Military-Affiliated Small Businesses Awarded Grants as Part of $100,000 Competition Hosted by IVMF and Fiserv

Ten Georgia-based entrepreneurs receive a $10,000 grant and business training

Participants at the Fiserve 100K pitch competitionAtlanta, Dec. 7, 2022 –- Ten military-affiliated entrepreneurs are one step closer to reaching their goals as recipients of $10,000 grants awarded at the conclusion of a competition hosted by Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and sponsored by Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology.

The grants, which will provide capital to fuel the growth of each business, were presented as part of the Fiserv Back2Business program, which supports the needs of diverse businesses during challenging times.

The Georgia-based participants and grant recipients included:

  • Clean Sleep Technology in Fayetteville
  • Dope Coffee Company in Decatur
  • Edge Tutoring in Snellville
  • Global Business Development Strategist in Ludowici
  • VendorCall in Lawrenceville
  • LAB Innovative Business Network in Kennesaw
  • SB Management & Marketing in Stockbridge
  • Sweet Southern Creations in Cornelia
  • The Utopia Group, Inc. in Alpharetta
  • VETS2INDUSTRY Foundation, Inc. in Dallas

“Equipped with a unique skillset and critical leadership traits, veterans bring tremendous value to the small business landscape, and it is our honor to provide Fiserv Back2Business grants to these business owners,” said Vivian Greentree, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship at Fiserv and a Navy veteran. “Supporting the success of veteran and military spouse-owned businesses is an important part of the Fiserv commitment to the military community, and we look forward to watching these businesses continue to grow and thrive.”

Fiserv has built a multi-faceted relationship with IVMF as part of the company’s Fiserv Salutes program, a U.S. military and veterans engagement strategy that provides the military community with career opportunities, educational resources, and business solutions.

“Data from the IVMF’s National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs revealed that among the top five barriers military-connected entrepreneurs face, four are related to finances,” said Barbara Carson, Managing Director of Programs for the IVMF. “The number one barrier for almost half of the 1,450 respondents was lack of access to capital. Funding from grants like this, offered specifically for veteran entrepreneurs, can be the difference between surviving and thriving.”

“I’m going to invest this grant directly into sales,” said Michael Loyd, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran as well as the CEO and Co-Founder of Dope Coffee in Decatur, Georgia.  “Our company is at a point where we have developed quite a bit of manufacturing capability. The next step is to sell our product in local retail stores. So we’re looking to hire a local sales representative here in Atlanta, and we’re going to invest in customer satisfaction so that we’re not looking at just getting new customers, but treating the ones we already have with care.”

Prior to being awarded, the selected finalists were given a day of free entrepreneurial business training in Atlanta at the Russel Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs. The training, hosted by the D’Aniello Institute, a national leader in entrepreneurial and career training programs for transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses, was provided free of charge for the business owners. The IVMF has impacted over 170,000 veterans to date and trains over 20,000 people annually.

The pitch competition was open to active-duty service members, members of the National Guard or Reserves, honorably discharged service members, and spouses or life partners of the aforementioned military statuses, who live in the state of Georgia.

About Back2Business

Recognizing the resilience – and needs – of diverse businesses during challenging times, the Back2Business program was launched in 2020 with a $50 million commitment. In addition to monetary grants, Back2Business connects diverse small businesses with critical resources, including complimentary business coaching, community partners and leading technology solutions such as the Clover® point-of-sale and business management platform from Fiserv. Fiserv has sponsored Back2Business across the country, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, California, Texas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, and in the U.K. To date, the program has distributed more than 1,500 grants to small businesses.

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About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) aspires to move money and information in a way that moves the world. As a global leader in payments and financial technology, the company helps clients achieve best-in-class results through a commitment to innovation and excellence in areas including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; payments; e-commerce; merchant acquiring and processing; and the Clover® cloud-based point-of-sale solution. Fiserv is a member of the S&P 500® Index and the FORTUNE® 500, and is among the FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies®. Visit fiserv.com and for more information and the latest company news.

For Questions & Inquiry Contact:

Stephanie Salanger
Director of Communications
D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military FamiliesT 315.443.5690   M 315.378.8171
ssalange@syr.edu
Charlie Poag
Communications Manager
D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military FamiliesT – 315.443.1176   M – 315.430.9662
cpoag@syr.edu
National Veterans Resource Center
Daniel & Gayle D’Aniello Building
101 Waverly Ave.,
Syracuse, NY 13244
ivmf.syracuse.edu
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