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Task Force Report: Empowering Veterans Through Entrepreneurship
At the President’s direction, SBA led the first-ever Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, which included representation from seven federal agencies and four leading veterans organizations. The Task Force is focused on increasing the number of veteran-owned businesses and the number of Americans – including other veterans – those businesses employ. Through public meetings, the Task Force gathered input and ideas which ranged widely in scope, strategy, and feasibility.
In November 2011, the Task Force delivered its first report to the President, which included 18 recommendations across three priority areas:
- INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH. By increasing the flow of capital and federal contracting opportunities to VOSBs, veterans will have more opportunities to build or expand a business and hire more workers.
- Recommendations include: leveraging new commitments from lenders to serve more veterans, increasing veteran participation in microlending and surety bond programs, and more.
- IMPROVE AND EXPAND COUNSELING AND TRAINING SERVICES. Tailored business counseling and training services helps put returning veterans – many of whom seek self-employment or small business ownership – on the path to success.
- Recommendations include: augmenting entrepreneurship programs for veterans, revising the Transition Assistance Program to include entrepreneurial resources, and easing navigation for veterans that go online to find federal tools.
- Recommendations include: reducing barriers for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in federal contracting, centralizing information for veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, developing streamlined certification processes, and more.
- REDUCE BARRIERS TO GROWTH AND IMPROVE COORDINATION AND EFFICIENCIES. By improving collaboration and focus across public, private, nonprofit, and academic resources, the federal government can more effectively identify and implement best practices that serve existing and prospective veteran small business owners.
- The report also includes additional recommendations ranging from modifications to the G.I. Bill benefits, to greater research surrounding veteran employment data, to revisions to unemployment compensation, and more.