“While we can’t begin to repay the debt we owe our veterans for their brave service, we can certainly take steps to ease the physical, psychological and financial hardships they may be experiencing.” Senator Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY)
This Veterans Day, we’re taking a moment to say thank you to those who serve and sacrifice to keep us safe. It’s heartening to see the outpouring of support for veterans from many sectors of our society. Government programs, as well as private sector help is available to aid our service members’ physical, psychological and economic transition home.
What we know is this: veterans’ unique experience makes for great employees and entrepreneurs. In fact, A 2011 Small Business Administration (SBA) study concluded that “veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.”
Bridging The Military-Civilian Divide
Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite resources to help veterans find a job or start a business when they come back home.
VetCap with VetsinTech. In honor of Veterans Day and Veterans National Small Business Week, VetsinTech is kicking off an innovative national program to help veteran entrepreneurs called VetCap (capital for veterans). VetCap is a new initiative for a national series of workshops to help train veteran entrepreneurs on where and how to raise capital, and to connect them to a network of financing sources. A panel of expert investors/lenders from the major capital categories will lead discussions on “Where to Raise Capital” and “How to Pitch to Investors.” The audience will consist of roughly 50 veteran entrepreneurs from around the country, including up to ten veterans who will be pitching their startups to the panel of experts. Keep an eye out for VetCap workshops in your area!
Joining Forces. When our troops serve, their families serve too. In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sector to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives. Learn more about hiring resources for veterans through Joining Forces here.
RallyPoint. Hoping to become the LinkedIn for veterans, RallyPoint is the professional military network for current and former US military members and was founded in 2012 by two military veterans at Harvard Business School to help make military life better. Backed by two of the US military’s recent Joint Chiefs of Staff, RallyPoint connects its members and gives them the best tools possible to succeed both while in the military, and beyond. With RallyPoint, you can build out your professional network, connect with other members of the military in a safe environment, and explore career opportunities both within the military (PCS opportunities) as well as in the private sector. In 2012, RallyPoint won the world’s largest startup competition (MassChallenge), and placed 2nd in the Harvard Business School Business Plan Competition. Join today!
Facebook Vet Connect. Facebook is now the world’s largest online community, and is a favorite way for veterans and their loved ones back home to stay connected while on tour. Facebook Vet Connect’s goal is to connect veterans and families with community and career resources. The company has recently launched a military hiring initiative, and this page can provide additional resources to help prepare veterans for a civilian career (maybe one at Facebook!). Check out their career page or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
To all the veterans and their families who serve: Thank you, from the Rocket Lawyer team.