SBA Has a New Initiative to Help Veterans Access Capital and Become Entrepreneurs or Expand Existing Businesses
by Rhett_Jeppson, SBA Official
- Created: May 21, 2013, 2:04 pm
- Updated: May 27, 2013, 12:01 am
Are you a veteran transitioning from active service and want to become an entrepreneur? Or perhaps you’ve been out of the service for some time and want to start a new small business or expand an existing one?
If that’s you or someone you know, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, a new commitment by its top national regional and community lenders to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. This initiative has the potential to boost the already $2.1 billion per year in lending support that various SBA programs provide to new and existing vet small business owners.
I’ve heard stories that many veteran entrepreneurs face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan. This is why getting out the word about this new initiative is so important. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners, and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years.
The combined goal by the top 20 national lending partners’ will provide nearly $249 million of lending, potentially impacting nearly 800 veteran entrepreneurs. The five percent increase in lending by approximately 10 lenders in each of the 10 Regions will account for the remaining $226 million in loans and more than 1,100 additional veteran entrepreneurs assisted.
I know that if we support our veteran entrepreneurs, and provide them with the tools they need, they will have a higher chance of success. Already, veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners. Nearly one in ten of small businesses are veteran-owned. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5 million individuals. In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
I just have to echo SBA Administrator Karen Mills, speaking recently at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, who said “Our service men and women have made incalculable contributions and sacrifices for our country, and supporting them as they pursue their dreams to start or grow their own business is one of SBA’s highest priorities. Through this partnership with national lending partners and regional lenders across the U.S. we stand ready to serve veteran entrepreneurs with loan- guarantees, entrepreneurial training, and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive the local economy and create jobs for themselves and their communities.”
So for all of you aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, if you need capital for your small business, please call one of SBA's 68 local district offices, or one of its 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide.
SBA’s resources for veterans, and its partnership with 1,000 Small Business Development Centers and some 12,000 SCORE-Counselors to America's Small Businesses volunteers, help more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists each year.
To learn more about additional opportunities for potential and existing veteran small businesses, visit the website at www.sba.gov/veterans.
About the AuthorRhett Jeppson is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
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