National Veterans Small Business Week 2019 brought together thousands of veteran-owned and military spouse-owned businesses across the nation. As expected, the Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference in Arlington, Texas was the place to be. “The success of small businesses—and veterans in particular—is a top priority for the President”, said SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton.
This year’s theme—where awareness and access collide to inspire action—was facilitated by former Air Force fighter pilot Jim “Murph” Murphy, CEO of Afterburner who shared his techniques for Flawless Execution in business. Elizabeth Gore, the CEO of Alice, a woman veteran-owned company using artificial intelligence to curate resources for entrepreneurs shared how her company is empowering the ecosystem.
”We’re on a mission to help veterans start businesses in 2020”, said Elizabeth. And, retired MG Anthony Cucolo highlighted how “your third life as an entrepreneur benefits from your second life in the military” in an emotionally charged keynote where he shared stories of his battle scars from his business beyond the battlefield.
Two key highlights of the conference were the National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) Enterprise of the Year Awards and the i9Sports Veteran Franchise Give-Away. NaVOBA recognized large companies and small business suppliers for their leadership and dedication to veteran owned business supplier development across the nation. Matthew Pavelek, president of NaVOBA, facilitated a breakout session on the importance of certification when doing business with corporations. “It’s not enough to say that your company is veteran owned; certification is part of the vetting process”, said Matthew.
After a nationwide search, i9 Sports® — the nation’s first and largest youth sports league franchise business— gave away a franchise in an announcement made at the Arlington, Texas “Business Beyond the Battlefield” conference before an audience of veteran participants. Nathan J. Fleming, a 15-year American Army and National Guard veteran was named as the recipient of his own new i9 Sports franchise.
Valued at $45,000, the giveaway includes a five-year franchise agreement, a waived territory fee and no repayment of the franchise fee. In addition to multiple education and training sessions, more than 250 attendees participated in fun networking activities, including a tour AT&T Cowboy Stadium and spending football night in America in front of a 100-foot video screen. You don’t want to miss BBBC20.