Free Workshops Help Arizona Veterans Start, Grow Businesses


Helping military veterans succeed as business owners is the goal behind a series of seminars taking place across Arizona.

The full-day workshops help veterans examine their ideas, understand their markets and evaluate the competition. It also focuses on start-up costs, financing and planning.

“When I talk to people I’ll them you will learn from all the mistakes that I made, that we made as a company,” said Ed Molina. “And if there was a mistake to be made, we made it.”

Retired Army Officer Ed Molina said he and his partners didn’t know about all the resources available when they launched a defense services company in 2007. He says it grew to about 250 employees and $40 million in annual revenue.

“While I have been blessed and been successful, it wasn’t through my own devices,” he said.

Connecting veterans to the right people and programs is now Molina’s full-time job as director of the Arizona Veterans Business Outreach Center. He said what makes service members successful in the military will make them successful in the business world.

“They can be mission-focused, they know how to overcome obstacles, they know how to plan, they know how to adjust their plans if things aren’t working out a particular way,” Molina explained.

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded Cochise College a grant to launch the Arizona Veterans Business Outreach Center in 2016. During the month of June, seminars are scheduled in Safford, Sedona, Tucson and Surprise. Find a list of events here.

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