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In 2009, three individuals had a conversation about how to help veteran small businesses win more government contracts. The federal market had yet to meet their 3% contracting goal for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. These three leaders believed that by providing veteran owned small businesses the tools they needed to be procurement ready and grow in the federal market, they could assist the federal government in meeting this goal. “We can help our veterans.”
The first VIP class began in 2009 and was held every other Thursday evening at the Clark Construction HQ’s in Maryland. The class was offered at no cost to the veteran participants. The industry and government experts volunteered their time to instruct. The Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation covered the minimal costs. Not only did the small businesses in this first class succeed in winning more federal contracts, but many of them are now large prime contractors.
Since 2010, there have been over $17 billion in Federal prime contract awards won by VIP Grads.
VIP became a national training center in 2011 and began to offer multiple 3-day, 27-hour in residence programs per year at the William F. Bolger Center just 11 miles from Washington, D.C. Veteran CEOs traveled in from across the nation to learn from industry and government experts who continued to volunteer their time and expertise. VIP continued to offer these 3-day classes at no-cost for participants.
Beginning in 2012, the federal contracting goal of 3% for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses was not only met but has increased each year.
In 2020, the world changed. More than ever, the federal government needed small-business contractors as they faced the needs of a global pandemic. VIP assessed the environment, identified the need, and adapted their business model to provide the right solution for their participants. In the space of several weeks, VIP pivoted to a virtual platform and offered the traditional in-residence training program virtually to veteran-owned small businesses across the nation.
VIP trained over 300 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses in 2020 and launched its newest program, VIP ADVANCE in 2022. To date, VIP has trained 2,141 veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran owned businesses across all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.
As the world continues to assess, improvise, and adapt to this new normal, VIP will continue to make sure veteran-owned small businesses have the tools and skills they need to succeed, no matter the challenges.
VIP’s value is not just the knowledge you gain through the training programs. It is also the relationships you build within the VIP Community, a network of industry experts, VIP Alumni, and Primes and government partners committed to your success.
VIP plays an important role in the federal government in exceeding its goal in federal contracting to VOSB/SDVOSBs. Read more about how VIP Arms Vets to WIN in our Fast Facts.