PORTSMOUTH While running a business is difficult for anyone, veteran business owners face unique challenges, which underscores an important community engagement objective at Service Credit Union, which will host the VETRN Streetwise MBA in September.
When military members return from duty, their network is spread out across the country and often not local, said Wendy Beswick, vice president of marketing at Service Credit Union.
Such was precisely the case for Leland Goldberg, founder of the Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network (VETRN), which developed and will facilitate the 26-week VETRN Streetwise MBA program. Free of charge, the program is available to existing veteran small business owners and family members.
If you want to be successful in the civilian world, you need to build a strong civilian network of mentors and people who can help you, said Goldberg, who served as an officer in Vietnam.
Building that network, however, can be challenging for veterans.
It is often difficult for veterans to identify and feel comfortable in networking, finding mentors and building that professional resource network that can help along the way, he said.
In addition to helping veteran business owners develop this network through the VETRN Streetwise MBA, topics include strategic planning, financial management, cash flow forecasting, marketing, sales methods, growth plans, financing, human resources and others.
Beginning Sept. 21, the program is structured into 13 weeks of Saturday morning classroom sessions and 13 weeks of peer-to-peer mentoring sessions.
We provide the skills training to run and grow a business as well as access to mentors and professional resources and peer to peer mentoring, Goldberg said. Veterans and family members can learn from professional resources and identify with other veterans who have had or are dealing with similar issues and hurdles they all face along the way.
In addition to providing an expert for some of the classroom sessions and panel discussions, Service Credit Union will offer breakfast and lunch for each Saturday session.
According to Beswick, supporting VETRN Streetwise MBA reflects longstanding core values of Service Credit Union.
Working with VETRN is a great way to help grow our local businesses and community and also give back to those who serve our country, she said. This partnership reflects our commitment since 1957 to help our military, veterans and their families grow and thrive financially.
Goldberg said he appreciates the partnership, too, as he described working with Service Credit Union as a wonderful collaboration.
They are promoting and supporting the program in so many ways, he said. This program is now full and so if invited, VETRN would certainly want to continue to partner with service Credit Union for follow-up programs in New Hampshire.
We believe this program can improve the quality of life of those veterans in our community, including the health of local veteran owned businesses, which is why we support it, added Beswick.
For more about the VETRN Streetwise MBA, program, visit vetrn.org. For more about Service Credit Union and other community projects, visit servicecu.org.