Resources for Veteran-Owned Businesses

Veterans not only do a remarkable job in serving their country, but also serving their nation’s economy, becoming successful business owners after their enlistment is through. Nearly 10% of all U.S. businesses are owned and operated by veterans, employing nearly six million workers and generating $1.22 trillion in receipts.

These links are provided for informational purposes only. Commerce does not endorse any of the organizations listed in these online resources. As always, do your own research before making a decision.

BusinessUSA Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

This veteran’s portal helps veterans find employment and begin their own business ventures. Some resources they offer include strategic outreach, starting and expanding a business, and small business administration.

Startup America Partnership

The Startup America Partnership is a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. This coordinated public/private effort brings together an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders, working in concert with a wide range of federal agencies to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of America’s entrepreneurs.Startup America has an excellent reputation for helping establish startups all over the country. They also are invested in helping to make military veterans active business leaders in their own startups and work to education the public and vets on how to ease this transition.

Boots to Business

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance

Veterans Educational Assistance Program

Part of the GI Bill, Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) was put into place to make education more affordable to veterans. This benefit is only available to veterans that: Enrolled in service between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985,  opted into the benefit while in service and made contributions, completed their first period of service, weren’t dishonorably discharged.

 Post-9/11 GI Bill

If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged Veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for this VA-administered program. Whether you want to apply your GI Bill benefits to college classes or an on-the-job training program, the GI Bill Comparison Tool will help you make the most of them.

Veteran’s Business Outreach Center

The Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. The SBA has 15 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization/Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal  makes it easier for small businesses to access Federal services, regardless of its source. VA OSDBU quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information. Collectively, VEP offers direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.

Baseops: Military to Civilian Transition

Baseops: Military to Civilian Transition is a go-to source for quality information relating to jumping back into civilian life with excitement, confidence, and a secure job. The information on their site provides resume templates, samples, formatting tips, and more. Additionally, they have a wide selection of books that make great reference material for transitioning to civilian life and finding a good job.

Buy Veteran

Buy Veteran is a national campaign spearheaded by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) to bring the success and momentum of the National Veteran Business Movement to all of America’s 3 million veteran-owned businesses. In 1999, the federal government passed Public Law 106-50 that set a mandate to award 3 percent of all federal contract and subcontract dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

Office of Veterans Business Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration

The Office of Veterans Business Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s  mission is to maximize the availability of all administration small business programs for Veterans. They have several resources on their site, including links to grants, entrepreneurship training programs, and more.

 Feds Hire Vets

Feds Hire Vets is the premier resource for veterans looking to get a job in the federal government, but are unsure how to approach it. The site details the most important news veterans need to know, along with various success stories of veterans becoming employed, and even connects them with HR Managers to get them a job.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan

An entrepreneur that gets called to active duty risks everything they’ve worked for in building their business. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan is designed to alleviate that risk and ensure any business that depends on the services of a military reservist that gets called into duty will have an easier time getting by in their absence.  Applicants can borrow up to $2 million if they qualify, at an interest rate of no more than 4% per year.

Access Financing

Business USA’s Access Financing feature will help match you with the list of government grants and loans that are relevant to your business. It only takes a few minutes and will save you the trouble of navigating different federal, state, and local sites to find the same information.  

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program

For many types of businesses, government contracts are a lucrative and consistent source of revenue. Since 1999, the government has set a goal of ensuring that at least 3% of all government contracts go to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, as well as the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns if certain conditions are met.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) was named one of the top ten entrepreneurship programs in the country by Inc Magazine.  It’s specifically designed to equip wounded veterans with the skills and contacts that will help them successfully transition. The EBV program was developed by Syracuse University, is completely free to veterans, and most of it can be completed from your home from anywhere in the United States.

Boots to Business

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and  training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program

Part of the GI Bill, Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)  was put into place to make education more affordable to veterans. This benefit is only available to veterans that: Enrolled in service between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985,  opted into the benefit while in service and made contributions, completed their first period of service, weren’t dishonorably discharged.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged Veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for this VA-administered program. Whether you want to apply your GI Bill benefits to college classes or an on-the-job training program, the GI Bill Comparison Tool will help you make the most of them.

Veteran’s Business Outreach Center

Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. The SBA has 15 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

Helmets to Hardhats

Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

Warriors 4 Wireless

Warriors 4 Wireless helps meet the demand for trained wireless technicians by training former members of the military with the job skills needed to become a professional in the telecommunications industry. Through working with the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program, they’re able to place people into jobs that are in high demand.

VetsOnSet

VetsOnSet helps facilitate veterans into jobs on movie sets and get larger roles in the film industry. It’s very useful, especially for those who are willing to take on military acting roles.

Global Accelerator Network

Global Accelerator Network is an intensive 12-week program where startups put into practice the training, tools, and community resources from previous steps.

Victory Sparks

Victory Sparks provides grants, customer development training and mentoring into innovative U.S. Military Veteran-led startups. Victory Spark is member of the Global Accelerator Network and was originally funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

Incline Hq

InclineHq teaches military veterans the tools you need to become a junior programmer. Furthermore, they will set you up with a job after you successfully complete the six week intensive. Because they are sponsored by leading technology companies, the cost of the program is free to the veteran.

Vetrepreneur Mentoring

Vetrepreneur Mentoring is a professional service offered to our veterans interested in starting their own Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. We take the veterans through the entire Procurement contracting certification process with the State & Federal Government and get them qualified to go after 8(a) set-aside contract opportunities.

100 Entrepreneurs Foundation

The 100 Entrepreneurs Foundation was created to provide seriously wounded service members, veterans and their families with information and ideas for creating their own businesses or exploring civilian jobs after they leave the hospital. Classes include entrepreneur speakers addressing a range of business functions and presentations on aspects of starting and building a business.

Honor Courage Commitment

Honor Courage Commitment programs focus on entrepreneurship, education, social responsibility, community services, health and fitness, and job placement. HCC’s partnerships with various companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs allow it to provide its veterans with expert training and proper guidance as they work towards their goals.

Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities works with veterans with disabilities. By working with participating colleges, they provide mentors to participating veterans and assist in the development of their business plans.

The VETS Group

The Vets (Veterans Enterprise Training & Services) Group is a non-profit 501(c) 3, community-based organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C. It  provides a holistic program for Veterans and their families to achieve Economic Empowerment through Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment. Assistance with affordable housing, family strengthening, and health rehabilitation is also offered.

VETBIZ Resource Center

The VETBIZ Resource Center walks service members through each aspect of deployment, all the way to training for a job upon returning from active duty. For entrepreneurs, this page is crucial because they have a great section on financing the start to your business.

VetToCEO

VetToCEO offers free online programs exclusively for verified members of the active military and for veterans. These programs have been designed by veteran entrepreneurs, and are facilitated by veteran entrepreneurs, and they are offered online so that anyone can participate.

Veteranscorp

Veteranscorp acts as clearinghouse for ideas and information deemed useful to veteran and service disabled veteran owned small businesses. They work to connect veterans with mentors and business people in the nonprofit and corporate sectors to help create relationships that support economics and the possibility of veteran owned businesses.

Veterans Training Support Center

The Veterans Training Support Center provides continuing educational opportunities and professional development to those who provide direct service to veterans and their family members.

Victory Sparks

Victory Sparks provides grants, customer development training and mentoring into innovative U.S. Military Veteran-led startups. Victory Spark is member of the Global Accelerator Network and was originally funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

Community Capital Development Veterans Business Outreach Center

The Community Capital Development Veterans Business Outreach Center’s mission is to increase the number of businesses owned by veterans and other members of the U.S. military community and increase the number of jobs created by those businesses. They work with these businesses create business plans, prepare loan requests, and learn to function profitably.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan

An entrepreneur that gets called to active duty risks everything they’ve worked for in building their business. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan is designed to alleviate that risk and ensure any business that depends on the services of a military reservist that gets called into duty will have an easier time getting by in their absence. Applicants can borrow up to $2 million if they qualify, at an interest rate of no more than 4% per year.

Access Financing

Every situation’s a little different so the loans and grants different veterans qualify for will vary based on their particular circumstances. Business USA’s Access Financing feature will help match you with the list of government grants and loans that are relevant to your business. It only takes a few minutes and will save you the trouble of navigating different federal, state, and local sites to find the same information.

Grant Watch

Grant Watch is devoted to making the up-to-date listing of government, nonprofit, and corporate grants searchable. You can find some information with the free version of the website, but to get the full information on each grant listed you have to become a subscriber for $15 a week. In total, the website has a searchable list of 14,000 grants. You can hone in on grants specific to veterans, residents of your area, or any other category that applies to you.

Grants.gov

Grants.gov is one of the main sources of grants in the country. You can search all grants currently available from the federal government, or browse based on different categories and eligibility.

Work Vessels for Veterans

Work Vessels for Veterans gives veterans the information and resources they need to start a business or career after their service is completed. They also help put veterans and non-veterans in touch with resources to give back and help make life after active duty better.

Buy Veteran

Buy Veteran is a national campaign spearheaded by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) to bring the success and momentum of the National Veteran Business Movement to all of America’s 3 million veteran-owned businesses. In 1999, the federal government passed Public Law 106-50 that set a mandate to award 3 percent of all federal contract and subcontract dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

Office of Veterans Business Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration

The Office of Veterans Business Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s mission is to maximize the availability of all administration small business programs for Veterans. They have several resources on their site, including links to grants, entrepreneurship training programs, and more.

Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur.com is a popular and successful resource for any business owner. They also have special resources for veterans, including articles about past veterans who have had successful ventures, franchise opportunities, and other education for veterans in business.

100 Entrepreneurs Foundation

The 100 Entrepreneurs Foundation was created to provide seriously wounded service members, veterans and their families with information and ideas for creating their own businesses or exploring civilian jobs after they leave the hospital. Classes include entrepreneur speakers addressing a range of business functions and presentations on aspects of starting and building a business.

Feds Hire Vets

Feds Hire Vets is a resource for veterans looking to get a job in the federal government, but are unsure how to approach it. The site details the most important news veterans need to know, along with various success stories of veterans becoming employed, and even connects them with HR Managers to get them a job.

VeteranOwnedBusiness.com

VeteranOwnedBusinesses.com is an online directory you can list your business on to make it easier to find for any company or consumer that prefers working with veteran-owned businesses. It’s just one more way to get your name out there and find new customers.

Thurston County Veterans Resource Guide

The Thurston County Veterans Resource Guide  provides information and resources that veterans can access in Thurston County, Washington.

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. Founded as part of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Hiring Our Heroes events are open to all U.S. service members, veterans, and/or military spouses of either of those groups.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (Operation PAVE)

Paralyzed Veterans of America (Operation PAVE) serves veterans nationwide using a hybrid, integrated approach to assist veterans and transitioning service members who face significant barriers to employment, as well as their spouses and caregivers. Paralyzed Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or disease.

American Corporate Partners

American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in their transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce. With the help of business professionals nationwide, ACP offers veterans tools for long-term career development through mentoring, career counseling and networking opportunities.

National Veteran Owned Business Association

The National Veteran Owned Business Association is a premier organization for showing how veterans can get further involved with becoming entrepreneurs and also be successful when returning from active duty. The site is incredibly thorough, detailing aspects of corporate America, the federal government, and even state and local government. .agencies that make it easier to start a business.

National Veteran Small Business Coalition

The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) advocates for veteran-owned businesses to be given first consideration for contract procurement opportunities from the federal government and provide educational materials that make it easier for veterans to start their own businesses. They have annual veteran entrepreneur training conferences, so it’s easy to get in touch with the best resources for starting a business.

The VETS Group

The Vets (Veterans Enterprise Training & Services ) Group is a non-profit 501(c) 3, community-based organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C. They  provide a holistic program for Veterans and their families to achieve Economic Empowerment through Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment. Assistance with affordable housing, family strengthening, and health rehabilitation is also offered.

Task Force for Veterans’ Entrepreneurship

The Task Force for Veterans’ Entrepreneurship (formerly Task Force, now known as VET-Force) advocates for the support of America’s service disabled and other Veteran owned entrepreneurial enterprises. They monitor and fight for legislation that protects veterans, puts them back to wok sooner, and gives them the tools to transition once they are home from service.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA ) assists veterans in promoting themselves and advertising their business. They give veteran businesses listings in their directory, advertising discounts, and discounts on services like staffing, business coaching, shipping, and travel.

VetToCEO

VetToCEO offers free online programs exclusively for verified members of the active military and for veterans. These programs have been designed by veteran entrepreneurs, and are facilitated by veteran entrepreneurs, and they are offered online so that anyone can participate.

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