The Ritz Herald
© National Invest In Veterans Week

Best Social Impact Initiative of 2021: National Invest In Veterans Week

Published on March 15, 2021

For decades, veterans have embarked on the mission of launching successful businesses after serving our nation with distinction and honor. During their military transitions, veterans are commonly presented with opportunities to work for companies rather than start and grow their existing businesses. For veterans who chose to become entrepreneurs, their contributions to America’s economy continue to impact our nation positively. Furthermore, veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5 million people throughout the country (many of whom are veterans themselves) while generating revenue of $1.14 trillion.

With this information in mind, a group of veterans from both the military and the National Football League joined unitedly to launch National Invest In Veterans Week. Celebrated March 1st through March 7th, National Invest In Veterans Week is an organization dedicated to advocating for veteran entrepreneurs nationwide. Co-founded by nationally syndicated columnist Jeff Shuford, National Football League star Drayton Florence, and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Rickey L. Pope, the organization’s mission is to honor aspiring and established veteran business owners and their contributions to the economy. Having established the holiday in 2019, the organization recently landed legislation through the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives. Senator Katrina Frye Shealy and Senator Ronnie W. Cromer were instrumental in introducing a resolution that honored veteran business owners throughout the state of South Carolina during the groundbreaking holiday. In addition to launching an innovative mobile application on multiple platforms, National Invest In Veterans Week hosts a radio show for veteran business owners on iHeartRadio, among other major radio platforms. With endorsements from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Cintas Corporation, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, General Services Administration, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, among others, National Invest In Veterans Week’s social influence is exceptionally impactful.

The staff at National Invest In Veterans Week have a unique perspective concerning innovative digital marketing. In 2016, the group launched the veteran-owned technology company Tech From Vets and won the 2017 BizTech Award presented by Comcast Business. National Invest In Veterans Week’s digital strategy is led by Jeff Shuford Shuford. Shuford writes a monthly column on innovative digital marketing for the American City Business Journals that appears in more than 43 regional business newspapers nationwide. In 2017 Shuford partnered with Jacksonville Veteran Affairs Office, SBDC, Florida State College of Jacksonville, and the Wounded Warrior Project to launch the annual Jacksonville Vetrepreneur Summit. A vision of Shuford’s from its inception, the Jacksonville Vetrepreneur Summit taught thousands of veteran business owners how to start, market, promote, and adequately scale their businesses. NFL star Drayton Florence runs the daily operations of the innovative organization. In his celebrated National Football League career, Florence was a member of the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Buffalo Bills. After playing eleven (11) seasons in the National Football League, Florence has advocated for veteran businesses on the NFL Network, Forbes Sports Money, Sports Illustrated, and many other notable publications.

Recently, National Invest In Veterans Week launched a digital magazine that helps veterans learn how to become successful entrepreneurs. In addition to National Invest In Veterans Week Magazine, the organization launched a documentary that features aspiring veteran business owners’ first-hand struggles. As the brand continues its expansion nationally, the award-winning organization remains hyper-focused on utilizing innovative marketing techniques to advocate for veteran business owners throughout the country.

Associate Writer