Are you a veteran transitioning from active service and want to become an entrepreneur? Or perhaps you’ve been out of the service for some time and want to start a new small business or expand an existing one?
If that’s you or someone you know, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, a new commitment by its top national regional and community lenders to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. This initiative has the potential to boost the already $2.1 billion per year in lending support that various SBA programs provide to new and existing vet small business owners.
I’ve heard stories that many veteran entrepreneurs face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan. This is why getting out the word about this new initiative is so important. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners, and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years.
This initiative also complements SBA’s existing partnership with the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO’s) VetLoan Advantage strategic initiative that offers small business financing discounts and training to veterans who own businesses or are interested in small business ownership.
The combined goal by the top 20 national lending partners’ will provide nearly $249 million of lending, potentially impacting nearly 800 veteran entrepreneurs. The five percent increase in lending by approximately 10 lenders in each of the 10 Regions will account for the remaining $226 million in loans and more than 1,100 additional veteran entrepreneurs assisted.
I know that if we support our veteran entrepreneurs, and provide them with the tools they need, they will have a higher chance of success. Already, veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners. Nearly one in ten of small businesses are veteran-owned. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5 million individuals. In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
I just have to echo SBA Administrator Karen Mills, speaking recently at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, who said “Our service men and women have made incalculable contributions and sacrifices for our country, and supporting them as they pursue their dreams to start or grow their own business is one of SBA’s highest priorities. Through this partnership with national lending partners and regional lenders across the U.S. we stand ready to serve veteran entrepreneurs with loan- guarantees, entrepreneurial training, and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive the local economy and create jobs for themselves and their communities.”
So for all of you aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, if you need capital for your small business, please call one of SBA’s 68 local district offices, or one of its 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide.
SBA’s resources for veterans, and its partnership with 1,000 Small Business Development Centers and some 12,000 SCORE-Counselors to America’s Small Businesses volunteers, help more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists each year.
To learn more about additional opportunities for potential and existing veteran small businesses, visit the website at www.sba.gov/veterans.
Did you know that the world’s population already surpasses 7 billion?
Did you know that more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States?
U.S. exports of goods and services accounted for 14 percent of the national GDP in 2008 and climbed to 14 percent in 2012. These numbers show the growing role exports are playing in our nation’s economic recovery.
The surprising fact about these numbers is that only less than one percent of the 30 million plus companies in the U.S. are engaged in exporting. Can you imagine the scenario if instead of one percent it were two percent?
Clearly, the potential of exports as a major economic engine cannot be overstated, that’s why, in his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative as an effort and a challenge to promote American exports. Two years later, there is evidence that those efforts are paying off: In 2012, U.S. exports hit an all-time record of $2.2 trillion and supported 9.8 million jobs.
The core mission of the U.S. Small Business Administration is to help small businesses start, grow and create jobs; the foundation of an economy built to last. Helping small business exporters succeed in the global market is a critical part of that agenda, which SBA carries out through financial assistance, training, counseling and a wide array of export-support services in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners in the private sector.
One example of such collaboration is the annual export video contest that SBA and Visa, Inc., have been co-sponsoring since 2011. It is designed to encourage small business exporters to share, via a short video, their success stories and small practices as an inspiration for other small businesses to explore exporting as a viable, profitable option.
Five video entries are selected as winners based on the following criteria:
- Inspirational nature of the message for potential exporters and effectiveness in promoting exporting
- Creativity and uniqueness of video concept
- Value of lessons learned/communicated
- Use of U.S. Government program/service
- Innovative means of delivering the message
- Audio and visual quality of the video
The awards include monetary incentives that range from $2,000 for fifth place to $10,000 for first place. This year’s winners were:
- First place: Bassets Ice Cream of Philadelphia, with an entry titled “Scooping Up International Sales”
- Second place: REKLUSE of Boise, ID, with “Exporting Success“
- Third place: Premier Choice Inc, DBA Perfect Bite of San Jose, Calif., with “‘Fruits’ of Our Labor”
- Fourth place: MMIC of Johnsbury, Vermont, with “MMIC What We Do”
- Fifth place: CID Bio-Science of Camas, Wash., with “The World and Beyond”
The awards were presented on May 16 by SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade Dario Gomez at the World Trade Day conference in Denver, where SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns was a keynote speaker. Also recognized was the winner of SBA 2013 Exporter of the Year award, Zeigler Bros., Inc. (ZBI), like Bassett Ice Cream, another firm from Pennsylvania. ZBI is engaged in the research, development and production of nutritional solutions for the aquaculture, pet/zoo and lab/biomedical industries.
As Johns said, these firms are prime examples that “exporting is a profitable, rewarding path to success.”
As a business owner, you may feel that you’re doing pretty well so far but, let’s face it, if you can substantially increase your bottom line and in the process help the nation’s economy, wouldn’t you say that’s an enticing proposition?
Remember the numbers: 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S … and that’s a huge market! Getting a piece of that pie doesn’t have to be a dream deferred; it’s as close as a click or phone call away through the SBA. To “borrow” a popular slogan: “Just Do It!”read more
NOTE: This blog is by Pravina Raghavan, Director, Innovation and Technology at SBA.
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Thinking about exporting, but don’t know where to start? As part of World Trade Month, SBA will host a Google+ Hangout on May 22. The hangout will highlight ways that business can use federal government resources to increase exports.
Wednesday, May 22 at 3pm ET
- Dario Gomez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Associate Administrator for International Trade
- Antwaun Griffin, U.S. Department of Commerce- International Trade Administration, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations
- Dontai Smalls, UPS, Vice President for Public Affairs
- Al Youngworth, CEO of Rekluse and SBA’s Exporter of the Year
- Brian Kim, BBCN Bank Los Angeles and SBA’s Export Lender of the Year
Join the Conversation:
Submit your questions via Twitter using the hashtag #TradeChatread more
Note: This blog is by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and first appeared at Healthcare.gov on April 30.
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This blog is by Don Graves, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Housing, and Community Development Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury and has served as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. This blog first appeared at Treasury.Gov.
President Obama and Secretary Lew are committed to creating an environment where America’s small businesses can grow and prosper. An essential aspect of making sure these engines of job creation succeed is ensuring that entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to the capital and credit needed to turn their ideas into successful enterprises. The Department of the Treasury, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and agencies across the Administration have taken many steps over the last four years to support small business growth and enable innovation and expansion of small business financing.
But there is more work to do. On June 10, 2013, Treasury and SBA will host a Capital Access Innovation Summit. The day-long event will convene innovators in the field of small business financing with the goal of sharing innovative practices in the private sector and learning how the Administration can enable or encourage increased access to capital for small businesses. Building on the success of two previous capital access conferences, we will focus primarily on three areas: (1) Public and Private Capital Markets Access for Small Businesses – including innovative solutions to address any remaining gaps, (2) Small Business Financing: Data and Innovation – how the delivery of small business capital could be enhanced through emerging technology-enabled platforms and other innovations, and (3) Engaging Large Companies to Promote Small Business Growth.
To inform this conversation about small business growth, and help set the agenda for this year’s Capital Access Innovation Summit, we want to hear from you. Do you know leaders and innovators in small business financing? At Treasury.Gov, tell us about (a) leading innovators using technology and data to expand capital access; (b) effective partnerships between large and small businesses, and (c) thought leaders who have identified gaps in small business financing and effective solutions to fill these gaps.read more
President Barack Obama recently proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month. Recognizing the importance of smart financial planning in achieving the American Dream, this month calls on individuals to empower themselves by seek…
Export, trade and finance related agencies across the federal government are teaming up during World Trade Month – May 2013 – to host a series of Twitter Q&A’s for U.S. companies. Businesses can participate by tweeting their questions u…read more
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