This SBA office is devoted exclusively to promoting veteran entrepreneurship, the OVBD facilitates the use of all SBA programs by veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, and their dependents or survivors. SBA programs provide access to capital and preparation for small business opportunities. They can also connect veteran small business owners with federal procurement and commercial supply chains.
The Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has a verification process that allows veteran business owners to be listed in the Vets First Directory. Once listed, your business can qualify for certain government contract processes that are reserved for veteran-owned businesses. This certification can also be important for qualifying for certain types of veteran financing programs.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website has a robust section dedicated to veteran entrepreneurs. There, you can find resources for starting and growing a business, as well as financing and pursuing federal contracting opportunities. You can also find franchising opportunities, training and employment programs. This site provides educational resources to becoming certified as a veteran-owned small business.
V-Wise is an SBA-sponsored training program that educates women veterans on entrepreneurship and small business management. This three-phase program is comprised of a 15-day online course, a three-day entrepreneurship training event, and ongoing mentorship, training, and support. V-Wise is a great networking opportunity as it attracts other business owners and entrepreneurs from around the country.
VetFran provides a host of resources with the mission of helping veterans and their spouses get access to franchising opportunities. VetFran’s website helps veterans determine whether or not a franchising opportunity is right for them, and which types of franchises might be a good fit. You can become a member of this network of over 650 franchise brands and other partners.
The EBV Accelerate program is a three-phase boot camp designed to give veterans the tools they need to get their business started. The first phase is a two week online instructional session, followed by a three-day residency in phase two during which veteran-entrepreneurs will create an action plan for their business. The third and final phase of this program involves ongoing support to aid the growth of your business.
Bunker Labs is an incubator for veteran-owned startup businesses that offers three different programs to assist veteran entrepreneurs. These programs include an online launch lab to assist with business ideation, a six-month business incubator, and an invitation-only monthly CEO meeting for businesses that are achieving high-growth and can benefit from mentoring.
If you’re seeking funding for your veteran-owned startup, why not work with an angel investor that only focuses on funding people who have served in the military. Hivers & Strivers provides early-stage investment for startups founded and will make investments starting around $250,000 up to $1 million in capital for qualified application who can pitch their business.
Lender Match is an SBA tool to connect veteran businesses with lenders. In addition, the SBA makes special consideration for veterans through several programs. Most lenders expect a business plan when you apply for startup funding. If you need to create one, follow the free business plan guide on the website.
StreetShares is committed to providing low-cost small business loans for veterans. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $250,000, with repayment terms from three to 36 months and APRs as low as 7%. To be eligible, you’ll need one year of business operations and at least $25,000 in annual revenues. You can apply online in minutes and, if approved, receive funding within a few days.
The PenFed Foundation provides service members, veterans, and their families with the skills and resources they need to build a strong financial future. The Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Programoffers opportunities for development, seed capital funding, and a platform to grow by encouraging veteran entrepreneurs to support other veteran entrepreneurs through their successes.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs runs a Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (V&RE) Programfor veterans who have become disabled as a result of their service. The seriousness of the service-connected disability determines the amount of funding you can receive. Veterans can receive grants for the purchase of inventory, supplies, licensing fees, and essential equipment. Applicants must submit a complete business plan before they can be considered for funding.
Vets in Tech is focused on helping veterans reintegrate by connecting them with technology businesses. For veteran tech entrepreneurs, Vets in Tech offers mentorship and resources to assist you with building your tech business into a high-growth technology company. These resources include various workshops, events, a one-day boot camp, and the opportunity for office space in seven major cities across the United States.
The Coalition for Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) is an advocacy group for businesses owned by veterans and their spouses. The CVOB is a free service that promotes veteran-owned businesses through business-to-business (B2B) product awareness. You must register your business to be a part of their database, which is shared with corporate partners. Once you are signed up, you will be given opportunities to network with corporations that want to help grow veteran-owned businesses.
The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) is an advocacy group for veteran-owned businesses. As a veteran, you can join the association and receive member benefits for an annual fee of $295. Member benefits include training programs, brand exposure through the NVSBC network, and reduced rates for NVSBC events and other services.
The Patriot Boot Camp is a free resource that provides in-depth entrepreneurial education through live events and mentorships. The primary program offered by Patriot Boot Camp is a three-day intensive entrepreneurial training course. Patriot Boot Camp is open to all active duty service members, veterans, and military spouses. These events are offered at locations throughout the company, and are free of charge to participants.
American Corporate Partners connects post-9/11 veterans with hand-selected mentors for a 12-month period for free. These mentors help veteran entrepreneurs make connections in the business community to aid in the start or growth of their business. Mentors are matched based on their familiarity with your business, industry, or your specific needs.
GovCon Ops is a private veteran owned and operated consulting business that aims to help other veteran-owned businesses with government contracts, both pre-award and post-award. Veterans pay to receive schedule writing services. GovCon Ops provides general guidance and direction to simplify the process of finding the right government contracts to grow your business through contract advisory, audit and assurance, compliance, and strategic business development.
Warrior Rising offers veteran business owners instruction, mentoring, funding assistance, and guidance on reconnecting with your community. To begin working with Warrior Rising, you will complete an intake interview that will help you decide your next steps, whether that be attending the Warrior Academy or a review of your business plan.
Dog Tag Inc. offers a five-month fellowship program to veterans with service-connected disabilities, military spouses, and caregivers. Participants will earn a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University through a curriculum that consists of seven courses in accounting, management, corporate finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, there are a series of workshops and learning labs aimed to develop the soft skills necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.