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The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 directed the Small Business Administration (SBA) to create a Governmentwide certification program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Effective January 1, 2023, SBA assumed responsibility for certifying Veteran-Owned small firms. If you have questions, please contact SBA at You can also call 800-862-8088, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST to speak to an SBA representative about the Veteran certification program or visit Veteran Small Business Certification.(

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National Veterans Small Business Engagement

November 7 - 9, 2023
Kissimmee, Florida

Learning Sessions

Tools, Strategies, and Tactics for Government Contracting Success

The importance of Sources Sought and Requests for Information responses to “shape” requirements are explained during this session. The audience will receive tips like building proposal libraries, dissecting Request for Proposals, ensuring compliance and writing responsive proposals which contribute to winning a contract. This course will also include information about creating an impactful Capability Statement.

  • Mark Odell, Florida APEX Accelerator

Chief Executive Officers’ (CEO) Lessons Learned

This session will be a facilitated conversation with three to four Veterans Institute for Procurement (VIP) graduates. The group will discuss the importance of building a strong network and establishing strategic partnerships to reach new customers. The significance of adapting to market changes, staying informed about industry trends, and continuously innovating to stay ahead of the competition will also be covered.

  • Barbara Ashe, VIP
  • Erica Dobbs, Dobbs Defense Solutions
  • Diedre Windsor, Windsor Group
  • Lewis Runnion, Eleven09
  • Brian Flood, Decision Point Corporation

General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule/VETS schedule

Entrepreneurs will receive advice about maximizing their General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule. Information about onboarding to a GSA Multiple-Award Schedule (MAS) and marketing GSA MAS will also be deliberated. An emphasis will be placed on helping participants understand how to optimize profitability and leverage the schedule to build and maintain strategic customer relationships.

  • Patrick “Pat” McKeever, GSA

VA Pathfinder Prowess: Unleashing your Inner Trailblazer

Staff from the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction (OALC) will explain Pathfinder, the Department’s vendor portal. The host and co-host will demystify selling and innovating with the Department of Veterans (VA) by providing information about the tools needed which includes Pathfinder.

  • Dr. Ernest Reed and Ashley Hammond, VA OALC

Small Business Administration’s (SBA) VetCert Program

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) is an independent office of the SBA established in 1983 to provide an independent, quasi-judicial appeal of certain SBA program decisions. Among those appeal types includes Veteran Small Business Certification Process decisions and protests related to Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. This General Session will provide an overview of OHA and how it can impact an applicant seeking certification as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB).

  • John Perkins, SBA
Please note: Content on this Web page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a comprehensive statement or analysis of application statures, regulations, and case law governing this topic. Rather, it's a plain language summary. If you are seeking claims assistance, your local VA regional office, a VA-recognized Veterans Service Organization, or a VA-accredited attorney or agent can help.