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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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Highlighting Our Heroes: Featuring Veteran Business Influencers

During Armed Forces Day, we honor everyone serving in all branches of the United States military. President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish this holiday and in 1961, John F. Kennedy declared Armed Forces Day a national holiday that is celebrated on the third Saturday of May.

“Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

– President John F. Kennedy, 1963

With Memorial Day approaching, we continue to ‘Highlight Our Heroes’ and StreetShares members, veteran business owners and investors with iHeart Media as we feature veterans from each military branch. Tune in to BIG 100 in the Washington, DC metro region each day this week a 5:00pm Eastern or stream online at iheartmedia.com to hear their stories. 

Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to be the first to know who is featured each week at highlightingourheroes.com.

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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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Highlighting Our Heroes: Featuring Veteran Business Owners, Investors

Last week we celebrated National Military Spouse Appreciation Day and recognized 10 influential military spouse business owners. We’re continuing to honor military members this week during National Military Appreciation Month through our joint campaign with iHeart Media, Highlighting Our Heroes.

Our heroes this week include members from all branches of service including military spouses who have also sacrificed for our country. StreetShares members include veteran small business owners who have taken a veteran business loan, line of credit or received government contract financing, or every day investors in the U.S. who are supporting these veteran small businesses with their investments.

Tune in to BIG 100 in the Washington, DC metro region each day this week a 5:00pm Eastern or stream online at iheartmedia.com to hear their stories. Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to be the first to know who is featured each week at highlightingourheroes.com.

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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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May 2017 Finalists: Military Spouse Business Owners

In honor of the upcoming Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 12, the StreetShares Foundation is dedicating its Veteran Small Business Award to Military Spouse business owners.

Military Spouses give a lot to our country by supporting their spouses while they serve locally or overseas. Military families may receive several Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders over the lifetime of a military career. And military spouses are the backbones of those families. They’re the ones who are keeping the home and family running. This may be through caring for children, building their careers or starting small businesses.

The StreetShares Foundation recognizes Military Spouse business owners by including exclusively Military Spouse business owners in this month’s contest. Check out these amazing businesses and be sure to vote this month. Voting closes at midnight on May 25.

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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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Highlighting Our Heroes: Military Spouse & Veteran Small Business Owners

It's week two of National Military Appreciation Month. This week is Public Service Recognition Week (PRSW) and today is Victory Day in Europe. Seventy-two years ago today, the world celebrated Victory in Europe Day as the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. The veterans of World War II served their country both in uniform and as civilian leaders; 49 percent of veterans in this Greatest Generation would go on own to operate their own small business.

StreetShares works every day to power a "New Greatest Generation" taking on the challenge of leadership — Syracuse University reports that 25 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans plan to start their own business in the next 10 years.

Let’s highlight five of the "New Greatest Generation" veterans and military community members in our ‘Highlighting Our Heroes’ joint campaign with iHeart Media. Tune in to BIG 100 in the Washington, DC metro region each day this week a 5:00pm Eastern or stream online at iheartmedia.com to hear their stories. Subscribe to the StreetShares blog to be the first to know who is featured each week at highlightingourheroes.com.

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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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Celebrating Small Business, Military Service and Veteran Entrepreneurs

It’s National Small Business Week and the beginning of National Military Appreciation Month! We’re honored to be associated with these two special celebrations and to get the Professional Services Innovator of the year award ourselves from the Greater Washington Innovation Awards.

At StreetShares, we recognize small businesses, military members and veterans every week as they are who we serve every day. The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared this week as National Small Business Week to highlight the impact of exceptional entrepreneurs and small business owners who fuel the U.S. economy by creating jobs and innovation. 

Senator John McCain designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. During this month, it’s encouraged for Americans to recognize U.S. service members. There are six national observance days to help everyone get involved.

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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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