, days before Thanksgiving. Advertisements for Cyber Monday deals and Black Friday doorbusters are in full swing. The majority of these sales come from large retail chains and mass merchandisers. But let’s not forget about the local businesses. Small Business Saturday is right in the middle of the two largest shopping days of the year. This year, it falls on Saturday, November 26.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting and celebrating local businesses and all they do for the community. American Express started the tradition in 2010 and it has grown enormously since then. Last year, more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey from National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. This day has been recognized by the U.S. Senate and elected officials in all 50 states. Local communities are also getting involved by helping promote and support local small businesses as neighborhood champions and rallying their community.

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Patriot Express® Line of Credit Now Available for Veteran Business Owners

When you’re ready to finance your business, there are several ways to approach it. In our “Ultimate Guide for Veteran-owned Small Businesses,” we outline the three main types:  self-financing, equity, or debt financing. And debt financing is the route many companies take once they’re established businesses with some revenue under their belts.

As a reminder, debt financing can include both secured and unsecured loans and lines of credit. It’s for the veteran business owners that need lines of credit that we’ve specifically created the Patriot Express® Line of Credit.

Previously, the SBA offered the Patriot Express Loan but it expired in 2013, which was unfortunate. It was a very popular program that funded $663 million in SBA-guaranteed loans. Veterans could get large loans at very low interest rates and low fees.

Fortunately, a few other programs exist to help veteran business owners get funding. The SBA has a similar program called the SBA Express Loan Program. Additionaly, StreetShares has created the Patriot Express® Line of Credit, which is not associated with the SBA.

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National Veterans Small Business Week at StreetShares – Free Resources

It’s National Veterans Small Business Week this week and we’re celebrating with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and every veteran who owns a business. Veteran small businesses make up approximately 2.4 million U.S. businesses or 9 percent of all American firms, according to the SBA.

These businesses have not just started, but most of them have been very successful. The military teaches valuable lessons that translate over to entrepreneurship. Mark Rockefeller, CEO and Co-Founder of StreetShares said there are three main skills that make veterans great entrepreneurs.

“Veterans are good at planning, taking a complicated task and breaking it down into smaller pieces and they’re great at multitasking,” he said in StreetShares’ Facebook Live event yesterday. In the military, you’ve got your primary job and then must accomplish many other tasks while doing well at your main job.

In honor and to help veterans on their entrepreneurship journey, StreetShares is dedicated to providing resources to enhance their ventures. As a veteran-owned and operated business that’s helping small businesses with their financing needs, we understand what it takes to be successful. One of our main resources is “The Ultimate Guide for Veteran-owned Small Businesses.” There are a ton of great resources available for veterans, but this guide puts everything in one place. You’ll learn:

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Raising Breast Cancer Awareness Every Day with the Recovery Brobe

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The whole month is dedicated to raising awareness to a disease that affects about 12 percent of women in the United States. About 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to breastcancer.org.

Many organizations participate in creating awareness in different ways. Susan G. Komen has affiliate local offices across the country and has several events throughout the month including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. Nationalbreastcancer.org always takes donations to help provide mammograms for women in need.

One StreetShares business borrower works every day to bring awareness to breast cancer. Brobe International creates stylish and functional recovery robes for women who have just undergone mastectomy, breast reconstruction or augmentation. “After much market research and seeing the need for such a special product that would help women feel more confident, comfortable and feminine, I knew I had to create this product,” said Allison Schickel, Founder and CEO of Brobe International.

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