VIBE, UW Tacoma’s entrepreneurship incubator, and the U.S. Small Business Administration have formed a two-year strategic alliance. Under the agreement, VIBE and the SBA will collaborate on business training and provision of incubator services as a way to enhance the military veteran entrepreneur ecosystem in the Puget Sound area.
Representatives from each organization signed a memorandum committing to the strategic alliance during a ceremony that coincided with National Veterans Small Business Week.
Attending the ceremony from UW Tacoma were Thomas Kuljam, VIBE Director, and Dr. Altaf Merchant, Associate Dean and Professor in the Milgard School of Business.
“The reason an SBA study found veterans are 45 percent more likely to own a business is because military service imparts a skill set, an aptitude and many of the basic skills needed to be an entrepreneur,” said Kuljam. “We work with veterans to help them understand that capacity and support them in starting up their business. Our partnership with the SBA shows veterans we believe in them and support them. This is a powerful partnership that will help launch many veteran-owned businesses in the future.”
The SBA Seattle District Office is directed by Kerrie Hurd. “We’re excited to formalize our relationship with VIBE,” Hurd said. “Our agencies’ missions are aligned to support veteran-owned businesses by connecting them to resources to start, grow and expand their businesses. It makes perfect sense for us to combine our efforts more effectively to serve our veterans.”
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org