Many veterans choose to pursue entrepreneurship once they transition to civilian life, which comes as no surprise when you consider the transferable skills that service members develop through their military careers. Veterans possess the ingenuity, leadership, and dedication it takes to be successful in the world of business.
The SBA offers a variety of resources available to those pursuing the American dream they served to protect. This includes a longstanding record of putting veteran entrepreneurs in a position to succeed. Take U.S. Army veteran Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez, for example. With the help of the SBA’s Boots to Business (B2B) program, 8(a) Business Development program, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program and his local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Alex established Universal Spartan, LLC, a defense contractor that provides tactical, IT, medical, and electrical equipment and supplies. And, in 2022, Alex was named the Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year.
As we celebrate the accomplishments of veteran entrepreneurs across the country like Alex, the SBA aims to equip veteran-owned small businesses, prospective and established alike, with the assets they need to thrive in today’s economy. Learn more about those below:
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC): A lot of effort goes into small business ownership, from planning and strategy to financing and marketing. Veteran entrepreneurs who need guidance on any of the above can report to one of the 28 VBOCs across the country. The knowledgeable advisors stand ready to assist you in your business objective through transition assistance programs, pre-business plan workshops, mentorship, and more.
- B2B and B2B Reboot: The importance of understanding business fundamentals cannot be stressed enough, and that is what B2B teaches to active-duty and transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and National Guard and Reserve members worldwide. Offered as a training track of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), B2B educates veteran entrepreneurs on the basics of business ownership. For veterans who may not have access to take courses on base, B2B Reboot brings the program directly into communities.
- Entrepreneurship Training Programs: The skillset that veterans develop throughout their military career can serve as a strong foundation for small business success. All it takes is a little refinement. That is where the SBA’s entrepreneurial training programs come in. With customized curricula that can be accessed both online and in-person, these programs are geared toward women veterans, service-disable veterans, and veterans interested in federal procurement.
- Funding and Contracting Opportunities: When it comes to financing, the SBA makes special consideration for veterans through several funding programs. Veterans can access opportunities through tools such as Lender Match. The government also offers a multitude of certification programs, many of them veteran-centered, to help businesses better compete in the federal marketplace.
If you believe that small business ownership is in the cards for you, take advantage of the myriad of SBA resources available to you by visiting sba.gov/veterans.