Supporting Small Business

Our partnerships are committed to providing innovative solutions and thought leadership to grow and support veteran and military spouse-owned businesses in communities throughout the nation.

Giving Our Graduates the Tools and Resources They Need


ProgramList-COEThe Center of Excellence (COE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship unites veteran-owned businesses (VOBs), researchers, small business program managers, policymakers, resources, and private and public companies in an organized effort to make transitioning service members, veterans, and their families successful business owners. The Center is designed to function as the national hub of veteran business ownership. This is accomplished by leveraging the resources and established networks of Syracuse University, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and their partners, and bringing together all relevant stakeholders and networks into a cohesive ecosystem focused on veteran/spouse-owned small business.

First Data is the founding partner and donor for this groundbreaking initiative. First Data’s continued expansion of their commitment to veterans and military families is the driving force behind the advent of this premier center of research, trusted thought leadership, and innovative programming positioned to advance opportunities for transitioning service members, veterans, and their families to successfully pursue business ownership in the United States.

Lockheed Martin also provides the Center of Excellence with donor support for our innovative research, educational materials and strategic programming, thereby increasing the opportunities, avenues and methods available for veterans and military families to reach their entrepreneurial goals. “I’ve always looked at companies as platforms to do good… (helping) our veterans is not only a good thing to do it’s the right thing to do.” – Frank Bisignano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


One Stop Shop for Veteran Entrepreneurship

The mission of the Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship is to create, collect, organize, and share knowledge, resources, and networks to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for transitioning service members, veterans, and their families. This is accomplished through the development and delivery of innovative programs and educational resources; timely and relevant research and policy analysis; and by cultivating veteran-connected ecosystems across the United States.

Creating Pathways to Commerce Opportunities for Veteran and Military Family-Owned Business

CVOB_smallThis first-of-its-kind national initiative will support the success of veteran, service member, and military spouse-owned businesses by connecting them with entrepreneurial education and training, small business resources and solutions, and commerce and supplier opportunities.

The Coalition will advocate for and support businesses operated by the greater military and veteran community, including both business-to-business and business-to-consumer models.

First Data continues to provide resources to help drive and the coalition and execute on mission and goals. Along with the IVMF, the primary driving force behind the Coalition are the Partner companies; all of which are committed to providing innovative solutions and thought leadership to grow and support veteran owned businesses in communities throughout the nation. A primary goal for the Partners is to combine their expertise and experience in an effort to demystify the process for VOB’s to engage the private sector as diverse suppliers. Partners of this Coalition include; Frist Data, American Express, BP, Enterprise Holdings, Fleishman Hillard, KKR, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Lockheed Martin, SunTrust Banks, USAA, Hiring Our Heroes, Verizon, Walmart & Sam’s Club, The Walt Disney Company with special mention to the United states Small Business Administration and their support.

Photo of Derek Blake

“We support the CVOB in their mission to provide economic opportunity to veterans, their families, and the communities in which they live by offering leadership and a national platform to support veteran-, service member-, and military spouse-owned businesses; entrepreneurs; and suppliers.”

— Derek Blake, Vice President, Marketing and Military Programs, La Quinta Inns & Suites

Providing Technical Support for Our Graduates

After completing one of our entrepreneurship programs, the IVMF is able to provide program graduates with post-program technical support services to enable them to get their business up and running or to expand their already established business.

Through our many resource partners, our program graduates have access to incorporation services, financing services, mentorship, and opportunities for further education and skill building with the IVMF and its partners, often at a reduced or waived cost.

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