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From Badge-Holders to Business Owners

Helping veterans transition from service to entrepreneurship is the mission of Colorado Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Mt. Carmel. The VBOC is a proud extension of the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center. It’s not just another veterans program; it’s a lifeline for transitioning service members, veterans, and military families. The program is designed to guide veterans toward a path of self- sufficiency and self-employment. But more than that, it helps service-men and -women fulfill lifelong dreams.

VBOC has joined hands with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to foster entrepreneurial development across Colorado’s Veteran communities. With the help of over 20 SBA organizations, they offer specialized business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals. From pre- business planning workshops and entrepreneurial training to feasibility analyses and business mentorships, VBOC provides holistic support to veterans as they take their first transformative steps towards entrepreneurship.

But the support doesn’t stop at just the business; it reaches further to help the business owner. NaKia Palmer, the program’s director, says, “Because Mt. Carmel is our host, we don’t just say, ‘Hey, how’s the business doing?’ We can say, ‘How is my veteran doing?’ We have the opportunity to say, ‘What else do you need?’”

As an extension of Mt. Carmel, VBOC has an arsenal of health, wellness, and transition resources in its back pocket. Family support, mental health resources, physical wellness treatments — Mt. Carmel does it all, and VBOC is there to connect veterans with all of the resources they need. Whether a returning family member, an active service member or a future business owner, they find unwavering support at Mt. Carmel and VBOC.

“Entrepreneurship is a lot…sometimes, we have business owners come in, and they’re stressed. Stress is real! Stress is a killer. And not having healthy coping skills can be detrimental to human beings…we want to let them know, ‘Mt. Carmel is here. We’re all here to assist!’ And that just makes me happy,” Palmer says with a smile.


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