DALLAS (CBS11) – Giving our nation’s veterans, their next mission—that’s the goal of a North Texas nonprofit that is now expanding their business incubator. Organizers say they’re helping veterans create jobs and build new lives.
“I get goosebumps walking back here,” says Clifford Sosamon, Executive Director of Honor Courage Commitment, Inc.
Wednesday, crews are busy installing the new desks and shared workspaces in HCC’s new headquarters on the border of Farmers Branch and Dallas.
“It’s gone from just an idea—and something that was written on paper—to now it’s real. We can feel it, we can touch it, and we can say to the veterans: ‘it’s here, come here today, and help start your future’.”
It is, indeed, a beautiful thing to see a dream take wing. Even if it’s just looking out over a room full of cardboard boxes and cubicle parts, to imagine the veterans who will end a search for purpose within the freshly painted walls.
Sosamon, a retired Marine and serial entrepreneur, explains how the process works.
“A veteran comes in, says, ‘I’m looking for a new career. I need to find my sense of purpose. I’m starting a company. I have an idea, or I currently have a business that I’m running and I need help’.”
So along with the honor, courage and commitment, HCC provides lots of hands on help.
“We’re able to take them through our veteran entrepreneur training–our VET program. It’s a four-phase program that goes all the way from business concept, all the way to growth and sustainability,” says Sosamon.
Lucy Caba served in the army and wanted to turn her love of fitness into a business opportunity. So, she turned to HCC.
“I wasn’t a soldier anymore, I wasn’t a mechanic, so I had to figure something out,” says Caba. “Some of us come out a little bit lost, we don’t know where to go from there, this provides us a link to our future… what it could be.”
There is no cost for veterans to take advantage of the entrepreneurship training.
Then, when that kitchen table business gets too big, office space is also available for rent.
“We’ve had over 30 businesses started, over $16 million dollars created through that 30 business,” says Sosamon. “We are helping empower veterans, so they are not sitting around wondering what is next.”