You served your country and now you’re ready for a new deployment—owning a small business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that 9 percent of all U.S. companies are veteran owned. You have the skills and discipline to be successful, but running a small business isn’t easy—for anyone. Luckily there are funding and training programs available for veteran-owned businesses. Here are some resources to help you start and grow your own small business.
- Veteran’s Advantage Loans – Offers guarantees for loans up to $350k for businesses that are 51 percent owned by veterans or military spouses.
- Street Shares – A partnership with Fit Small Business for loans up to $100k that can be used for inventory, expansion, or working capital needs. However, you must be in business for at least one year.
- Veteran’s Opportunity Fund – Venture capital source that invests up to $3 million in high-growth, veteran-owned businesses on the east coast with a focus on healthcare, technology, and business services.
- Hivers & Shivers – An angel investment group that focuses on early stage start-up ventures from graduates of U. S. Military Academies.
New Business Development
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program – This program gives favored status to service-disabled vets when it comes to awarding federal contracts.
- Veteran Institute for Procurement – Connects government agencies and contractors to graduates of the Veteran Institute for Procurement.
- Veteran Entrepreneurial Portal – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website offering a range of information, including Federal government contracting programs and a wizard that helps locate opportunities that align with your small business.
- VetFran – Connect with franchisors who offer a reduced franchise fee to veterans. Also provides guidance on finding the best franchise for your needs.
- 21Gun Salute – Helps service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses find their markets. Aims to meet or exceed the 3 percent contracting goals for disabled vets.
- Boots to Business (B2B) – Entrepreneurial training program for transitioning service members and their spouses. It provides an overview of business start-up and early management. The Boots to Business Reboot program is available to vets from all eras.
- Launch Lab – 12-week training program designed to help military vets who want to start their own business. An online version (Bunker in A Box) is available to active military.
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) – Program for women veterans and female military spouses. Online training and ongoing support are included.
- Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for Veterans (EBV) – Higher-education level training for post-9/11 veterans and military family members in a caretaker role for vets with service-connected disabilities. Three-phase program with online training, an on-site residency and ongoing support. Offered at no cost.
- Patriot Boot Camp – Three-day entrepreneurship boot camp for active-duty military, veterans, and spouses building technology companies. It provides free education, training and mentorship.
- Veteran’s Business Resource Center – Free counseling and online training to start a business. Transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses are eligible.