On Veterans Day, we honor veterans across the nation and one nonprofit organization is doing just that in Mid-Michigan.
Located at Mott Community College in Flint, VetBizCentral is helping veterans in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
Matt Sherwood is an Army Veteran who had a business degree and was always entrepreneurial. Even as a kid, he was mowing lawns, selling ice cream, and just about anything to make a buck. It was that business mindset that helped Sherwood discover his true passion of helping veterans start businesses.
"It's a great opportunity as a veteran to give back to my fellow veterans, military spouses, National Guard Reserve members," Sherwood said.
VetBizCentral is a nonprofit organization founded back in 2005 with the mission of helping veterans transition from active duty to civilian life. After getting laid off by the city of Flint, Sherwood found his way to VetBizCentral after hearing about the group back in 2009.
"Our mission is real simple: we help veterans start one business at a time whether that is starting, growing, or expanding. It's not cookie cutter counseling. It really depends where they are in the business cycle," Sherwood said.
The nonprofit organization began under a test pilot program to pursue veteran program based outreach covering states across the nation, but locally in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Since the pilot program, VetBizCentral is now an award winning organization after being recognized as the National Veterans Business Outreach Center in 2017.
"It's a really vet-centric program, vets giving back to vets and I think that is really one of the touching points that gets me up and motivated everyday," Sherwood said.
From counseling, veteran-to-veteran mentorship, to offering networking opportunities, Sherwood said he would not have accomplished anything without his team.
"I think everyday that I get up, I'm just blessed to come into this place and work with great people, great veterans who share common interests with me and that common goals is that we want to help veterans start, grow, or expand businesses," Sherwood said.
The greatest reward for Sherwood is receiving a call from a veteran who received a loan and is launching a new business.