From the SBA.gov website:
The men and women of our military sacrifice so much for our freedom, and when they return after years of serving, it is a difficult transition for them and their families starting the next chapter in their lives.
The number of veterans early in their careers is on the rise: 74 percent of service-disabled veterans over the last 10 years is under 30 years old. They are equipped with unique skills as a result of their service, and their veteran status offers distinct business advantages. For those veterans and their family members with the entrepreneurial spirit, there are now several programs aimed at helping them leverage their skills and talents and start a business. With the help of these initiatives, veterans have a greater chance of achieving success and once again, providing critical support for our country as one of the many small businesses that are the backbone of our nation.
- Joining Forces: Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families opportunities and support. The mission is to integrate existing services and offer new forms of business support, knitting them all together and making it work for each veteran’s individual needs.
- Operation Boots to Business: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the contributions that veterans make by owning and running businesses that employ millions of Americans. According to the most recent U.S. Census Data, veteran-owned firms represent 9 percent of all U.S. firms. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employed over 5.8 million individuals. Transitioning service members are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the training, experience, and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs. SBA is dedicated to help even more veterans grow their businesses and create jobs. Through the Boots to Business initiative, service members will learn the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business. They will also be introduced to the SBA’s nationwide Resource Partner network for support throughout the lifecycle of their new business.
- Veterans Business Fund: The Veterans Business Fund (VBF) is a not-for profit organization, established in response to the high unemployment rate among veterans, many of whom are well qualified through their military experience to become successful small business owners but lack sufficient equity capital to qualify for a small business loan. The VBF assists veterans by providing them with the supplemental capital required to satisfy the equity requirements for a small business loan, providing capital to veterans in the form of a non interest bearing loan with favorable repayment terms.
- Operation Endure and Grow: Aimed at National Guard and Reserve members, Operation Endure and Grow gives them, their families and business partners access to online training courses focused on the fundamentals of launching or growing a small business. This program offered by the Whitman School of Management, in cooperation with the SBA, offers service personnel courses on crafting a business or nonprofit plan. In addition, they’ll receive ideas for presenting to investors, lenders or other financial backers.