As a result of the veteran status of KANAVA’s President & CEO, Susan Puska, KANAVA became a self-certified service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) in October 2014. We are very proud of the almost 30 years of service COL Puska dedicated to the national security of our country, but we are even more excited that she has taken her past experience and passion for contributing to global stability to promote security through economic development by founding KANAVA International, LLC, in 2012.

While some federal agencies, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is currently KANAVA’s primary client, accepted our self-certification as a SDVOSB, other agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) require further verification by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE). In order to continue to diversify KANAVA’s portfolio, we decided to seek CVE verification so that we could start bidding on VA and DoD work.

CVE verifies SDVOSB for veteran eligibility, ownership, and control of the company. After submitting the requisite paperwork, on May 10, 2017, KANAVA received CVE verification that it is a legitimate firm owned and controlled by a service-disabled veteran. KANAVA has now been added to the Vendor Information Pages (VIP), making it eligible to participate in Veterans First Contracting Program opportunities with VA.

As a part of VA’s Veterans First Program, contract set-asides are available CVE verified Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and SDVOSBs. VA is one of the largest procurement organizations in the federal government, annually spending over $3 billion with verified SDVOSBs and VOSBs. A verified firm is eligible to subcontract with VA’s large prime contractors and has access to other federal and state agencies that include VA verification in solicitations.

According to Michael Zacchea, Director UConn Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans in 2015, there were about 2.5 million veteran owned businesses, producing about $1.7 trillion gross domestic product. That’s about 10% of the US economy. These 2.5 million veteran owned businesses employ about 8 million Americans with a total payroll of about $1.2 trillion. So veteran owned businesses produce about $500 billion in profit, annually.

This goes to show that veterans and small businesses are an important part of the backbone of the U.S. economy. KANAVA is happy to be part of this movement.

Matthew Tyson