I recently completed the certification process with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for my firm to become a Veteran Owned Small Business or VOSB. This designation isn’t nearly as familiar as the Minority-Owned Business (MBE) or Women-Owned Business (WBE) designations are. In 1999, the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act was passed to create contracting opportunities for veterans and mandated that the federal government was to award a percentage of all contracts to those businesses. Later the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 was passed by Congress to strengthen federal contracting opportunities for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small businesses (SDVOSB) and VOSBs.
I’m proud that our government is rewarding veterans for their years of service, sacrifice and commitment. Moreover, I believe our country will greatly benefit from this program just as it did from the GI Bill and other service member bills. According to the U.S. Census Bureau one in ten business owners served in the military. Moreover, many business tycoons like Sam Walton (Walmart Founder), Warren Buffett (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway), Fred Smith (FedEx Founder), Dave Liniger (RE/Max Founder), Phil Knight (Nike Founder), Alan Miller (Universal Health Services Founder), Jack Taylor (Enterprise Rent-A-Car Founder), Bob Parson (GoDaddy Founder) along with several others served our country in the armed forces and then pursued their dreams of building a successful business.
Since the passing of the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act “Vetpreneurship” is accelerating. According to the Small Business Administration there are 2.5 veteran owned businesses, they employ 5.03 million people, have an annual payroll of $195 billion and have annual revenues of $1.14 trillion. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. In my time in the Marine Corps teamwork was essential, along with communication, culture, trust and esprit de corps was paramount.
The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and this time of year always brings out our pride for everything American. Patriotism will be on full display with fireworks and what’s more American than buying veteran? Therefore, I’d encourage you to reach out to a VOSB or SDVOSB and support them by patronizing their company. I know a lot of veteran owned firms don’t display the VOSB or SDVOSB logos so help the firms you do know about by sharing their branding via social media or with word of mouth marketing. Another way to support a VOSB or SDVOSB is to be a mentor. I know when I started my firm I had a few good mentors who helped with several business functions like networking which I had little experience with.
Thanks for reading my blog post and I hope you will help spread the word about Vetpreneurship and VOSBs and SDVOSBs. If you are a veteran please reach out and I’d be happy to share more about my process to become a VOSB. The process wasn’t that bad I just had to dig up some old paperwork in the basement.
Matt Maciel, MA, MBA
Maciel Wealth Management, LLC