United We Stand
Every successful mission is carried out by a group of soldiers standing together for a common cause. Our mission is no different.
The Veteran Business Owners Association recognizes the abilities of veterans and believes that the qualities that make a good soldier also make a good entrepreneur. The VBOA is a group of organizations implementing programs that assist veterans to develop and manage their own successful businesses. We provide tools and support to leverage the skills and interests of veterans as they become business owners in their communities.
We are gaining recognition of our program nationally. When our members grow their businesses, we grow our organization as a whole. If we can get the support of national organizations like the VA, SBA, and DOD we can repeat these proven efforts all over the country. With over 250 businesses started through the VBOA to date, we feel that our goal of starting 500 Veteran Owned Businesses nationwide is well within reach.
Years of Success Since Founded
Current VBOA Members
The Goal of the VBOA
“The VBOI has provided us with a great foundation of business knowledge and opportunities that we wouldn’t otherwise have. It has been great working with the veteran community to help each other and having that comradery.”Mark McCabe
“As a member and facilitator of the VBOA Business Gym classes it has provided me with the opportunity to grow my business and do what I love to do – teach fellow veterans to believe in themselves.”Eric Ham
The Veteran Business Owners Initiative was initially established to assist veterans facing physical and emotional challenges run successful ventures. It has since expanded into helping any veteran and/or their family member learn to become a successful entrepreneur. This organization offers an organized environment to support the program’s members at all levels of business development, from business plan creation to running daily operations. While veterans involved in this peer support group have proven their willingness to succeed as business-owners, various members have reached the point of being ready to launch or grow their businesses but have been held back by the lack of accessible financing options.
The group, which is run by veterans for veterans, holds biweekly meetings in which members participate in discussions of their businesses’ progress. This initiative was created in 2004 at the Bedford, Massachusetts location of the Veterans’ Health Administration with the purpose of helping veterans expand employment opportunities beyond the realm of the typical low-wage, low-commitment jobs offered to veterans, some with disabilities. The initiative has since developed the Business Gym, an eighteen week program that teaches fundamental business concepts and tools.
The Empowerment Bank is a non-profit organization created to fund the entrepreneurial ventures of veterans by providing them access to micro-loans. The Veteran Business Owners Initiative (VBOI), is the umbrella association under which the Empowerment Bank exists.
In point of fact, while all this was going on, we found our veteran members were getting better; feeling good about themselves and engaging each other and the full society around them very successfully. Many achievements have been noted, businesses have made money, full time jobs have been taken, enrollment to higher education and healthy new relationships have been started, including engagements of which we are very proud. With determination and thoughtful planning, we are optimistic about the future of this program and our role as veterans helping veterans to do more than overcome— to excel at whatever goals we choose for ourselves!
Let’s Get To Business
Your success depends on making sure you have help from people who are familiar with your location and the businesses that thrive in that area. Head to your location’s page to get into contact with the VBOI members that can best assist you.