November 3-7 is the first annual National Veterans Small Business Week. During this important week designed to support our veteran entrepreneurs, Joining Forces is excited to recognize the continued national growth of VetCap, a series of workshops to train veteran entrepreneurs on where and how to raise capital for their businesses. VetCap (capital for veterans) originated from a White House Veterans Entrepreneurship Workshop, co-sponsored by Joining Forces and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, with support from the National Economic Council.
During National Veterans Small Business Week, the Obama Administration is connecting veterans from all over the country with workshops, resources, and training programs to establish and grow their businesses. Small businesses are essential to our nation’s economy and Veteran entrepreneurs are responsible for nearly one of every 10 small businesses; they generate over $1.2 trillion in receipts each year and employ nearly 6 million workers in the process.
The White House Veterans Entrepreneurship Workshop, held in February, brought together private sector leaders in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and veterans services to collaborate on new programs to help veterans launch and grow their businesses. The VetCap concept was proposed by Craig Hanson, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley working on veteran employment programs, and a team was subsequently formed to launch the idea into a national program. “Veterans represent some of our nation’s brightest and most dedicated entrepreneurs,” Hanson said. “A big hurdle for them, however, can be determining where and how to raise the capital they need to grow their businesses. VetCap is an innovative initiative inspired by a White House call to help veteran entrepreneurs.”
The DC launch of VetCap takes place November 6, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, as part of National Veterans Small Business Week. It will include a panel of experts from the major financing categories to teach veterans where to raise capital and how to make a pitch for financing. The event also features speakers from the White House National Economic Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration, to outline the government’s many programs to help veteran entrepreneurs. I am grateful to have the opportunity to speak at the event and meet with veteran entrepreneurs in attendance.
VetCap is an independent, private sector initiative, and Joining Forces is proud to have inspired these private sector innovators and entrepreneurs to aid in its mission to help military veterans create and grow their businesses. Doing so isn’t just good for their bottom line—it’s good for the entire country.