Supporting entrepreneurs is a priority of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) —especially our men and women who served our country. There is a positive ripple effect when we support veteran entrepreneurs not only in the economy and community, but to the rest of our military men and women transitioning to civilian life.

Time after time, I witness the strong intrinsic drive that veteran entrepreneurs have to help other veterans by creating jobs, providing job training and serving as mentors.

Individuals such as U.S. Navy veteran Elizabeth Valenzuela Banker, president and CEO of Shore Solutions, Inc., located in Chula Vista, who prides herself in hiring fellow veterans like herself. The family-run business consists of 20 employees, with more than 40 percent being service-disabled veterans representing Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and the National Guard.

Shore Solutions provides services worldwide to the military, as well as, federal and state agencies. Ms. Valenzuela Banker purchased the business from her former employer in late 2015, at a time when the company was struggling. She sought regular support, resources and opportunities from various workshops and events hosted by the SBA’s resource partners at Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE. SBDC’s provide free 1-on-1 consulting with expert advisors and low-cost workshops conducted by industry leaders. SCORE is made up of volunteer business members trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Shore Solutions also applied for and was accepted into the SBA’s 8(a) certification, a program designed to award federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses each year, including veteran-owned businesses.

Through hard work and leveraging the training from both her military service and the resources provided by the SBA, Ms. Valenzuela Banker made significant improvements to the company and its workforce.
The SBA is committed to providing strong resources for the successful transition of service members exiting the military and considering entrepreneurship as their next move.

The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development empowers veterans by equipping them, transitioning service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses with small business counseling, training and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities.

Additionally, the President recently showed his continued dedication to small businesses and veterans with his donation of his second-quarter salary to the SBA. This donation will go toward helping our nation’s veterans transition from military service to entrepreneurs. Specifically, the funds will assist the SBA with creating a seven-month intensive entrepreneur training program for veterans.

Veterans are integral to the growth of America’s small businesses. This year, November 5 through November 9 marks the fifth annual National Veterans Small Business Week, a week dedicated to recognizing and honoring our veteran entrepreneurs and the contributions they make.

We invite the community to join us as we support our veteran owed-businesses. Visit or contact your local SBA district office to find out about various events. Also, join us in the celebration by following us on Twitter at @SBAgov and sharing your stories with the #VetBiz and #MyVetBiz hashtags.