The Concerned Veterans for America Foundation welcomed veterans and entrepreneurs to Missoula's Holiday Inn on Saturday to discuss and encourage business development.
'Where business is the new battlefield' was the slogan for the first Vetrepreneurship event where Representative Greg Gianforte was among the speakers.
“We’ve had a great turnout today," Gianforte said. "Other Veterans have come up who have started businesses and they’ve said that this is exactly what allowed us to create a livelihood and we’d like to see other veterans succeed as well.”
One vetrepreneur who did exactly that was Nathan Hansen. Hansen is the CEO of RE:Industries, a business that nurtures other businesses with sustainability in mind. He said veterans are an untapped economic resource.
“So we train hard, but we learn that once you’re in a situation, you have to adapt and overcome. That is business, one hundred percent," he said. "One of the best things we can do to help veterans is to give them the tools they need to help boost the economy."
Hansen added that he'd like to see advancements through government and business that help promote veteran-owned businesses in a big way.
Sam Redfern, Montana's director for the Concerned Veterans for America Foundation, said the event will be a first in a series.
"We're providing the special event so they can come together, have that camaraderie, and support each other as vetrepreneurs," Redfern said. "We believe that the space in Montana is fertile for these vetrepreneurs to grow their businesses."
The Foundation hopes to host other launch events in Bozeman and Billings to further encourage veterans across the state to start their own businesses.