Do You Know the Next 'Vetrepreneur' of the Year?

The search is on once again for the year’s top business owner among military veterans.

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association opened nominations this week for its fifth  annual Vetrepreneur of the Year award, an honor that will be bestowed to the head of one of the nation's 3 million veteran-owned businesses.

Nominees must be a U.S. veteran who not only owns his or her company but actively runs it. The winner will be chosen based on an assessment of financial performance, company growth, leadership, profitability, integrity and values.

Fayetteville, N.C., resident Josh Collins, a former Green Beret who owns the Huske House Brewing Co., nabbed the award last year, in part for leadership skills that resonated in his local economy and among veterans nationwide.

"I am humbled by the honor and amazed at the visibility this award has provided me over the last year," Collins says. "I could have never achieved my success without the lessons learned from my band of brothers, and moreover without my business partners who continue to serve."

 

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Statistics show veterans increasingly are forgoing the traditional route of finding a job working for someone elsein favor of trying to run their own business. The rate of business ownership among veterans is twice the rate of non-veterans, with one of every seven U.S. veterans owning a business, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association strongly encourages qualified veterans to nominate themselves. The winner of the contest, which is being run in partnership with JP Morgan Chase and Co., will appear on the cover of the June 2012 issue of Vetrepreneur magazine.

April 13 is the deadline for nominations, which can be made online at http://www.navoba.com/VOY12.

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has worked in public relations and spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter and now works as a freelancer business and technology reporter. You can reach him at chadgbrooks@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.