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  • VBS Introduces its VRE Program for 2015 at SBA Advisory Committee

    VBS Introduces its VRE Self-Employment Program for 2015 at SBA Advisory Committee for Veterans Business Affairs.

    VBS Managing Partner, Jim Mingey was provided the opportunity to present the VBS Program for Franchise Self-Employment for 2015. VBS was among several presenters on Veteran Small Business including Tom Liney, Executive Director for the VA Office of Veterans Small Business Programs. VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VRE) is now trying to develop new ways to expose the VRE Self-Employment Program through the SBA’s Boots to Business program for transitioning Veterans and their families. The VBS Program will offer franchise training options eligible under the VRE Program.

    Currently less than 1% of transitioning Veterans who qualify for VRE choose to participate in the VRE Self-Employment Track. These figures pale against the SBA report that states that over 9% of all U.S. businesses are owned by Veterans. Some of the disparity reflects the severity of a disability that affects the VRE client. The VBS Program will offer four Veterans, who quality under the VRE program, training to learn how to help other veterans to acquire franchises or how to develop a franchise system.

    VRE qualified Veterans should contact VBS directly at 202-349-0860 or can apply for VRE qualification online go at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/

  • With the recent complaints about delays in case management at the Veterans Administration, one might think that any innovative idea to help Veterans pursue their small business dreams might just have to be a pipe dream. And even if it was a great idea, it would probably die on the vine due to administrative paralysis. Fortunately for Veterans and VBS, there are some very conscientious individuals and even a few risk takers who work as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) in the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E). VR&E is charged with coordinating custom care programs for disabled Veterans trying to find a new path in life. This can include self-employment, and VR&E has recently encouraged all VRCs to find more ways to help Veterans take entrepreneurial paths.

    Recently, a Veteran VR&E client was able to get care, obtain a disability rating, qualify for the VR&E program, simultaneously pursue both employment and self-employment goal scenarios, and then finally develop and obtain funding for a custom self-employment plan that will also help other Veterans enter the franchise industry. All this was accomplished on a schedule that met important VR&E client expectations and just as importantly, the timing of marketplace requirements. Along the way, VR&E counselors helped secure approvals for new innovative entrepreneurial courses and necessary equipment to implement the plan. The VRC also participated in securing SBA guarantees, a special Service Disabled Veteran loan and finally provided a VA grant. All of financing was deemed feasible and also met market standards.

    Although developing the tool to accelerate VR&E processes was challenging for VR&E at times, the end result will now help more Veterans pursue franchise concepts and their small business dreams. And with the tool, the Veterans can move more comprehensively and at their own pace. Each Veteran and VRC becomes a member of the VetSuccess Team. It appears that just helping the most deserving Veterans succeed in self-employment at VR&E might be a good way to speed-up other processes at the VA, too. VBS was proud to participate in the process. For more information click here.

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