SBA News and Views

Blogs.SBA News and Views


SBA Has a New Initiative to Help Veterans Access Capital and Become Entrepreneurs or Expand Existing Businesses

Comment Count:

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

SBA Has a New Initiative to Help Veterans Access Capital and Become Entrepreneurs or Expand Existing Businesses

Published: May 21, 2013 Updated: July 21, 2016

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


About the Author:

Rhett Jeppson
Rhett Jeppson is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.


Now they don't want to loan to anyone so they can sit on fat stacks of cash and get bloated with cash while small business's struggle to meet day to day costs
This is a great talking point Rhett and nothing more. You did a great article but the truth is banks hold the money and WILL NOT lend. They can come up with any excuse you can think of NOT to lend. I have been trying for almost two years now to get a business loan with no success at all. Other than wasting my time filling out stacks of SBA paperwork and pleading our case to banks. Only to be turned away again for one reason or another. The numbers sound great and the promise holds no water, so it doesn't balance out in any Veterans favor. You have to have lock tight solid credit and almost as much cash or some other means to secure the loan than the loan amount. How is that a benefit to anyone. Banks don't want to lend and the business's need capital. Where is proof that this works ? The Patriot Express is a joke and gives no advantage to Veterans, except more paperwork. Yes I am frustrated and dissapointed with the SBA and banks. Everyone says "This country was built by small business" So what happened to that ? Just another talking point and smoke. If the SBA wants help, force banks to lend and get these businesses the money they need. Stop blaming current business owners for the mistakes of banks past loaning to anyone and everyone. Now they don't want to loan to anyone so they can sit on fat stacks of cash and get bloated with cash while small business's struggle to meet day to day costs.
BA 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. thí í very good to help the veterans can live well and contribute to develop the economy
NO one...and I mean NO lending money to a veteran or non-veteran unless they have a watertight, proven, successful business and positive cash flow. When I started my business I tried everything to get start-up money and everyone said no. The bankers even told me "we're not in the business of VC lending no matter what your military status is." Patriot Express? It's a joke. Now that I've been in business a while and have proven success I could probably get one, but I don't need it. I don't see this plan being any different.
You are 100% correct as sad as that is to say. My wife and I opened our business in September of 2012. The year prior to our opening we tried to get a business loan. One excuse after another was given. Banks do not want to lend money to anything. And the SBA ? Well they claim to help and load you up with all kinds of paperwork and then throw you into the bank sharks again. More excuses come again. We have been running our business mainly on money from family and what we make in sales. But the well is running dry and we need to secure funding soon or we will be forced to close our doors. And then yet another Veteran owned business will close. I agree with you that this plan is no better or different than any other smoke the SBA and banks have blown up our fifth point of contact. Such a sad state this great country is in.
I love this SBA pledge. Our veterans deserve support. Had no idea that nearly one in ten of small businesses are veteran-owned. That's the spirit of our great nation. Good for you, SBA. Love it! Cassandra
What are the qualifications that must be met? Article doesn't mention those or what the loan ranges are.
Rhett, I hope this isn't another smoking mirror initiative like patriot express. I have been fairly disappointed in you VA initiative as none have resulted in a successful loan application. I have found that most initiatives are ineffective and the only benefit they provide is talking points for high paid administrators and elected officials. Patriot express for example had the same requirement for approval as any other sba given to non vets. Many vets face barriers to finding adequate financing like recent divorce, injuries, predatory lenders and others that have adverse affects on their ability to find financing. What type of program are starting to give vets a second opportunity to overcome these hurdles to becoming entrepreneurs.
The SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative sounds promising. But why not take future steps in finding and helping the VA entrepreneur. Is it so difficult for the government own and operated SBA to linkup with the government own and operated USPTO? To search the files at the government PTO and help VA small business owner, patent holders, and future entrepreneur of this great nation?
Many times throughout my career I learned that you get what what you measure and what you hold people accountable for and not what you wish for or hope for. The government and the banks need to make sure that they are measuring and holding people accountable. This initiative is a great one but SBA needs to make sure we all know who are the top lenders for veteran owned business (on a monthly basis) at the district office level and report the annual results on Veterans Day. If the metrics are already out their at the bank and district level I apologize.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!