During the VETS 21 Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium, November 2-5, I had the pleasure of briefing 67 talented veteran-owned small business leaders on the necessity and importance of strategic planning as an instructor in the Veterans In Procurement SMART program.

One of the interesting aspects of my work with the VIP SMART program is learning about the participating companies.

Of the participants this year, the companies have been in business for an average of five years and employ three full-time professionals. Companies participating from 23 different states include a variety of types of veteran-owned businesses including:

  • 78% Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business companies
  • 24% Small Disadvantaged Business/8(a) companies
  • 16% Hub Zone companies
  • 69% Minority-Owned companies
  • 39% Woman-Owned companies

Eighty-seven percent of these veteran-owned businesses have never worked on a federal contract. Just seven percent have worked as a prime on a federal contract, and 10% have worked as a subcontractor for a prime federal contract.

The most interesting statistics, however, tout the apparent impacts of the program to these companies’ bottom lines.

According to nationalvip.org, graduate companies increased their revenue by an average of 74% within their first year of graduation, and 246% two years after graduation.

These statistics give me both the satisfaction and motivation to continue helping veteran entrepreneurs with their strategic business planning. It’s so important for veterans to identify and take advantage of programs at their disposal like VIP START.

That’s why I love promoting, and instructing, for VIP. Learn more at https://nationalvip.org/programs/vip-start/.

~ Cliff Ingari
President and CEO
STS Federal