Entrepreneur program helps vets start new businesses

Entrepreneur program helps vets start new businesses

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In our state about 11 percent of veterans are women. And in Texas they want to create their own businesses. Of the vets the Texas Veterans Commission's veterans entrepreneur program is helping start companies—24 percent are women.

Crews removing graffiti on the Pfluger pedestrian bridge in Austin. The city contracts out that kind of work to companies like Aleon Properties Construction, which was created and owned by Charmane Sellars.

She is an Air Force veteran who worked hard, went back to school and applied what she learned in the military to a business.

"I'm very happy and proud because I just don't do it myself, my team is instrumental in the success of my company...so I'm very honored by that," said Sellars.

An extended part of that team is the veterans entrepreneur program from the Texas Veteran's Commission. It's run by Army vet Duncan McGhee.

"We identified the resources out there. There's a ton, but there's no central repository of information. So we aggregate those resources, and find mechanisms to connect those resources with vets no matter what it is," said McGhee.

Key at any business with just starting out or trying to grow is capitol...cash. It's another place where the Veteran's Entrepreneur Program can really make a difference by connecting micro-lenders who want to invest with veteran entrepreneurs. And funding is only the first step.

"We've developed a 10 step program that says ‘I have an idea...what next?' And step 1 is this ...step 2,3..all the way till your business is growing and launched," said McGhee.

Sellars launched her business well before the veterans entrepreneur program began but she has taken advantage of it too with the networking to other vets and seminars on ways to grow her business. And for a new vet Sellars thinks the program is perfect.

"They'd be beneficial in helping you set up a blueprint of the best way to go to start a business and if you already have a business how to grow your business successfully," said Sellars.

For more information about the Texas veterans entrepreneur program click here.

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