Veterans Webinar: Looking to the Future and the Impact of Building Back Better

About the Episode:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) plays a significant role in ensuring that programs, services, and support resources reach the Veteran small business community. It provides unique opportunities for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses to build partnerships, maximize networking, and access Procurement Decision Makers through Direct Access Events.

Join the conversation of the Virginia MBDA Business Center with Antoine Broughton from The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Louisa Jaffe, CEO/president of TAPE, the First Annual Woman Vetrepreneur. Antoine Broughton is responsible for all facets of planning and executing business networking events hosted by the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), including the National Veteran Small Business Engagement.

Ms. Jaffe manages TAPE’s business affairs, client and corporate relations, and marketing outreach. Most recently, she stood up a new Products Division, which will focus on a new approach to training. As Lieutenant Colonel Louisa Long Cullem, she served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and the U.S. Army Reserve for 28 years.

Tune in!

Here’s What You’ll Get In This Episode

[00:01] Episode intro and  who we are as the Virginia MBDA Business Center

[04:36] Meet Antoine Broughton & a bit about The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 

[09:43] Louisa Jaffe, CEO/president of TAPE, the First Annual Woman Vetrepreneur 

[10:20] Louisa’s story as a veteran and how she started her small business

[13:09] Valuable business lessons she learned from his dad

[15:02] Key areas of focus that VA supports small businesses 

[17:59] Successes, challenges, and tips for Jaffe’s winning the Vetrepreneur contract

[22:13] Covid-related challenges & the ways she used to communicate with the government

[28:23] Their opinions about the build back better legislation

[31:23] Jaffe’s considerations to look at new teaming partners

[32:07] Veterans-owned small businesses who want to compete for set-aside contracts 

[35:42] Does VA maintain a subcontracting database?

[36:37] Golden takeaway nuggets from the panellists

[45:23] Ending the show and call to action 

Notable Quotes

  • To make more money in business, you must help more people by selling more stuff.
  • Know your own story and what you are good at, and be prepared to differentiate yourself as a small business owner.
  • The best way to win business contracts is to be good at what you do and make sure you can explain how to explain it.
  • With everything that happens to you in your life, you have the powers to treat it either as an asset or a deficit. That’s what makes all the difference.
  • Learning happens based on what a person can do as a result of training.
  • One of the essential skills to own as a small business owner is understanding your numbers.

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Resources Mentioned

Change the Way You See Everything through Asset-Based Thinking by Hank Wasiak & Kathryn D. Cramer:

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