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Resources for Veterans: Start Your Veteran-Owned Small Business

Resources for Veterans: Start Your Veteran-Owned Small Business

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: November 10, 2015 Updated: November 10, 2015

After years of service, more and more veterans are taking the leap into business ownership.  Veterans are 45% more likely to start their own business than their non-veteran counterparts.

In fact, the latest data from the SBA Office of Advocacy suggests that veterans make up nearly 10% of all business owners in the U.S. One in ten of these veterans operate more than one business (and are more likely to do so than their non-veteran counterparts)!

If you’ve served our country, then you’ve no doubt worn many hats – an essential skill for any small business owner. You’re also likely to be very good at delegating authority, maintaining discipline, and sticking to your goals. If you’re interested in business ownership, these attributes will stand you in good stead.

That being said, starting and running a small business requires other resources and assets. The small business failure rate, particularly during the early years is high.  

The good news is that veterans have access to a number of programs and resources that can help them pursue their mission of entrepreneurship. Here are just a few:

SBA Resources for Veterans

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the fundamentals for starting and financing your business (including veteran-specific loan programs) plus quick links to veteran business resources. Be sure to check out your nearest Veterans Business Outreach Center. With 15 locations nationwide, these centers provide business training, counseling, mentoring and referrals for veterans in the community.

Operation Boots to Business

This is a two-step entrepreneurial training program offered by the SBA as a training track within the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. The training includes a two-day introduction to entrepreneurship and an eight-week, instructor-led online course that goes in depth on elements of a business plan and starting a business. Check out registration details and dates of upcoming courses.

Government Contracting Opportunities

Doing business with your former employer can be a lucrative endeavor. The federal government sets aside no less than 3% of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for veteran-owned and service-disabled small businesses. Learn more about cracking this market in this 30-minute course in the SBA Learning Center and then take a look at these getting started tips and contracting support resources.

Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

If you’re a post-9/11 veteran with disabilities, the EBV National Program provides cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and business management at no cost. With a strong success rate (70% of program graduates have launched their own business). The EBV is operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) in partnership with the SBA, and offers boot camps through its 10 consortium universities across the country. Graduates also receive ongoing mentoring and assistance for 12 months.

What resources or programs helped you start your veteran-owned business? Leave a comment below.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley