OST President and CEO Olessia Smotrova taught a business development workshop to 48 veteran entrepreneurs this week at the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) START Session.

The course was a hands-on workshop reviewing a Government Request For Proposals (RFP). Olessia offered tips and advice drawn from her more than 20 years in the business development industry to the participants, the majority of whom represented Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB).

“That class answered and filled so many holes that we have been struggling with,” said Brian Nielson,
CEO of Kern and Bellows, Inc., a New Jersey-based staffing, technology, and consulting company. “I honestly feel like that was the key to my futures success.

“Your class was amazing,” said Paige A. Maples, CEO of Qualified Environmental Consultants, Inc, a Florida-based company. “Thank you so much for all the information. I will definitely be looking at your other classes.”

VIP’s START program assists veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses by offering courses taught by industry experts. Of the participants in this week’s session, 79% represent Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), and 77% of the participants have yet to work on a federal contract.

Olessia’s presentation at Tuesday’s Virtual VIP session is just one way that OST supports veterans. OST also offers an apprenticeship program that can be paid for with the GI Bill and other veterans’ benefits. The OST Apprenticeship in Government Business Development also awards graduates with nationally recognized credentials.

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