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It is best to wait until after your military service is complete before starting a small business. For many veterans looking forward to retiring from the military, starting a business seems overwhelming. Small business loans make it easy.
Small Business Help For Veterans
The idea of opening a business helps combine years of leadership skills developed in the military with the ability to be your own boss.
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But it can be difficult for many in the military community to know where to start. This guide can show you some of the options that are available to you as a military veteran or as a spouse.
We’ll split this guide into two parts – loan options for military veterans and covering options for a military spouse. Some of these programs are run by the government while others are operated by non-profit groups or private organizations.
While the Department of Veterans Affairs does not provide loans for businesses, the Small Business Administration has a specific loan program for veterans. The program is administered by the SBA and OVBD.
OVBD seeks to ensure that small business programs are available to members of our military community as well as their dependents and survivors. It aims to assist aspiring and existing experienced entrepreneurs with necessary resources such as training, mentorship and mentorship.
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SBA training programs are designed to help veterans be successful. These programs include offline and online courses along with customized curriculum.
Additional information regarding resource partners and small business loans for disabled military reserve and National Guard members can also be found on the OVBD page.
VIP is a veteran entrepreneurship program that specifically targets the procurement of federal contracts. VIP offers three accelerator-in-residence training programs for owners, principals and executives (CEOs and CFOs) of veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Instructors for VIP courses are professional service experts, government officials and federal representatives who understand the challenges unique to VOSBs and SDVOSBs. These programs are offered at no charge to the military community. They fill up quickly, so advance registration is essential.
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The Women’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program provides training to female military veterans, service members and military spouses as they begin to grow businesses. The SBA helps fund these programs through grants from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship and LiftFund. Both of these organizations understand that women business owners face unique challenges.
These loans are not designed to start a business. Loans through StreetShares are for companies that are already in operation. To be eligible for a business loan or credit through StreetShares, your business must have been in operation for at least one year before you apply. You need a minimum of $75,000 per year in annual business revenue to qualify.
As one of the most transient employment sectors in the civilian workforce, military spouses are constantly faced with restarting their careers and reprogramming their skills. For this reason, military spouses make excellent entrepreneurs. Small business ownership can be portable while remaining flexible. OVBD provides the same counseling, training and capital for military spouses as it does for service members and military veterans.
To help prepare military spouses for government contract bidding, the SBA and OVBD offer specialized training, including resources related to women-owned small businesses, 8(a) (mentor-protégé) businesses, and HUBZone businesses.
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In addition to these community-specific programs, the SBA and OVBD have also created specific training programs for groups within the broader military community.
Jessica Evans is a Cincinnati native who gets the chance to remodel a home every few years. Most recently, she lived in the Bavarian Forest. Now, she is on her way to putting down roots in Washington DC. Evans has an MFA from Spalding and has over a decade of professional writing experience. She writes primarily within the military and welfare communities. Evans is also a mentor for the Veteran Writing Project, a non-profit organization that connects veterans with writers wanting to tell their stories. Evans is a past Pushcart nominee, a fiction reader for literary magazines, and hosts a monthly writing group. When she is not writing, she is training for a competition. Connect with her on Twitter @jessica__evans.
Featured: Jessica’s writing has been featured in the following publications: We Are the Mighty, Reserve + National Guard Magazine, Military Families Magazine, Lincoln Military Housing, Hire GI, and many other publications.
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Join us for an online information session on how SBA programs and partners can help active duty military, reservists, and veterans of all ages and their family members with their small business needs.
Join us November 1-5 as we celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week! Nationally, the SBA will be showcasing our nation’s military and veteran-owned businesses throughout the week. Visit this webpage for details.
Veterans Can Get Free Advice To Start Small Businesses
Here in Minnesota, we have planned several webinars (in partnership with the North and South Dakota SBA Offices) to help you start and grow your veteran-owned small business. Registration details in the link below.
Learn how the VA buys, what they buy, and how you can participate. The Veterans Health Administration has a Veterans First Contract program for qualifying service disabled veterans and veteran owned small businesses to be verified through the Verification and Evaluation Center This session will give an overview of the application and review process. This verification is necessary for purchasing surplus assets.
The Boots to Business Reboot is for veterans of all ages, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserves) and their spouses who are interested in starting a business. This introductory course provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges of business ownership. During class, you will learn business fundamentals and techniques for evaluating the feasibility of your business concepts.
Some veteran-owned small businesses have access to federally owned surplus personal property. Find out what this means for you in this 2-hour session covering local resources, surplus asset program overview, and veteran verification.
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To purchase surplus property, the firm needs to be approved through VA vetbiz.gov certification – see the November 2 Doing Business with VA webinar information for more details.
This one-day program will offer: an overview of state contracting with veteran-owned businesses and much more to help you gain insight on how to better position yourself for government contracting.
The SBA is hosting training webinars to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start, grow, expand, and recover.
If this newsletter was forwarded to you, sign up to receive it directly through sba.gov/updates. Be sure to add your MN zip code to receive this Minnesota-specific information. Ex-servicemen are a powerful and successful community who form an important part of the country’s small business landscape. More than 2.4 million veterans return to their communities after their service and decide to apply their hard-earned skills to set up their own businesses.
Veteran Small Business Grants, Assistance, And Resources
Military training gives ex-servicemen an advantage as they learn to adapt quickly to new and changing situations and to do so under pressure. Experience hones important leadership qualities that are associated with successful entrepreneurs.
We are grateful to our veterans not only for their service, but also for their unique contributions as small business owners. We also
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