Greetings from the North Dakota Small Business Development Network (ND SBDC, ND PTAC, and VBOC of the Dakotas!)
With National Veterans Small Business Week only a few short weeks away (October 31-November 4), the North Dakota Small Business Development Network would like to take this time to highlight our commitment to veteran small business entrepreneurs.
Veterans and active U.S. Military Members are highly skilled at persevering, adapting, quickly creating a plan, and moving into action. This resiliency, flexibility, commitment, and dedication put these men and women in positions of excellent business owners! This is part of the reason that veterans are historically more likely than their non-veteran peers to start businesses. Currently, veteran-owned businesses make up a notable 2.5 million independent businesses that produce revenues in excess of $1 trillion and employ more than 5.8 million people across the nation.
Recent survey results have indicated that veterans perceive major challenges in starting their own businesses, listing obstacles such as limited opportunities to network, difficulties developing mentorships, and limited access to capital. These problems don’t need to be major hurdles to entrepreneurship. They can be overcome with the support of programs like the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program.
The VBOC program is best known for Boots to Business (B2B) and Boots to Business Reboot training workshops, but the program offers a wide range of entrepreneurial development services such as business training, advising, mentorship, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans of any era, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. In North and South Dakota, VBOC of the Dakotas is the one-stop shop for these services.
“The Boots to Business and VBOC really did provide a solid planning base for us and give us good frameworks for making early decisions.” Lila Teunissen and Michelle Thomsen, Bed N Biscuit Ranch.
“VBOC is there to help me along the way. We have conversations about things I didn’t even know I needed to think about. I can always call Wendy to get her two cents if I have a question.” Felix Irving, Beard BQ Sauce
“Attend B2B, so you will know what resources exist for you as you try to figure out your next steps. If it weren’t for the SBA resource programs and services, we would still be stuck trying to figure out how to buy the business.” – Monika Johncour, Timber Ridge Campground.
While VBOC is our direct line to veteran services, the rest of our Small Business Development Network is equally proud to support and serve our nation’s veteran community. In the last five years, the ND SBDC team has been honored to serve almost 500 veterans and other military-connected individuals.
Service members, National Guard & Reserve members, military spouses, and veterans in need of business development assistance: please reach out to VBOC of the Dakotas to see how they can assist you on your entrepreneurial journey.
We thank you for your service!
Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network