PLATINUM2023

VETERANS ADVOCACY FOUNDATION INC

Building Veteran Businesses

aka Veterans Business Resource Center   |   St. Louis, MO   |  www.vetbiz.com

Mission

VetBiz, operated by the Veterans' Advocacy Foundation, Inc., is dedicated to helping men and women, who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces achieve the American dream of owning and successfully operating their own businesses.  The Center will serve all Veterans and Active Duty personnel, including National Guard members and Reservists of all branches as well as their immediate family members. We headquarter in St. Louis and work in all of Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are growing and are hiring new staff and beginning a capital campaign to increase our partnerships in the region. As we do we will be updating this profile to bring you more information. If you have any questions, please contact me directly.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Mr. Seth A. Miller

Main address

611 North 10th Street SUITE 350

St. Louis, MO 63101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

43-1751593

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Military personnel and their families are transitioning from service back into civilian life. Since there are only 7% of the American population but make up 22% of the small business population, we know that a disproportionate number of small business owners have some military service. We also know that military spouses have a high unemployment rate due to constant transition or deployment of spouse. These spouses and caregivers, who are mostly women, often have side jobs to bring in supplemental dollars into their household. Additionally, when military personnel leave the service if they do not have gainful employment to maintain their households. We aim to move those who are interested into small business or help them expand their own small business. We ensure they understand the entrepreneurship space they are entering, connect to proper resources and ensure they are utilizing their own resources effectively.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

VetBiz Activate Training Program

Multi-week virtual cohort that offers formal instruction from industry leaders, expert guest speakers, and individual coaching. This cohort allows participants the opportunity to lay a solid foundation of business understanding before starting their business.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Two-day intensive entrepreneurship training course held on military post in our region - Scott AFB, IL; Ft. Leonard Wood and Whiteman AFB in MO; Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Riley and McConnell AFB in KS. The course is designed to help participants discover what it takes technically to operate a small business; participants are then afforded access to a follow up online course by Mississippi State University, entitled Boots to Business Revenue Readiness, or other programs within VetBiz as well as local resource partners. This program is open to all military, transitioning military, and military families.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans
Military personnel
Self-employed people

One-day intensive entrepreneurship training course held virtually allowing for ease of access to all constituents in our region and beyond. The course is designed to help participants discover what it takes technically and practically to operate a small business; participants are then afforded access to a follow up online course by Mississippi State University, entitled Boots to Business Revenue Readiness, or other programs within VetBiz as well as local resource partners. This program is open to all military, transitioning military, and military families.

Population(s) Served

The CEO Roundtable provides professional development for veteran and military spouse small business owners. Members strengthen their connection to the community by building a network of highly skilled professionals. Subject matter experts provide professional development training for Veteran and Military Spouse entrepreneurs. This program is intended to be expanded and offered across our region.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Awards

Top 15 Organizations to Help Your Business Grow 2009

Small Business Monthly

VBOC of the Year 2015

Small Business Administration

The Face of Veteran-Owned Business 2019

St Louis Magazine

Affiliations & memberships

Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Service Organization 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the average number of consultations with prospective and active business owners.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Reboot; B2B Entrepreneurship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Combination of in-person one and one and online or in-person training

Number of training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Self-employed people, Veterans

Related Program

Boots to Business (B2B) Entrepreneurship Training

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of personnel attending training events, seminars and webinars conducted in the year. Most of these are done as requested by local installations.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal #1: Educate 1,000 personnel a year in starting and expanding small businesses with a minimum 20% women participation

Goal #2: 100% of participants in structured trainings will identify and describe the processes involved in starting and operating a small business

Goal #3: At least 20% of active clients start a small business or expand business (using stated goals) within 1 year

Goal #4: 75% of all started companies will remain in business for over 3 years; 20% of second stage companies will grow by 20 - 25%

Enroll 25 Veterans each class minimum 5 women in each Bootstrap class (75 annual)
Enroll a minimum of 35 personnel in Wednesday webinar series per quarter (150 annual)
Recruit a minimum of 60 people to Veteran's Summit (60 – 2015)
Host or assist in 40 B2B courses in over 7 post; average 15 – 20 transitioning Veterans per class (600 annually)
Host or assist in 3 – 5 Reboot as they are assigned in region; avg. 50 participants (240 anticipated)
Recruit, advertise & outreach for bootstraps at yellow ribbon, national veterans small business conference, small business monthly, other periodicals
 Specifically target State Veterans Commission women's program, AL Post 404 and other places geared to connect with women veterans
 Target Colleges, business schools and community college Veteran programs
 Target programs/agencies that serve the needs of Women only Veterans
 Participate in Stand Down program
 Speak at Chamber meetings, Rotary Meetings, VFW and other agencies where Veterans congregate

Over the last 13 years of operating in the Midwest, we have built a strong and highly effective team, with extensive expertise working with regional partners. These include St. Louis Regional Chamber, Kansas City Regional Chamber, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the SBA Region 7 office and all district offices, SBA resource partners and World Trade Center to name a few.

Our organization understands that the best way for small businesses to receive loans, contracts and business, at any level, is to have 1) solid relationships with the community including peer companies; 2) accelerated basic education, skills, documentation, and processes that most small businesses take three to five years to learn and employ; and 3) developed knowledge necessary to maintain growth after completion of program. There is a natural synergy between the organizations supporting the organization's efforts. This is what makes this program unique to our geographical region. While there are numerous economic development agencies in the MINK region, the VBRC has a solid reputation for being a consistent, strong advocate of Veteran entrepreneurs and a significant collaborator. We focus on all types of small businesses, particularly creating and stabilizing strong main street entities. These are the businesses that create a disproportionate number of jobs, strengthen communities and offer Veterans and transitioning military the road map to navigating the entrepreneurial landscape.

Our program provides a highly-skilled and well-educated staff cognizant of how to assist small businesses effectively. It combines the strengths of interpersonal and digital mediums with expanding volume, distribution, and reach for maximum regional support. Further, many of our staff and volunteers have or currently own and operate small businesses and are familiar with the challenges of small business owners. A majority of our volunteers are military Veterans and successful business men and women in the communities in which we serve. Our President is a service connected Army Veteran and our staff and volunteer team members are highly skilled with launching and scaling small businesses. Our clients depend on us for support in the areas of strategic planning, marketing, financing, private and government contracting, leases as well as many other areas.

Since 2004 we have assisted over 40,000 people with entrepreneurship education. They reported over $20 Million in contracts with the government. We have hired a 4th employee and opened a new office in the Kansas City area to support our out state collaboration events.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

VETERANS ADVOCACY FOUNDATION INC
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

VETERANS ADVOCACY FOUNDATION INC

Board of directors
as of 05/11/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Sekhar Prabhakar

CEdge Solutions

Term: 2021 -


Board co-chair

Mr. Brian Sexton

One Salute

Term: 2015 -

Robert Fulstone

Past Board Chair, Emeritus

Ed Higgins

Past Board Chair, Emeritus

Brenda Newberry

Emeritus

Frank Curtis

no affiliation

Gary Hughey US Marine (Lt. General Retired)

Emeritus

John Hillhouse

Emeritus

Joshua Frank

RSM Federal, Imm. Past Board Chair

Jessica Fox

Fannie Mae, Board Treasurer

Bryan Bolton

U.S. Bank

Victor Ponce

Realator, Board Fundraising

Brian Sexton

Board Vice Chairman

Jacob Garth

Past BOD Chair, Emeritus

Patrice Manuel

Mac MacDougall

Eric Gholtz

Emeritus

Sekhar Prabhakar

Leon Huddleston

Emeritus

Frank Burns

Bryan Bolton

Emeritus

Takisha Lovelace

Secretary

Donovan Foster

Emeritus

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/11/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.