National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) Launches Veterans Initiative
According to the Small Business Administration, veterans are at least 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than those with no active-duty military experience. With that in mind, the National Cooperative Business Association, the US national association for cooperative business enterprise, recently announced a new initiative that will support transitioning and disabled veterans.
NCBA’s Veterans Initiative will offer transitioning service members the opportunity to learn about the cooperative business model as they explore entrepreneurial civilian career opportunities. Cooperatives, like Ace Hardware and Carpet One, offer independent business owners the benefits of group buying and a brand identity without the rigidity of a franchise.
The NCBA’s Veteran’s Initiative will focus on introducing veterans to two types of cooperatives: worker-owned and purchasing/shared services co-ops.
Worker-owned cooperatives create long-term, stable jobs and provide their members with an ownership stake in a business enterprise without all the risk associated with going into business as a sole proprietor.
Shared services cooperatives enable those who choose to start a small business with the price advantages of group buying power.
Currently there are about 29,000 cooperatives operating in all areas of the United States. According to the NCBA, these cooperatives generate 2 million jobs each year and contribute $652 billion in annual sales.
NCBA’s Veterans Initiative will also celebrate what the cooperative community already is doing to hire veterans and will encourage cooperatives to hire transitioning service members whose skills are well suited to their businesses. Through the program, a mentorship project is also being developed to support transitioning service members who choose to become member-owners of cooperative enterprises.
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