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Did you know a military veteran owns 1 in 10 small businesses in America?

In total, that comes to 2.5 million small businesses across the country. That’s 5 million jobs in the U.S. and more than $1 trillion in sales every year.

National Veterans Small Business Week

It’s impossible to ignore the impact our military veterans have on our business community. That’s why the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week, this week from Nov. 5-9, 2018, just ahead of Veterans Day on November 11.

“As we approach Veterans Day and National Veterans Small Business Week, I encourage all Americans to thank those who have served our country in uniform – and to support their continued success as civilians,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon wrote in a recent blog post.

To honor NVSBW, the SBA is hosting scads of events across the country. You can check out events close to you or being hosted virtually by checking out this listing.

The SBA has several programs in place to help veterans adjust to civilian life by guiding them to start their own business.

Last week, McMahon and Dept. of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie announced a new 7-month pilot program that takes those programs a step further.

SBA and VA Celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week

“The SBA and VA will develop and launch an intensive entrepreneurship training program for veterans, helping them improve their management and executive leadership skills. The two Agencies will work together on shaping and scaling this new, in-depth program, and I look forward to our collaboration,” McMahon says.

She also thanked President Donald Trump for OK’ing the funding for this pilot program.

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“During their military service, these veterans defended the Nation at home and abroad, protecting our freedoms and very way of life with courage and tenacity,” Trump said in a statement released by The White House this morning. “As small business owners, they continue to contribute to the strength and prosperity of our Nation with their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas, achieving tremendous success in industry.”

Here’s a look at what programs and services the SBA and VA are partnering to bolster with this new pilot program:

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development: This office, and the 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers across the U.S., provide resources to military veterans and their spouses who are interested in starting their own business.

Boots to Business: The Boots to Business program runs educational classes at military facilities across the country and around the world throughout the year. There are about 700 classes hosted any given year, according to the SBA.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program: This program is designed to help small businesses owned by military vets who are disabled due to their time in service. It helps these entrepreneurs get their businesses certified to qualify for federal government contracts.

In addition to these programs from SBA and VA, there are plenty of other resources for military vets and their spouses wanting to start their own business. Check out:

20 Resources for Veteran Business Owners

And if you’re already a business owner and would like to hire a military vet to be part of your growing team, don’t forget that there are many unemployed military vets. Check out this great list:

15 Benefits of Hiring Military Veterans

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“This week in particular, we honor the critical role that veteran-owned businesses play in the success of our economy and of our Nation as a whole. The contributions of our veterans in the Armed Forces and in business have helped to build and preserve America’s greatness, and we owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay,” The White House says.

Photo via Shutterstock
Image: Small Business Administration

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