It is a part of the veteran training to develop leadership skills. That is why they are duly capable of starting their own business. The government has designed many programs to support veterans who are interested in setting up their small businesses. Not only for veterans, but also their spouses, and dependents.
If you fall in that category and are looking to start a business of your own, there are several resources to help you fund it. I was watching a documentary on my optimum TV and internet packages, and I found out that 250,000+ veterans transit to civilian life every year.
Here’s a list for you of top government programs designed especially for veterans. Have a look!
Boots to Business
This is an educational program by the U.S Small Business Administration. It offers free two-step training for veterans who want to become successful entrepreneurs. The program begins as a two-day introductory course to the basics of entrepreneurship. It has an eight-week-long online course to set the foundation of successful entrepreneurship, all the techniques included. The participants are even taught how to write a successful business plan. If you have spent an active-duty service period, and are now transiting, you and your partner/spouse are eligible to enroll.
Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan
You can have a business loan easily approved through this program with an interest rate of 4%. The loan limit is $2 million, and you can extend the loan return limit up to 30 years. This loan program helps you meet the “ordinary and necessary” business expenses if one of the existing employees leaves to serve on duty.
Veterans Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-Wise)
This program includes three phases and allows women veterans to use tools to become successful business entrepreneurs. The three phases include a 15-day training course offered online. The veterans have to attend a three-day training course too, along with mentorship for supporting and launching, and growing a successful business. All active-duty members, honorably discharged veterans, and their female spouses are eligible to apply. Widowed spouses/partners can apply too.
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
This is a program by Syracuse University which provides education and training to the veterans having a mind and aptitude for business. It collaborates with the Boots to Business program, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), and the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program. More than 39,000 people have benefitted from these programs.
Patriot Boot Camp
This is a three-day training program offered to veterans, their spouses/partners. Active duty members are eligible too. It not only helps you access funds for starting a small business but also includes educational training programs conducted by mentors, on how to become successful entrepreneurs.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small-Business Program
This is an SBA program that helps veterans qualify for as high as $5 million government contracts on a sole-source basis. The qualified veterans have to own at least 51% of the business. One of the basic criteria to apply is to get a service-connected disability certificate, verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs or by the Department of Defense.
The StreetShares Foundation
The StreetShares Foundation is an online lender. They announced a partnership with JP Morgan Chase on Nov, 10. The announcement states $10,000 funding to eligible veterans, their spouses, or active-duty service members, in three months’ time span. The selection criteria stated by the StreetShares include strong business ideas, the potential of the applied business idea to the society, and the relevance of the business to the veterans and military community.
This foundation was founded by entrepreneurial combat veterans. It is a non-profit organization which helps veterans set up their businesses by giving instructions, one-on-one mentorship, loans, and an introduction to the veteran entrepreneurs’ community and its funding sources.
It is a national non-profit organization. They provide business mentors to veterans who want guidance to start their own small business. You can meet the mentors one-on-one. Score is a valuable resource to consider as it has the largest business expert network in the country.
Apart from these, there are several private veteran welfare organizations that you can check. While checking my optimum on demand prices online, I came across several articles that can help veterans start a small business. Stay tuned for more!
Angelique Chrisafis is the Guardian’s Paris correspondent. She is responsible for churning out quality articles based on her research while keeping an eye on the tech world. She likes technology, gadgets, and food. Works as an individual contributor to the team.