The Living Smart Foundation is now offering a program for veterans looking for business opportunities to become their own boss. Veterans with little to no experience in business will have the opportunity to own and manage their own business through our “micro-business” program.
At present, Living Smart owns and operates several local farmers markets that include several small business owners who make and sell their own products. Living Smart has partnered with a select group of these businesses to create a “micro-business” operation to support and educate veterans in the procedures and processes of owning and operating their own business at minimal risk and without the need to make a huge financial investment to get started.
The adjustment from military life to civilian life is a huge transition for many of our men and women in blue, and through this program, they will have access to educational support that teaches financial responsibility and skills both personally and in business, and veterans will learn how to manage and maintain a successful business through best practices training and support in operations, planning, sales, marketing, accounting, and personnel management. The purpose of the program is to offer veterans who are interested in earning an income while developing their entrepreneurial skills either as a part-time supplemental or a full-time income opportunity.
The “micro-business” model is a low-risk, low-financial investment program that offers veterans the ability to experience business ownership through a mentor-supported program that will include professional training in the areas of business and personal coaching, accounting applications, business planning tools and implementation, sales and marketing strategies with resources and how-to techniques, and inventory control tracking and metric measurement tools. Participants will have the option to “try out” different business types among a selection of mini-business kits available by working directly for a period of time with the actual producers of the products and the “licensor.” Veterans may select to work with food products that they enjoy using or eating that may include sauces and spices, gourmet veggie chips and nuts, granola-based products and energy bars, hand soaps, body oils and lotions, BBQ sauces and meat rubs, and much more for a period of time before choosing a product line they are most interested in investing in, selling, and managing as their own venture.
Many of the products would be those you would already find at many of the Living Smart Farmers Markets and at many other festivals, events, and food venues. Beyond providing the means and the education to own and operate their business, the program also supports veterans by providing sales opportunities with built-in venues like the Farmers Markets and access to other area venues to sell their products.
The “micro-business” model includes a “kit” for the business they select that includes all of the necessary tools, signs, marketing materials, accounting applications, six to eight weeks of hands-on education with professional expert mentors, permits, start-up inventory, and established venues to get their business off the ground with ongoing support and mentorship as needed through BeMoneySmartUSA. Veterans will have access to receive funding to support their investment at minimal risk and cost.