According to the National Survey of Military Affiliated Entrepreneurs, 49% of survey participants declared the access to capital as their primary barrier to entrepreneurship. Of those that stated they needed funding, 59% needed less than $25,000 to start up a business. Despite the growing success the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families has enjoyed lately, the non-profit organization lacks the resources to address the barrier directly.
Thankfully, the D’Aniello Institute has developed strategic partnerships with others who share the organization’s passion of supporting veteran-owned small businesses. One such person, Ted Lachowicz ‘72, a Whitman School of Management alum, supports veteran business owners through the EBV Foundation.
The EBV Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers support to the IVMF’s EBV program graduates. Through its bi-annual business plan competition, which is only open to those who have graduated from an EBV cohort in the last year, the foundation has awarded more than half a million dollars to 280 EBV graduates since 2009.
For the Fall 2022 EBV Foundation grant cycle, ten EBV graduates applied to the competition with five being selected for the second round, where they were able to pitch their business plan to EBV Foundation representatives. From the group of semi-finalists, three businesses were selected for funding.
- Kyle Cox, Cox Custom Woodworks LLC
EBV ‘21 – University of Missouri
- Andrew Pearson & Ryan Clark, Western Aviation Professionals
EBV ‘22 – University of California, Los Angeles
- Jonathan Maiorine, J Howell Maritime
EBV ‘21 – St. Joseph’s University
The other veteran entrepreneurs didn’t walk away empty handed. While they may not receive the financial support they were seeking, the EBV Foundation pairs them with a seasoned entrepreneur to provide mentorship and guidance.
As the Founder of the EBV Foundation, Ted Lachowicz has enjoyed resounding success in supporting veteran owned small businesses. Aside from his foundation’s support of the EBV program, Lachowicz was instrumental in the creation of the first EBV Reunion at the NVRC in 2022.
The EBV Reunion, held in August while the 2022 Syracuse University EBV cohort was in session, connected some of the first EBV graduates with the newest cohort, providing a first of its kind networking opportunity.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are almost two-million veteran-owned businesses in the United States, contributing more than $1.3 trillion in economic activity and employing more than 5 million people across the country.
Organizations like the EBV Foundation are crucial to the growing military-entrepreneur community, not just for the financial resources they provide, but the critical lessons learned from other business owners who have successfully navigated the entrepreneurial journey.
The EBV Business Plan Competition is accepting applications for the Spring ’23 season, those military-connected entrepreneurs who have graduated from EBV in the last year are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the IVMF’s Entrepreneur Programs website or e-mail the IVMF’s Alumni Services.