Posts

Sgt. Michallie Wesley, an operations noncommissioned officer in B Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center, answers a question as a panelist taking part in an interactive discussion on the theme of "Women Serving in Combat" at Camp Liberty, Iraq, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jennifer Sardam) (released)

Veteran’s Day: Veterans make great entrepreneurs

In the near term more than 250,000 service members a year will transition into civilian life and become veterans, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This means the economy will likely experience a significant increase in veteran-owned businesses.

veterans

Sgt. Michallie Wesley, an operations noncommissioned officer in B Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center, answers a question as a panelist taking part in an interactive discussion on the theme of “Women Serving in Combat” at Camp Liberty, Iraq, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jennifer Sardam) (released)

Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans, according to the agency, and about 2.4 million or 9 percent of all U.S. small businesses are veteran-owned, representing about $1 trillion in annual sales.

Many consider veterans to be the perfect entrepreneur. The Fire and Adjust website noted 10 reasons why veterans make good entrepreneurs: confidence, self-motivation, discipline, listening skills, determination, leadership, risk management, stress management, teamwork and focus.

“Veterans possess some of the most important skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs,” said Michele Markey, vice president of Kauffman FastTrac. “Leadership experience and the ability to calculate risk, manage teams and take initiative are invaluable characteristics of successful business owners.”

The following are some tips to help veteran entrepreneurs succeed in business:

  1. Leverage military training.

Through their years in service, veterans learned valuable skills relevant to running a business, including confidence, self motivation, discipline, listening, determination, leadership, risk management, stress management, teamwork and focus.

Veterans should make the most of their acquired skills and treat them as a competitive advantage. While these skills no longer mean making decisions that amount to the difference between life and death, they can be enlisted to keep a business alive and thriving.

  1. Set up a veteran-owned business

These days diversity programs extend beyond aiding minority- and women-owned programs. Programs within large corporations and government agencies assist veteran-owned and disabled-veteran-owned businesses. Veterans should seek out local, state and federal certifications that give priority to veteran-owned businesses.

  1. Check resources

Other organizations assist veteran-owned businesses. Check local SCOREchapters and the Boots to Business website to find resources that aid veteran-owned businesses.

  1. Seek out training

Running a business is not easy. Programs such as the one offered by Kauffman FastTrac or Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses can be beneficial. Veterans can also inquire about other training opportunities by contacting local community colleges, SCORE and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  1. Network

Being an entrepreneur is a lonely job. Apart from accruing business-development advantages from actively networking, veterans can receive valuable mentoring from other former servicepeople. Such relationships can be beneficial for dealing with business matters and challenges arising from having been in active service.

The SBA helps entrepreneurs through its Small Business Development Center (or SBDC) program, providing management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. These centers offer one-stop assistance, including information and guidance, to individuals and small businesses in central and easily accessible branch locations.

*All graphs were extracted from the “2013 Minority Veterans Report” prepared by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics and published on August 2015by the NCVAS National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.

Midshipman First Class Maia Molina-Schaefer, far right, is the first woman in Naval Academy history to compete in and win the annual brigade boxing championship. Also pictured from the left, are Cadet First Class Jessica C. Tomazic, U.S. Military Academy; Cadet First Class Cindy Nieves, U.S. Air Force Academy; and Cadet First Class Lily Zepeda, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Photo by Rudi Williams

Midshipman First Class Maia Molina-Schaefer, far right, is the first woman in Naval Academy history to compete in and win the annual brigade boxing championship. Also pictured from the left, are Cadet First Class Jessica C. Tomazic, U.S. Military Academy; Cadet First Class Cindy Nieves, U.S. Air Force Academy; and Cadet First Class Lily Zepeda, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. (Photo by Rudi Williams)

Interesting facts about Women Veterans

  • As the share of women in the military increases, so does the share of veterans who are women. The 2010 Current Population Survey estimates that there are just over 22 million veterans, almost 1.8 million of whom are women (8%); and among the estimated 2.2 million post-9/11 veterans, more than 400,000 (19%) are women.
  • Today’s women veterans have served in every era dating back to World War II, when women in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and other voluntary divisions served in positions other than nurses for the first time.
  • Nationally, the number of women vets using Veterans Health Administration (VA) services has nearly doubled (PDF) in the past decade, and VA hospitals and clinics have scrambled to meet the needs of their new patients.
  • The share of Hispanics among women and men in the armed forces is similar (13% vs. 12%, respectively), and the share of military women who are Hispanic is smaller than that of Hispanic women ages 18-44 in the U.S. civilian population (16%). But the number of Hispanics enlisting in the active-duty force each year has risen significantly over the last decade. In 2003, Hispanic women and men made up 11.5% of the new enlistees to the military; just seven years later, in 2010, they made up 16.9% of non-prior service enlisted accessions. (From Women in the U.S. Military: Growing Share, Distinctive Profile).
Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink_feature

“Shark Tank” Daymond John gives you 3 tips to win $200K (video)

ABC's Shark Tank's judge and business mogul Daymond John

ABC’s Shark Tank’s judge and business mogul Daymond John

Are you a LIBizus startup or entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level? Do you have confidence that your new idea is worth over $200K? Then Miller Lite Tap the Future is what you have been waiting for!

Miller Lite Tap the Future gives participants the chance to present original business ideas and compete for the grand prize while working with world-known business moguls like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.” This year, in addition to business teams, they are also accepting “solopreneurs” to the program.

Beginning February 6, entrepreneurs ages 21 and over can submit applications up until April 10, 2015. Thirty semi-finalists will be selected to pitch their business ideas in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Detroit throughout July.

One business from each city will be chosen by a panel of judges to move on to the national finals and win $20,000. In September, the final six participants will compete in Chicago for a $200,000 grand prize.

“Miller Lite Tap the Future is the ultimate competition for entrepreneurs who want to be recognized and rewarded for following their true passion,” said John. “I encourage all entrepreneurs to apply for a chance to get their original idea out there and receive advice on how to take it to the next level.”

Two years in the works, Tap the Future has received over 4,000 submissions and provided $700,000 to fund original business ideas in all industries. Previous winners, Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray, were acquired for $27 million after creating Swyft Media, a company that creates stickers and emojis that are compatible with mobile messaging apps like Kik, Tango and Viber.

Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink

Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink

Miller Brewing Company began as just an idea in 1885 and has grown to be one of the top-five selling beers in the United States. Miller remembers where they started and are using this opportunity to give back to those who share the same passion for entrepreneurship.

“The original light beer exists because Frederick Miller followed his passion against all odds, so it is important for Miller Lite to support entrepreneurs who want to pursue theirs,” said Steve Canal, MillerCoors manager of community commerce and partnerships. “Not only does Miller Lite Tap the Future offer entrepreneurs the chance to interact with top business experts like Daymond John, but it also provides the tools and funding resources to help bring great ideas to life.”

These are John’s three tips to be a winner:

  1. Recognize the importance of mentors in life and business

    Daymond John with previous years' participants

    Daymond John with previous years’ participants

“I often speak about the importance of mentors. These days I’m usually the one doing the mentoring but I wanted to use this week’s blog to give people some insight into the people who changed my life through their mentorship. Mentors can be people who come into your life for a brief period or those who stick around forever. My friend, and current mentor Jay Abraham, who I’ve mentioned many times in the past, recently shared a study with me. It found that startups that have helpful mentors, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth. Mentorship is what allowed the successful companies to focus, not take funding too soon, and scale at a good pace. I’m thankful for all of the mentors who have helped me throughout my career and life,” Daymond John says on this article “Mentors who changed my life.”

  1. Be a “go-giver”, not a go-getter

“When I’m on the road speaking, or really anywhere out in public, people often approach me to discuss their businesses. More often than not, they ask me for something, ‘Can you help me get distribution,’ ‘Can you help me with my next round of funding,’ etc. While it’s good to approach the people whom you’d like to work with, this is not the best way to do it, he says in his article “Be a Go-Giver, not a Go-Getter.”

“The best way to approach these people is to OFFER services rather than ASK for them. The people I end up working with are the ones who come up to me and say, ‘I’d love to work with you. How can I help you with what you have going on?’ Or ‘I do such and such service, I’d like to offer it to you free of charge so you can see the quality of my work.’ The next time you’re at a networking event, give the go-giver approach a shot, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results,” he concludes.

  1. Practice these three ways to get ahead

    Participants at the Tap the Future competition

    Participants at the Tap the Future competition

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John knows a thing or two about being successful. In this video, he shares three tips to keep in mind when trying to get ahead. He advises that you should watch what you say on social media, keep your appearance in mind and learn from everyone you meet.

Click here to watch the video with Daymond’s tips on getting ahead!

Applications are being accepted now until Friday, April 10, 2015. Good luck! Click here to apply.