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Veteran Entrepreneurs Honored as White House Champions of Change

Published: August 28, 2014

The energy in the room was inspiring as 11 veteran and veteran spouse entrepreneurs took the stage to be honored as Champions of Change on August 27.  Invited to the White House to be honored for their extraordinary achievements, these “Champions” are community leaders who empower veterans and give back to the veteran community. 

Throughout the event, there was one constant theme: Veterans are natural leaders.  Military training provides veterans with a skillset that translates directly to entrepreneurship.  “People might learn leadership in various ways, but there’s no place like the military,” said Champion Louisa Long Jaffe who attributes the problem solving skills taught in the military as one of many reasons veterans not only make successful entrepreneurs, but also great employees. 

The Champions also spoke of their passion to serve; a passion that has evolved from serving their country in uniform, to serving their communities by creating jobs, providing solutions, and contributing to economic growth. 

Among the audience were Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec, sharks from ABC’s critically-acclaimed Shark Tank.  In a panel moderated by Kelly Perdew, West Point graduate and season two winner of NBC’s The Apprentice, the Sharks, tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons and several business owners funded by the Sharks, expressed gratitude to these men and women who continue to serve their nation by contributing to economic growth and spoke to the Champions about the struggles and rewards of owning a business, paving a road to success. 

Rhett Jeppson, Associate Administrator of the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, delivered keynote speech highlighting the importance of veteran entrepreneurs in our economy and encouraging the Champions to be leaders in the community. 

 “The most important role this group provides,” Jeppson said, “is that of a role model.  As new veteran-owned small businesses start, their founders will look to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be successful.  It is the role of men and women like the ones standing with me here today to truly be champions for the veteran entrepreneur community and lead by example.”

Related

SBA's Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs

About the Author:

Barbara Carson
Barbara Carson
Barbara Carson is the Deputy Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Veterans Business Development.

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ICYMI: SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet Answers Your Questions Live from Google HQ

By Stephen Morris, SBA Official
Published: August 27, 2014 Updated: August 27, 2014

Note: the live event has now concluded. You can watch the entire Q&A in the video link above.

Looking for tips on how to start or grow a business? Gain insight from the expert, join SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet as she answers your questions during a live Google Hangout-On-Air on August 27. The Hangout will be hosted on the  Google Small Business Community. You can submit your questions before or during the Hangout.

Since being appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the agency that advocates and guides our nation’s entrepreneurs, Administrator Contreras-Sweet has made it a priority to meet with small business owners all over the country, to hear about their experiences, challenges, and opportunities in person and digitally. So join the Hangout and learn how SBA can help your small business start, grow and succeed straight from Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Who:
Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator
Whitney Lemon, Marketing Associate, Google

When: 
Wednesday, August 27

Time: 
4:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM PT

RSVP and Submit Your Questions: 
http://goo.gl/9oe5MD

Where:
Watch the Hangout live on the Google Small Business Community or visit this blog article for a live stream of the Hangout.

Hashtag:
#SBAhangout

About the Author:

Stephen Morris

SBA Official

Stephen Morris is online media coordinator for the U.S. Small Business Administration where he manages digital outreach to the small business community.

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Use Your Business Plan to Get Ownership in Writing

By Tim Berry, Guest Blogger
Published: August 26, 2014 Updated: August 26, 2014

Way too often, you can add up the percent of ownership in the heads of the partners and discover between them they think they own 200% of the company. That’s because one thinks the idea was worth 50% or more of the ownership, the other thinks the day-to-day work was worth 50% or more of the ownership, and another thinks having written checks and invested was worth 50% or more of the ownership.

What I particularly hate in this context is when people spend the time and do the work and develop the business without spelling these things out, and then, when it’s way too late, discover that they had radically different ideas about who owns what.

This is a great use of the business plan. If there’s awkwardness about who owns what when friends and family are involved, you solve that with the need to spell it all out for the plan. Don’t wait. Don’t wonder. Talk it out. The business plan is a built-in natural format that all of you can understand.

The key here is to get it in writing. That doesn’t mean legal contracts written and negotiated by attorneys, at least not in normal cases, and not in the beginning. What it does mean is getting your people together and iron out who owns how much of the company, and what the responsibilities are. And write that down – share it, so everybody is clear. And you can use it later.

Now, who owns what percentage?

Start with the money. Until proven otherwise, the one who put in all the money deserves all the ownership. That’s simple enough.

And then, from that starting point, if two or more partners agreed that one would earn ownership by working for free or less than market rate, then that can equate to money. Or if one contributes existing intellectual property such as written material or software code because that can equate to money too. But that should be spelled out and agreed upon before you start. Avoid vague promises related to so-called “sweat equity,” meaning work compensated by shares of ownership. Build a formula based on market value of the work. And put it in your plan.

And I personally don’t believe having had the idea, or not, matters. Ideas have no value. Work has value. Creative work and patents have value. Content has value. And money has value.

Always get a business agreement in writing!

I’ve said business plan above, but the underlying need here is bigger than the business plan. The plan is a great format, but let’s emphasize the main point: To me this is yet another example of why I’ve said, and written, over and over again, spell it out at the beginning and get it in writing. Not necessarily all legalese like a contract, but at least the basic points of agreements, with signatures. Here‘s what one lawyer (and I’m not a lawyer, so don’t think I’m giving you legal advice here) says about that:

It goes without saying: the best way to deal with a botched verbal contract is to avoid the whole mess in the first place. Get it in writing. People remember things differently. People don’t remember. People lie.

Get it in writing. And then stick to it.

About the Author:

Tim Berry
Tim Berry

Guest Blogger

Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software and bplans.com, on twitter as Timberry, blogging at timberry.bplans.com. His collected posts are at blog.timberry.com. Stanford MBA. Married 44 years, father of 5. Author of business plan software Business Plan Pro and www.liveplan.com and books including The Plan As You Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press, 2008.

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Ask the SBA Administrator: Join the Live Google Hangout-On-Air for Business Tips

By ngoriel, SBA Official
Published: August 21, 2014 Updated: August 27, 2014

Looking for tips on how to start or grow a business? Gain insight from the expert, join SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet as she answers your questions during a live Google Hangout-On-Air on August 27. The Hangout will be hosted on the  Google Small Business Community. You can submit your questions before or during the Hangout.

Since being appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the agency that advocates and guides our nation’s entrepreneurs, Administrator Contreras-Sweet has made it a priority to meet with small business owners all over the country, to hear about their experiences, challenges, and opportunities in person and digitally. So join the Hangout and learn how SBA can help your small business start, grow and succeed straight from Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Who:
Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator
Whitney Lemon, Marketing Associate, Google

When: 
Wednesday, August 27

Time: 
4:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM PT

RSVP and Submit Your Questions: 
http://goo.gl/9oe5MD

Where:
Watch the Hangout live on the Google Small Business Community or visit this blog article for a live stream of the Hangout.

Hashtag:
#SBAhangout

About the Author:

ngoriel
Natale Goriel

SBA Official

Hi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.

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