Small Business Contest for Military Veteran Entrepreneurs Offers $100,000 in Rewards

The clock is ticking to enter this business challenge. This contest, one of a number of entrepreneurial initiatives from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, offers elite business coaching and access to capital. The contest entry deadline is Dec. 18, 2016.

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Dec. 13, 2016 – Veteran entrepreneurs have until Dec. 18, 2016, to enter the VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge, a unique business competition offered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.

The VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge provides exposure to a distinguished judging panel and  access to capital – $100,000 in total to be awarded in addition to up to three months of mentorship. The first-place prize is $50,000. The competition is offered through the generous support of The Marcus Foundation and is open to U.S. service member and veteran entrepreneurs of all eras of service.

Through this and other entrepreneurship initiatives, the IVMF opens the door to economic opportunity for veterans and military spouses by developing their competencies around creating and sustaining a small business venture. Its start-up programs have supported prospective and practicing veteran entrepreneurs with training in areas including business finance, marketing and budgeting.

In addition to the deadline for the VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge, this week the IVMF’s Coalition for Veteran Owned Businesses (CVOB) launched a holiday gift guide featuring products from 12 small businesses started by graduates of the IVMF’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) and Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) programs. A different product is being featured for 12 days leading up to Christmas.

“More than 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in the United States employ over 5 million people. Yet we know from our research that the rate of veteran entrepreneurship is down significantly from post-World War II levels,” says Meghan Florkowski, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the IVMF. “Lack of financial resources and mentorship are two contributing factors. The VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge is one of a number of initiatives by the IVMF to support and empower veteran entrepreneurs through advocacy, training, programming and research.”

For more information about the VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge, including submission guidelines, contest rules and judging criteria, visit VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge.


Media Contacts

Meghan Florkowski
Director, Entrepreneurship Programs
Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Ronnie Burnett
Senior Public Relations Director
MARCH Marketing

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. The Institute is supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families and its professional staff deliver leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training. The Institute also conducts actionable research, policy analysis and program evaluations, coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies, and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. For more information, visit IVMF, and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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