Community Navigator

A North Star for veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs.

Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ (IVMF) Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) ran from November 2021 to November 2023. CNPP was part of an American Rescue Plan initiative launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help small businesses in underserved communities recover and grow following the pandemic.  As a CNPP grantee, IVMF provided free access to a curated network of trusted experts, resources, programs, training, and one-on-one services designed to help veterans and military-connected entrepreneurs navigate their journeys to small business success.

Through CNPP, IVMF and its partners:

Counseled and trained more than 35,000 veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs


Provided more than 13,000 hours of training and counseling

Entrepreneur Success with CNPP

Veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs who participated in CNPP credit the program as a vital resource for their business success. Here are a few of their stories.

“Bowers & Company, an IVMF CNPP Partner, is amazing. They helped me through the acquisition process to grow my business. I feel important to them, even knowing that I’m probably one of their smallest customers with only 25 employees. In addition to the CNPP resources, they have helped me build a bigger network and supported every function of my business along the way.”

Michael Bower, President
Eagle Metalcraft, Inc.
Community Navigator Pilot Program Participant

“I was looking for a lawyer, CPA, and bookkeeper for my business, but I didn’t have the time to sit at my computer all day, researching and interviewing contacts. Through NACCE’s help and the Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP), I was able to quickly get connected to the services I needed. CNPP made it easier and streamlined the journey for me.”

Dewayne Kimble, Owner and Founder
KMD89 VA Claims Consulting
Community Navigator Pilot Program Participant

“For me, it’s really been invaluable to have a business coach to bounce ideas off of and to have a cheerleader that reminds me that I know what I’m doing with my business. From getting help setting up and structuring my business to pricing and marketing my products, Iona University has been fantastic. Working with Iona and CNPP has given me the support and confidence I need to grow my business.”

Tina Steffen, CEO
Unleashed Creative Studio
Community Navigator Pilot Program Participant


To learn more about their entrepreneurship journeys, visit the CNPP Success Story page and watch the CNPP program videos below.

Get Assistance

Although CNPP as a pilot program has been completed, IVMF still offers resources and services for veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs interested in launching or growing businesses. Please visit IVMF’s Getting Started page for more information on available programs.

Need help navigating our programs? Complete IVMF’s interest form to get assistance.