The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced $1.5 million in grant funding for six additional Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs), bringing the total number of VBOCs to 19 nationwide.
The grant, offered by SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development, enables each VBOC to provide entrepreneurial training, comprehensive business assessment, and mentoring to active duty service members, veterans and service-disabled veterans, National Guard and Reservists, and military spouses interested in starting a small business.
The VBOC grantees are:
- Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), Providence, RI
- University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
- Georgia Southern University Research & Services Foundation, Statesboro, GA
- Cochise County Community College District, Sierra Vista, AZ
- University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
- MiraCosta College, Oceanside, CA
Below is a list of the other VBOCs:
- Veterans Business Outreach Center at Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
- Big Sky Economic Development Authority, Billings, MT
- WBDC Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Community Business Partnership, Springfield, VA
- Hampton Roads Veterans Business Outreach Center, Norfolk, VA
- Veterans Business Outreach Center at Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL
- Veterans Business Outreach Center at Fayetteville State Univ., Fayetteville, NC
- VetBiz Central, Inc., Flint, MI
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX
- New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center, Albuquerque, NM
- Veterans Business Resource Center, St. Louis, MO
- Business Impact NW, Seattle, WA
- Veterans Business Outreach Center – Region IX, Sacramento, CA
"The SBA welcomes the new VBOC award recipients," said Barbara Carson, Associate Administrator, SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
"VBOCs are out front, synergizing the veteran small business ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to work with the centers to empower U.S. service members, military spouses, and all eras of veterans in starting and growing small businesses."
States and regions were selected as potential VBOC sites based on "Boots to Business" program demand, military installation, and transitioning population data.
The VBOC grant funding competition was open to eligible institutions of higher learning, private organizations or businesses, non-profit community-based organizations, state, local or tribal governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. Each award is made for a base project period of 12 months, with one 12-month renewal option period.
The VBOCs are responsible for supporting transitioning service members as they embark on self-employment or entrepreneurship. Part of the VBOC funding is used to cover costs involved in doing outreach to increase participation in the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program on military installations in the U.S. and its territories.
VBOCs are directed by the Small Business Act (Title 15 U.S.C. sec 637 (b)) to participate in the Defense Department's Transition Assistance Program. Since 2013, the Boots to Business program has trained over 40,000 transitioning service members, Reservists and National Guard members, and military spouses. The VBOCs also counsel and mentor approximately 60,000 veteran clients each year.
Each year SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, and National Guard and Reserve service members, and military spouses start and grow their small businesses. Veterans business development is available in each state at SBA District Offices and at VBOCs located throughout the U.S. To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.