Small Business Funding For Veterans: A Totally Amazing Opportunity

veteran military couple laying on US flag grateful for small business funding for veterans

Small Business Funding Opportunities For Veterans

Starting a business requires hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. These are all traits that military veterans displayed in their service. It’s only natural that many former military members want to start their own company. The problem that many veterans run into is finding funding. Most people aren’t aware of the many sources of small business funding for veterans.

small business binder graphs and cup of coffee

Are you a former military member?

Read here to learn about the resources available to you for start up business loans for veterans!

Classes And Mentorships

Boots To Business

The U.S. Small Business Association offers this free training and education program. The BTB is open to military service members that want to become entrepreneurs. Additionally, there is an 8 week online course that covers topics ranging from finances to business plans.

Patriot Boot Camp

Active duty members, veterans, and spouses can take advantage of this nonprofit’s program. The veteran entrepreneur boot camp gives veterans access to resources for starting a business. Furthermore, mentors are also available, providing expertise where it’s needed.

Veteran Women Igniting The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship

V-Wise is a three step program that helps female veterans become entrepreneurs. First, there is a 15 day online training course that goes over the basics of starting a business. Then students attend a three day in person event of planned lessons.

veteran women working in small business

Finally, members of the program receive ongoing guidance for their business.

The program costs $75, but the lessons learned and mentor-ship is invaluable. V-Wise is open to female veterans, current female service members, and their spouses.

Financial Small Business Funding For Veterans

StreetShares Loans For Veterans

If you have an existing business for more than a year, you could qualify for a loan of $5k to $100k.

Repayment terms are friendly, with options to pay back the money from 3 to 36 months. For instance, the APR starts 8%, meaning you’ll be able to save more of the money you earn.

You only need to make $25,000 in revenue to qualify for this source of small business funding for veterans. These loans are available for both veterans and their family members.

You can apply online in mere minutes and get your money within a few weeks.

StreetShare also gives cash awards to businesses owned by veterans monthly. Fill out an application with a business plan, how you’ll use funds, and how it will help other veterans.

The public votes on the top finalist, with the top 3 receiving $5k, $3k, and $2k depending on ranking. In fact, the proceeds represent a grant, which means you don’t have to pay it back.

SBA Veterans Advantage Loan Program

The SBA expedites applications for small business funding for veterans. The awarded payouts are up to 350,000k through SBA veterans advantage. The federal government backs the loans, making them easier to get.

men writing business plans on lap tops at SBA

Once you fill out your application, they guarantee a response within 3 days. It’s important to remember that most SBA loans need a credit score of 680 or higher for approval.

VetFran

Franchising is a great way to start a business and grow your wealth.

VetFran’s goal is to help veterans and spouses connect with franchising opportunities. The organization helps veterans determine what franchises are a good fit for them.

If you become a member, you’ll have access to over 650 brands. The network provides financial discounts, mentoring, and training for veterans. Whether you already own a franchise or are looking to start one, you’ll benefit.

The Veterans Opportunity Fund

TCP Venture Capital operates this fund, providing up to 3 million dollars in small business funding for veterans.

Their focus is on east coast tech, healthcare, and business companies. So, to get an investment from them, there are a few things you need to show. For example, they look for businesses already generating revenue or a product or service they can test.

This opportunity is great for veterans that want to grow their business but lack the funds to do so.

Hivers And Strivers

H&S is a military veteran angel investors group. They focus on early-stage investing in veteran startup business loans founded by graduates of US military colleges.

Their normal investment ranges from 250k to 1 million dollars in a single round. Thus, if a company needs a larger investment, Hivers And Strivers lists other groups in their network.

angel investors evaluating veteran business investment

It’s important to note that large investments requires careful planning by companies. Growing the business should be the goal, not survival. Make sure your company has a plan for growth before taking a large investment, or paying it back might become an issue.

Grants.Gov

The federal government provides small business funding through grants for veterans to start a business. They award these grants through an application process online at grants.gov.

The first thing to do on their website is go through their education on the veteran entrepreneur portal. This part of the site explains how veterans business grants work and the criteria for receiving them.

You’ll then need to check your eligibility. Make sure you pay close attention to their definition of “small business”. Once you’ve done these two things, fill out an application and track it on their page.

Government grants are easier to access for veterans than other funding sources. There are very few limitations on who isn’t eligible, but you will need to keep track of how you spend the funds.

Now You Know Small Business Funding for Veterans

After you’re finished with the service, you may want to support your country in other ways. Starting a business is satisfying and also helps the economy. But you need proper funding to pay for the myriad of business expenses.

Fortunately, veterans have a wide variety of funding opportunities.

If you’re a veteran who needs business funding advice, continue reading our blog.

Financial Information Made Easy

One of the biggest reasons Americans are behind in financial literacy is access to information.

Info is either hard to find or hard to understand. The internet, however, is revolutionizing the access to financial information. As a result, anyone can get the tools they need to start a business right from their mobile device.

Our goal at Credit Squared is to give you information that’s easy to read and understand. Whether you need more information on starting a business or understanding home loans, we have you covered.

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8 Comments

  1. Patrick,

    I am a veteran and I’ve been bootstrapping my business (which has had its challenges). I like the grant options, but after having all of the stress of loans, and almost having my debts paid off, I’m not particularly interested in getting loans.

    I took the Boots 2 Business program in 2015 and it was okay. There was a lot of practical information missing so my transition from the military into entrepreneurship was still quite a challenge.

    Veterans should try to take advantage of all of the programs they can if they desire to go into business. I haven’t seen V-Wise or the others, but I may have to check those out.

    • Hi Tiffany,

      It’s nice to hear from someone with first hand experience.  I understand not wanting to take out new loans after having most of you current outstanding debt paid off.

      I think you are right the grant options are the best way to go if your eligible.  

      There is an application process involved and you will need to do some training along with it. 

      There are also requirements on how you can spend the grant money and you will need to keep track of how the money is spent.

      Beyond that it’s a good way to help you build your business.

      There are lots of business financing options out there for Vet’s that want to run their own business. If you do, then please make sure to take advantage of this totally amazing opportunity.

      Thanks

  2. My brother got out of the Navy not too long ago, and has a solid business mentality. I was unaware that there were groups of Angel investors that want to help veteran run businesses. 

    I suppose he would have to look elsewhere though as he did not graduate from a military college.

    I forwarded him this page so that he can learn how to file for a grant, as he would be certainly eligible for that as an honorably discharged member of the military.

    Do you know of any other sources of business financing for veterans?

    • Hivers & Strivers is a military veteran angel investor group that focuses on early-stage investing in veteran startups. H&S supports companies founded by graduates of the various U.S. Military Academies.

      You are correct, if your brother didn’t graduate from a military academy, he won’t be able to go that route to finance his business.

      Since he is a veteran, he can certainly qualify for grant money.  In addition, there is nothing to stop him from pursing other  channels like bank loans, other investors and the small business administration.

      If he has a solid business mentality and a great business plan, he should have no problem raising funds for his venture.

      Thanks for sharing the article.  I hope he finds the financing for his idea.  Our military veterans are among the best of us.

  3. What an amazing post!!

    I have nothing less than tremendous respect for our veterans and the men and women in active duty military.

    The pictures are in such perfect taste that they compliment the content perfectly!

    Most of the resources listed I have never heard of but looking at the links, they are amazing resources that truly help our veterans become entrepreneurs.

    I really like how when linking the resources that the tone of the post is “offer” but not “sell”. Offering is really being someone who has a helping hand.

    Thanks to the resources in the post, I will be on the lookout for when I can lend money to veterans who have early stage businesses.

    • Thanks for your positive comments about the post.

      The post was intended to help our veteran entrepreneurs and to provide a resource where they can go to find the financial help they need to grow their business.

      There are lots of resources in the post like “Boots to Business” and “Patriot Boot Camp” that offer small business funding for veterans.  

      Every aspiring veteran entrepreneur should take advantage of the many resources available to them.

      They put their lives on the line for this Country and in turn we should do everything we can to provide the best possible resources for their continued success.

  4. This is a great article about small business funding for veterans.

    I did not know that there were actually so many specialist programs available to help veterans out. That is really great to hear.

    What I couldn’t quite understand from your post is are these programs all national programs or do they differ from state to state.

    Also are all these programs open to all veterans automatically or do you need to meet some level of minimum service level before you qualify for these benefits?

    • Yea it’s great to know there are programs out there to help our vet’s get financing for their businesses.

      These programs are provided by both government and private organizations. Boots for Business is an SBA program while Street Shares is a private lender catering to veterans. 

      Each program has their own requirements, but most veterans qualify for these small business funding opportunities for veterans.

      All the best.

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