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. Boots to Business Revenue Readiness is available after completion of Boots to Business or Boots to Business Reboot and provides a six-week virtual program that prepares participants to take their business idea from concept to an executable business model.
- 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:
- 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
- Warrior Rising | Charitable Organization Empowering Veterans in Business
- Veteran Entrepreneurial Training & Resource Network
- 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.
Government contracting programs for veterans
Every year, the federal government awards a portion of contracting dollars specifically to businesses owned by military veterans. Also, small businesses owned by veterans may be eligible to purchase surplus property from the federal government.
Check out the rules of eligibility for these government contracting programs for veterans.
Military spouse resources
Military spouses make great entrepreneurs, and small business ownership can be a transportable, flexible vocation that supports a military career. SBA knows this. So, as part of our mission, SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) empowers military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners by providing the same counseling and training, access to capital, and disaster assistance that are provided to service members and veterans. We also build capacity for those who want to compete in the federal contracting landscape. You serve your country, and if you are pursuing small business ownership or other self-employment, SBA serves you!
Did you know that the military spouse community is eligible to take the same SBA led entrepreneurial training programs that are offered to service members and veterans? These programs are free of charge and are happening on over 180 installations and in local communities around the nation. Take the first step and sign up for one of our training programs today.
- Boots to Business
- Boots to Business Reboot
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)
- Lift Fund (San Antonio)
Are you a military spouse who is interested in starting a business and in search of coaching? SBA provides one-on-one counseling in local communities around the nation through our SBA district offices and resource partners (consisting of Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE). Find an SBA resource in your local community and get started today.
- SBA District Offices
- Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program
- Women’s Business Centers
- Small Business Development Centers
You can also connect with qualified and experienced business mentors, other military spouse business owners, and DoD-certified career counselors through the Military Spouses and Entrepreneurship group on LinkedIn. Join this group to share and find information, offer and receive advice, and ask and answer questions about business ownership from the military spouse community.
Access to capital
Do you have a great business idea but are uncertain of how to fund it? SBA is working with lenders across the nation to help get small business loans into the hands of more military spouse entrepreneurs. Find out about which opportunity is right for you:
Disaster can strike at any time and even the most prepared business owners can be adversely impacted. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. Find out more about SBA disaster loans.
Interested in breaking into federal contracting? The government offers many tools to help businesses build their potential to successfully compete in the federal sector. SBA can help with preparation for opportunities in federal procurement, cultivating connections within commercial supply chains, and disaster relief assistance. Learn more about which small business designation is right for you.