Each year the number of veteran business owners grows. Also each year there are many veterans that want to start their own business and follow the entrepreneur path, but they just aren’t sure where to start. Both those that have a business established and those still in the idea and dream phase both need resources.
Resources for Veteran Business Owners
American military veterans have the leadership qualities and can-do attitude that can help them make any small business or start up a success. But they are often lacking the funds or business knowledge needed to make this type of venture work out. There are programs and organizations that can assist veteran business owners and provide valuable resources but these are only beneficial when veterans know about them.
What Types of Resources Can Veteran Business Owners Access?
Education and Training
There are various types of resources that are offered to veterans who either own a small business or who are thinking about starting one up.
Starting a business can be a big step, and this requires specific business knowledge. Veterans who have never owned a business in the past may need to learn the basics. Some organizations offer training and educational information to help in this area.
Programs and organizations that offer training and business education resources for veteran business owners include:
Boots to Business – This program is offered through the U. S. Small Business Administration and it is part of the Transition Assistance Program at the U.S. Department of Defense. The program provides veterans the training and education necessary for successful entrepreneurship.
EBV National Program – This program is offered by the EBV Foundation and it offers a number of resources including education and training to post 9/11 veterans who have service connected disabilities. Family members of these veterans may also qualify for the available resources through this program, as well as caregivers for a qualifying veteran.
Financial Assistance for Veteran Business Owners
For some veterans there are financial obstacles to realizing the dream of owning a business. These vets may have the business knowledge that they need but they may not have the needed startup capital to invest or the financial resources available to survive until their new start up begins to be profitable for them. Many new businesses may take a year or two before they begin to break even or turn a profit.
Many veteran business owners cannot go months without any income, even if they have all the startup capital that they need to start their new business. There are programs and organizations that can help veterans find funding, investors, and other financial resources so that they can become a successful business owner. These can include:
Veteran Entrepreneur Portal – This is a portal that is operated by the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which is part of the VA. The portal allows veterans to access a variety of tools and services in order to start a business, including opportunities for financing as well as educational resources.
StreetShares – This is a social lending market platform that allows small business owners, including veteran business owners, to connect with lenders and come up with the capital or financing that is needed for their business.
The Veterans Opportunity Fund – This venture capital firm is the first ever of its kind, and it specializes in providing investment capital for business which are started, owned, operated, or managed by veterans. Up to $3 million in investment capital can be secured by veterans who either own a small business or want to start one.
Hivers and Strivers – This is an early stage Angel Investment Group that provides financial support for startups and small businesses which are founded by U.S. Military Academy graduates.
Other Resources Available to Veterans
There are also many other resources that are also available to veteran business owners as well. Some useful links and helpful resources for veterans who own or plan to start a business include: