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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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Special Government Contracting Programs for Veteran-owned Businesses

By StreetShares on June 21, 2017

Veteran business owners and entrepreneurs interested in doing business with the U.S. Government need to understand the programs and preferences that have been established to support veteran participation in federal government contracting.

Let us help you understand the preference programs established for veteran-owned businesses and explain the distinctions and differences between the Veterans First Program established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the government-wide Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business Concern Program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Qualifying as a Veteran

A Veteran is a person who served on active duty with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard for any length of time, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. A reservist or member of the National Guard called to federal active duty, or disabled from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty or while training also qualifies as a Veteran.

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Highlighting Our Heroes: Support Veteran Small Business by Investing

With the Fourth of July approaching, we’re celebrating and honoring military veterans who continue to make an impact in our country with the businesses they’re running. Our heroes this week feature veteran business owners in business consulting, mental health, drone services, government contracting and subscription services.

Learn more about each hero below and on iHeart Radio’s BIG 100 local Washington, DC radio station or stream online at 5:00pm eastern every week day. Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to see who is featured next week.   

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Highlighting Our Heroes: Veteran Businesses & Government Contracting

This week’s military and veteran heroes come from backgrounds in intelligence, entrepreneurship, small business and government contracting. Learn about their stories in deployment overseas and what they’re doing now back in the United States to continue to serve their country. Our heroes this week include StreetShares members such as StreetShares Foundation finalists and supporters of the veteran small business community.

Join us in ‘Highlighting Our Heroes’ with iHeart Radio and the StreetShares community, by learning about them and sharing their stories. Tune in to BIG 100 in the Washington, DC metro region each weekday at 5:00pm eastern or stream online at iheartmedia.com to hear stories of our veterans, service members and military families. Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to be the first to know who we’re featuring.

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May Veteran Business Grants Awarded to Military Spouse Business Owners

Last month, we recognized 10 Military Spouse business owners as finalists in StreetShares Foundation’s Veteran Small Business Awards. Now is the time to announce the winners! We’re proud to give Military Spouse business owners the recognition they deserve. As the foundation of military families around the world, they’re not only caring for families at home, but are also talented and driven individuals who have founded businesses that support their military lifestyles.

First Place: Brooke Barnes, Air Force Military Spouse, Co-founder of Edge Co-Working (Clovis, New Mexico)

Second Place: Kathryn Thomas, Navy Veteran and Military Spouse, CEO of Yoga 4 Change (Jacksonville, Florida)

Third Place: Abbey Sass, Army Military Spouse, Co-founder of Civil Sass (Chatfield, Minnesota)

We're proud to represent these amazing military spouse business owners through the Veteran Small Business Award and look forward to growing with their businesses as they need business loans, lines of credit and government contract financing.

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Government Contract Financing: How Does Mobilization Funding Work?

Many think only very large companies can do business with the government, which is untrue. Congress sees how important small businesses are to the U.S. economy and has set aside goal measures for each department to purchase goods and services from small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses.  

However, being a government contractor as a small business owner takes an enormous amount of work and lots of steps to be successful. We put together an ebook, The Government Contractor’s Handbook,” in partnership with FedBid, GovTribe and WinBiz Proposals to help you every step of the way. It covers topics such as teaming up, working with a contracting officer, contract financing, proposal basics, bidding for a contract and managing your sales process. 

The Government Contractor's Handbook

Today, we’re going to go over one of the most important steps in government contracting – government contract financing and how you can mobilize funding alongside your accounts receivables financing. Without small business contract financing, you’ll find it hard to fulfill those government contracts. Some business owners look toward avenues that aren’t sustainable for their business. Traditional bank loans ask for collateral that add a huge personal risk. Credit cards have high rates and the limits are far below what you need to finance a government contract. Giving up equity and ownership can affect your preferred veteran status. 

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Forget Silicon Valley: 5 Reasons Veteran Entrepreneurs Launch Startups In Unexpected Places

The US Navy Blue Angels numbers 5 and 6 fly near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California as part of a practice run for Fleet Week on October 6, 2016. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

This article was originally published in Forbes. 

I recently read a list of the 10 best cities to launch a startup. It included the places you’d expect: Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Tel Aviv, London, Chicago, Seattle, Berlin and Singapore.

My co-founder and I launched our startup, StreetShares, outside of Washington, DC, which was not on the list. For two years now, people have been telling us to move our company to Silicon Valley. Even now, I write this article on a plane heading back from investor meetings in San Francisco where we were told we should move, yet again. We’ve resisted.

Here’s why many entrepreneurs, particularly “vetrepreneurs” (those with military experience like us), choose to launch their startups away from the conventional hotspots.

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Top 10 Most Influential Military Spouse Business Owners

By StreetShares on May 12, 2017

Life as a military spouse can be full of adventure, fun, new beginnings and discounts galore. It also can be full of uncertainty, sacrifice and self-reliance; moves are endless, friendships are constantly evolving, and children are uprooted. Unfortunately, the transitory nature of the military has an especially deep impact on spouse’s employment opportunities.

Recent statistics have shown more than 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed or overqualified for the jobs they currently hold, and salary for those jobs is 38 percent less than the civilian equivalent. Beyond that, unemployment among military spouses is extremely high at 26 percent, or three times higher than the national average. Hiring managers tend to look for longevity on resumes – one thing that military spouses cannot provide.

This year, May 12, 2017 is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. To memorialize this day we wanted to focus in on some incredibly influential military spouses who, through their successful businesses, have either worked to change the unemployment rate among military spouses or have simply found a way to defy the odds and have become influential through their admirable business models. We are excited to highlight these 10 amazing women as a way to show our appreciation for all they are doing in the military community and illuminate their own unique service to our country.

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April 2017 Veteran Business Grants Given to Veteran Business Owners

As we kick off National Military Appreciation Month the StreetShares Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the April Veteran Small Business Awards. These winners and veteran small business owners have a common business mission – to help veterans build their lives after leaving the military, whether it’s through a new therapy or working on an inspiring new idea. As veteran entrepreneurs, they’ve leveraged the veteran business community to help grow their small businesses through programs like the Bunker Labs, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) and through veteran business grants from the StreetShares Foundation. Without further ado, we are proud to announce this month’s winners:

First Place: Kendra Simpkins, Army Veteran, Owner/Clinical Practitioner at Sarasota Rapid Resolution Therapy (Sarasota, Florida)

Second Place: Eddy Mejia, Army Veteran, Founder/CEO of ShoeBoxOne (Chicago, Illinois)

Third Place: Maria Mayes, Army Veteran, Founder, Managing Partner at Morgan Veteran Recruiting Group (Tulsa, Oklahoma) 

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Small Business Impact on the U.S. Economy & How Business Funding Helps

Do you realize how much our big economy relies on small business? As we celebrate National Small Business Week, let’s take a look at exactly how much small businesses impact the U.S. economy and more specifically how StreetShares small business owners and veteran business owners make an impact.

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4 Secrets to Become a Successful Veteran Government Contractor

The U.S. Government constantly adjusts and grows as new needs arise with changes in technology and resources. As the nation's largest consumer, the government needs an army of contractors to support its massive consumption requirements. As a result, the benefits available through government contracts are abounding. Veteran contractors are perfect candidates to fill this growing landscape because of your previous employment by the government. You’ve also learned lessons, acquired tools, and made contacts from your military experience that could be valuable in the government contracting space.

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