Military Spouse Turns Idea Into Fully Baked Business

May 4, 2020

It starts with an idea – that “Aha!” moment when you realize your business concept has the potential to be great. But it takes work, dedication and commitment to make that idea a reality. Entrepreneurs with military experience – whether service members, veterans or military spouses – are uniquely positioned to succeed as small business owners.

Jilan Hall-Johnson is a military spouse who used her experience and skills to turn her bruncherie idea into a fully baked business. After her husband, DeMarco Johnson, was stationed in Billings, Montana as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, she was on the hunt for new employment opportunities in the area. Assistance for military spouse employment in Billings was limited, so she decided she was ready to explore entrepreneurship as the next step in her career.

Jilan knew she had a great idea, and the passion and drive to be a small business owner. But she wasn’t sure how to start her business. She decided to turn to her local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Big Sky Economic Development for guidance and support. Jilan and the Big Sky VBOC immediately began working together to put her business idea on paper. The VBOC helped her develop her business plan, establish a marketing strategy, acquire a business location, find access to capital, and accomplish so much more right in her local community. (more…)

Six Tips For Women In the #VetBiz Workforce

March 2, 2020

BusinesswomanAre you interested in joining the women veteran small business community? There are 2.5 million veteran-owned small businesses in the United States. And get this: 15.2% of these businesses are owned by women.

You have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and the SBA is ready to support you every step of the way. From specialized training programs for women to general resources for veteran small business owners, SBA and its partner programs have the tools to help you achieve your business goals.

Here are six tips to help you succeed as a woman veteran entrepreneur.

1. Check out a Boots to Business class

Boots to Business is the perfect first step for women service members and veterans (including spouses!) who are interested in transitioning into small business ownership as the next step in their career. This entrepreneurial education and training program will introduce you to the business fundamentals that go into launching a business, including market research, legal considerations, financing, and more. Plus, Boots to Business can help you determine if business ownership is right for you. (more…)

Vegun Nutrition

November 11, 2019

Vegun Nutrition - Maryland SuccessVeterans Success Story: Maryland –

Derrell Lee and John Pace are U.S. Military Veterans who graduated from Harford Community College (HCC) with Associate degrees in Business Administration. Derrell and John had wanted to start their own business for a while, and it was finally time for them to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit.

With a passion for healthy living and fitness, the duo came up with a revolutionary idea with confidence for future success. Before pursuing this venture head-first, they sought advice on how to properly format their business and construct a business plan to enable them to receive the financing needed.

They came to Maryland’s Northern Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and spoke with Ryan Del Gallo for consultation on how to move their business in a positive direction. Ryan answered all of their questions while providing one-on-one counseling, and he also went a step further to assist with developing a marketing strategy, accurate financial projections, a proper loan package, and a well-developed pitch for the business. (more…)

What Veterans Can Do to Pursue Entrepreneurship

November 6, 2019

By Bob House, President, BizBuySell –

The transition from combat to business owner isn’t always easy – luckily hundreds of organizations and groups are eager to assist veterans and help them succeed.

Veterans are an incredible asset to our country. Not only do these brave men and women sacrifice years of their lives to serve the United States, but after returning to civilian life, they bring unmatched strength, skills and perseverance.

Leaving the military holds a number of unknowns, but for nearly a quarter of veterans, entrepreneurship is the clear next step. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012 an estimated 2.52 million businesses were majority-owned by veterans, employing more than 5 million workers. While these numbers are down from the post-World War II business boom, entrepreneurship is still a popular second career option for our nation’s veterans. (more…)

NJ SBDC Serves Military Service Members and Spouses with “Boots to Business”

October 18, 2016

NJ SBDC "Boots to Business"The New Jersey SBDC at the Rutgers School of Business in Camden, New Jersey, has been conducting the “Boots to Business” Entrepreneurial Program at the Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base in Lakehurst, New Jersey for the past two years. Partnering with the Small Business Administration Office of Veterans Business Development, Americas SBDC and the New Jersey SBDC, the Rutgers Camden SBDC has lectured hundreds of returning soldiers seeking to start their own businesses.

“Boots to Business” enables military service members and their spouses to explore careers in business ownership and self-employment, by showing them how to apply their military skills to start and grow a business. It helps them evaluate the feasibility of their business concepts and connects them to SBDCs and other SBA resource partners. (more…)