Veterans form a backbone of economic stability and growth in the United States. Research performed by the Small Business Administration found that Veterans are more than 45% more likely to start a business than non-vets. This has resulted in military vets owning at least 2.4 million companies in the United States. That means at least one in ten American businesses are Veteran owned. These businesses employ over 6 million Americans with an annual payroll of $210 billion. Veterans are a vital part of a strong, American economy.
Military training provides skills and knowledge that is easily transferable to owning and managing a business. Servicemen and women are typically highly motivated, detail oriented, calm under pressure and skilled in certain technical areas. Research performed by Bunker Labs shows that around 25% of transitioning veterans are interested in applying this skill set to running a business of their own.
Although an estimated 8.3% of the roughly 20 million veteran business owners in the U.S. have a service-related disability, that is rarely what prevents Veterans from succeeding in business. More often than not, it’s the lack of resources and capital for new Veteran business owners that is the hardest obstacle to overcome. To help, we’ve collected several great resources for Veterans wanting to launch their own business here:
- Boots to Business: B2B is an education and training program for entrepreneurs made available by the U.S. Small Business Administration in part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). This in-person, two-day course follows an introductory understanding of business ownership.
- V-WISE: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship is operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University and funded in part by the SBA. This program helps female veterans and military spouses/partners learn necessary business skills and find their passion in a three-phase, 15-day online course.
- Veteran’s Business Outreach Center: VBOCs are located across the United States in order to provide training, counseling, mentoring and other resources for veterans wanting to start a business.
- The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans: The EBV is an intensive three-phase course for vets and their families. They report that 72% of the graduates go on to start their own business. Free for Post-9/11 veterans.
- Vets First Verification Program: Businesses verified can be given priority when competing for federal government contracts.
- Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization: Helps vets compete for federal contracts with a wide range of resources and information.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: MREIDL is a type of loan offered by the SBA that can be applied for if a veteran-owned business loses an essential employee to being called to active duty.
- The Streetshares Foundation: Both grants and loans are offered to veteran-owned businesses or those run by a vet’s spouse based on social impact and the strength of the business idea and model.
- Hivers and Strivers: An angel investment group that funds and advises veteran founders who graduated from U.S. military academies.
- Dog Tag Inc.: DTI is a five-month, in-person business fellowship provided by Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and graduates receive a Certificate in Business Administration.
- The .US Online Toolkit: This one-stop resource has all the information you need to build a website, select a domain name, bolster SEO and manage social media for your business’s web needs.