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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers support for veterans as they enter the world of business ownership. There are funding programs, trainings, and federal contracting opportunities for those who qualify with their business.
Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD)
Devoted exclusively to promoting veteran entrepreneurship, the OVBD facilitates the use of all U.S. Small Business Administration (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 Veterans Business Outreach Center Program is an OVBD initiative that oversees Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) across the country. This small business program features a number of success stories and offers business plan workshops, concept assessments, mentorship, and training for eligible veterans.
Funding for veteran-owned small businesses
You can use SBA tools like Lender Match to connect with lenders. In addition, SBA makes special consideration for veterans through several programs.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL). Provides loans of up to $2 million to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard.
Veteran entrepreneurship training programs
SBA programs feature customized curriculums, in-person classes, and online courses to give veterans the training to succeed. These programs teach the fundamentals of business ownership and provide access to SBA resources and small business experts.
- Boots to Business: An entrepreneurial program offered on military installations around the world and a training track of the U.S. Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Boots to Business Reboot extends the entrepreneurship training offered in TAP to veterans of all eras in their communities.
- Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP): Provides entrepreneurial training to women veterans, women service members, and women spouses of service members and veterans as they start or grow a business. SBA funds these entrepreneurship training programs available exclusively for women veterans through grantees:
- Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP): Provides entrepreneurship training program(s) to service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs who aspire to be small business owners or currently own a small business. SBA funds entrepreneurship training programs for service-disabled veterans through grantees:
- IVMF – Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)
- Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) – Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University
- Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans – St. Joseph’s University – St. Joseph’s University
- Dog Tag Inc.
- Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP): Delivers entrepreneurship training to veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses nationwide interested in pursuing, or already engaged in federal procurement.
The SBA offers federal programs that help veteran-owned small businesses access federal contract awards and surplus personal property.
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program: A contracting assistance program that allows eligible service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts.
- Surplus Personal Property for Veteran-Owned Small Business programs: Provides veteran small business owners access to federally owned personal property no longer in use through the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program.
Military spouse resources
Military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners have access to the same small business programs and resources that are available to service members and veterans. Find training, counseling, access to capital, and contracting resources.
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