Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
On this episode of the Bourbon Friday Show, we had the opportunity to talk with Darcella Craven, President of the Veterans Business Resource Center (Vet Biz).
Vet Biz—Supporting Veteran’s Entrepreneurial Journeys
While veterans make up only 6% of the population in America, they are 45% more likely to start a small business than their non-veteran counterparts.
Craven, who is a veteran herself, shares that while the military experience doesn’t directly teach how to run a small business, there are certainly values and skills learned from military service that translate very well into entrepreneurial life.
“I would say that what we do learn in the military is discipline, dedication, perseverance,” says Craven “so basically all the things you need to be an entrepreneur, and it’s kind of second nature if you’ve gone through the military system.”
Vet Biz began fifteen years ago, which is a few years after Craven left military service. After working in the corporate world, she decided she wanted to do consulting specifically helping veterans and military spouses with their business endeavors. Not long after, she joined Vet Biz.
In essence, Vet Biz assists and offers business consulting to veterans and military families with starting up and expanding small business.
Though Vet Biz provides many resources and procedures for business success, Craven emphasizes that the first step is figuring out if the ideas that are brought in can actually become viable businesses.
“We have an early stage assessment you can download off our website or you come in and we just walk you through whether or not your idea really has legs or if it’s a cool hobby.”
From there, Vet Biz helps them through whatever else they need or puts them in contact with other resource or support organization that they may need.
“So we’ll get them to a resource partner that they may need to get exposed to and then we go from there, launch, open your business, and then we stick around—We don’t leave until they just stop answering our emails and won’t take our phone calls. We’re there because we build relationships.”
As always, the Bourbon Friday team does their best to choose a fitting drink for the occasion.
The drink of choice was Merica Bourbon Whiskey. This bourbon is unique due to its veteran roots and small business influence. Merica Bourbon was started by Marine Veteran Derek Sisson a few years ago—and though most bourbons are aged a few years, Merica only spend six months in barrel. Merica Bourbon then utilizes technology from a South Carolina startup that puts it through an ultrasonic energy and oxygenation process to remove some of the bad flavors commonly associated with young bourbons.