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St. Louis Veterans Business Resource Center Named Top in Nation for 2015
The Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC) headquartered in St. Louis, the nation’s first center assisting military Veteran entrepreneurs, has been selected as the National Veteran’s Business Center of the Year for 2015 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The VBRC helps veterans and their families develop their entrepreneurial and small business goals in the four-state Region VII SBA states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas and celebrated its 10th anniversary in June 2014.
Last week, the VBRC was re-awarded a grant of $319,000 a year with two year option to continue administrative functions in support of the entrepreneurial training and counseling programs in the form of a cooperative agreement with the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. This project has spanned the last five years. The Center provides individually tailored advice, training, seminars and an annual summit for Veterans who wish to start or expand a company.
“I can’t imagine any other center being as professional, organized and headed by such a dedicated dynamo as executive director Darcella Craven. We are very, very proud of the work they have done and are grateful to assist them in serving veterans in Region VII,” said Patricia Brown-Dixon, Region VII Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The St. Louis VBRC has provided services to more than 10,000 military veterans and family members in Region VII without charge over the last ten years. The Center graduated nearly 100 Veterans from its Bootstrap business plan training programs and supports SBA’s Boot to Business program trainings for military members transitioning from the service to civilian life.
Center employees have been invited to SBA’s National Small Business Week to receive the award at the White House on May 8 and will be recognized as well in the Eastern Missouri Small Business Week activities May 4-8.