What Resources Are Available to Help Veterans Start a Business?


Today, an estimated 2.5 million businesses are veteran majority-owned. If you want to join their ranks, taking advantage of available resources is wise. That way, you can get the support you need to make your goals a reality.

If you aren’t sure where to begin,  this asknod article offers up some tips about starting a business, including an overview of available resources.

How to Start a Business as a Veterans

While it may seem like starting a business is incredibly difficult, that isn’t necessarily the case. The process itself is pretty straightforward. Usually, you’ll need to:

  • Come up with an idea
  • Choose a business structure
  • Write a business plan
  • Handle some market research
  • Secure funding
  • Obtain licenses and permits

When it comes to the idea, pulling from your military experience can be wise. For example, many veterans have knowledge and skills that could let them start a private security firm, launch a personal training business, or teach survival skills professionally. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Consider which skills you enjoy using as well as how your experience could benefit others. Then, find an option that aligns with that, allowing you to turn your existing expertise into a workable business.

Resources for Veterans

Education Benefits

As a veteran, you get access to numerous education benefits through the VA. While the GI Bill is the most well-known form of assistance, that isn’t the only program. For example, the VR&E program makes training more accessible to veterans with disabilities. Chapter 36 gives veterans access to education and career counseling, which can help them get on the right path.

By seizing opportunities to further your education, you can sharpen your business skills. For example, a degree in accounting could help you better understand the financial side of the equation, something that could be critical for success.

As you explore your options, don’t overlook online degrees. With an online program, you get more flexibility, ensuring you can balance work, school, and family life with greater ease.

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

Another resource available through the VA is the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP). It’s brimming with interactive tools and guidance that can make your dream of starting a business a reality.

For example, you can learn about financing options, get tips for finding government contracting opportunities, and so much more. The portal is incredibly easy to use, too, ensuring you can get what you need right when you need it.

Support from the SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has several programs designed to help veterans. The agency’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) oversees Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) all across the country. 

SBA and OVBD make workshops, mentorship, and training options more accessible. One option designed specifically for veteran entrepreneurs is the Boots to Business (B2B) program. However, it isn’t the only one available, by far.

Additionally, the SBA has other helpful tools that can make it easier to start a business. For instance, the Lender Match program makes it easier to locate loans for your business. 

American Corporate Partners Mentor Program

The world of business can be very different from the military. But if you have a mentor, you may be able to figure out the landscape quickly.

American Corporate Partners mentoring program makes finding a mentor easier. You’ll get connected to a corporate professional who can offer you direct, customized, one-on-one guidance, allowing you to cultivate an exciting career as an entrepreneur.

The mentor pairing process is very strategic. The organization considers your goals, ensuring you are matched with the right entrepreneur from the beginning. If you’re looking for some helpful insights, the program is a hard-to-beat option.

Submitted by Kelli Brewer, one of our staff journalists.

 

 

This entry was posted in Food for thought, Future Veterans, Guest authors, Tips and Tricks, vA news, VR&E and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What Resources Are Available to Help Veterans Start a Business?

  1. Laura says:

    Lots of very good resources. When you consider the hassles, dangers, and cost of transportation, the idea of a home office ALONE makes so much sense.
    Find a need and fill it, as the saying goes. And, buying American services and products helps reduce pollution and bolster, one small biz at a time, our economy.

  2. Calvin Winchell says:

    Great advise for veterans! It took me several years to finally understand opening my own business. Utilized SBA for face to face assistance. Helped me write my business plan and off i went. Before long I had two great lines of credit established and the rest was following my blue print (business plan) as it was researched and written… once veterans run their own business they never want to return to just a paycheck again…. cool to work for yourself!

    • Laura says:

      I agree with Calvin because you have more control over your life. Hours may be longer but you’re not working for slave wages to enrich others.

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