A lot of veterans take the bow of military service with the experience and knowledge required to channel; the garnered leadership skills into a new business. Fortunately, there are a number of resources at the disposal of veteran entrepreneurs, even grants to get started off. Understanding available options is only half the strife, so you need to research current loan and grant schemes tailored to help ex-militants and their families.
Veterans Business Outreach Center
In line with the 2012 data from the United States Census Bureau, businesses won3d by veterans employ over 5.5 million people. These entrepreneurs have successful track record, but each start-up demands a little help to get the foot in the door. A good place to start looking out for opportunities is the Veterans Business Outreach Center Program (VBOC), which is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Designed for veterans, military spouses and transitioning members who are looking to scratch-start a venture, the VBOC program is a one-step shop that avails them the opportunity. Currently, there are 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers in the United States, providing business development support, along with counseling, mentoring, training and resource referrals. VBOC helps assess business concepts, conduct relevant feasibility studies and mentor you in areas in relationship with franchising, international trade, accounting, internet marketing and more others. It offers free-of-charge business workshops and in-person appointments for the briefing of your business. You can as well qualify for certain government schemes via the SBA.
The SBA is not in the provision of direct loans. They guarantee them while providing financial, technical and management assistance to borrowers.
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) gives veterans the opportunity to access to more promising economic avenues for starting and expand their businesses. OSBDU’s mission is to reduce risk, increase awareness, better performance and enhance the procurement of resources that aid small ventures to be successful.
Boots to Business
SBA offers the Boots to Business program, which doesn’t make grants available, but does serve as a reliable resource for veterans looking to kick-off ventures. It is a free, two-step training that includes an introduction to entrepreneurship and eight weeks of online courses, all of which will address tips and tactics that will help you get that venture off the ground. The best thing of many about this scheme is that the schedule includes how to write a business plan. For the fact that a majority of grant applications demand well-written business plans, signing up for Boots to Business ought to be one of the first steps before accessing funds. The lot of those of active-duty who are leaving the military qualify to avail this program.
Small Business Innovation Research Grant
When the time comes for grant application, find out if you are eligible for the Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR), which is offered via the U.S D Energy’s Office of Science Department as part of a federal initiative wired for small businesses engaged in research.
Veterans’ businesses with a focus on scientific research can be eligible for the SBIR grant if they meet specific criteria. You need to also prove your project as one with commercialization potential. Because of SBIR, veterans’ ventures are offered nearly USD 90 Million allocated funds each year, with USD 1 Million being the maximum amount awarded to an individual.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Here is another option for high-tech businesses – Small Business Technology Transfer Program grant, through which the government gives eligible veteran-owned businesses that carry out research for the federation. The grant is managed by the SBA and various government bodies designated research topics and accept business proposals. These agencies include Defense, Health, Energy, NASA, Human Services and the National Science Foundation. To qualify, the business must be American and owned by a veteran, with less than 500 employees. Each small business is given up to USD 850 K to research the designated topic.
The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants is saddled with the mandate to provide small grants to veterans’ ventures, rounding up to no more than USD 4 K. The grants are wired to help small businesses with a variety of activities such as advertising, hiring, expansion and training among others. While applying, you must be eligibility criteria and state how the funds will help you realize your business objectives. You must become a NASE member and your application should carry along a business plan.
NASE alumni have used the funds for farm equipment, upgraded computers, marketing materials, additional staff and website creation. If you have got a specific need a small grant can help with, NASE grow grant is a viable option.
Idea Café Grants
While most business owners go for government-funded grants, private grants can as well be a lucrative source of funding. Idea Café is a private body that awards small business grants, some USD 1 K which veterans can qualify for in aid, whether they already own a business, or are starting one. The good idea about this grant is that the criteria are fair, needing only a sign-up on the website and submit a business-plan-included application. No entry fee and need to finalize business plan before submission. Idea Café favors businesses providing creative solutions to everyday issues. If you think your business is original and innovative, go for it.
Idea Café also serves as a business idea and marketing tip resource. Even if you don’t apply for the scheme, you could still use the website as a means to research business plans, networking, brainstorming, ecommerce, business taxes, government-initiated grants and merchandising.
Self-Employment Grants for Service-Disabled Veterans
Veterans would were disabled in service should take a look at the self-employment grant program offered by the Veterans Administration. Applicants will need to tender a holistic business plan, after which they would be assigned into one of two groups for the Veteran Admin to decide the amount of funding available.
Category I have severe service-related disabilities while Category II is for veterans with mild physical challenges. Applications are not accepted until funding is complete, but the initiative serves as another viable choice for business-aspiring veterans. The VPF is created to fill the financial gaps challenging veterans who haven’t been able to secure bank loans for their business as a result of equity lack. The application must prove that the bank loan would have been approved if not for inequity. The fund doesn’t provide grants, nevertheless, because these loans do not bear interests, with capital secured by largess donors. Have you exhausted all grant options? Do you still need affordable loan terms tailored to benefit veterans? Trey the good supplement called VBF.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program for Disabled Vets
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs oversees the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program for veterans with service-related disabilities. The nature and severity of your disability will determine the amount of funding you can receive through V&RE. The money can be used to buy supplies, equipment and licensing fees to begin your venture. To be considered, you need to submit a complete business plan. VR&E additional services include counseling, career support, job training, resume development and skills coaching. Even if you are not eligible for the grant, you can still harness the services extended to veteran and service members.
The Street Shares Foundation
The Street Shares Foundation offers business financing and investing, and gives back to veterans by providing a trio of annual awards to winning applicants. Applicants must be veterans, reserve service members or military spouses who already have a venture and own at least 50 percent of that business, legally. Applying for the find would require your business idea and a statement of how you will use the funds should you be awarded. You need to describe your team and company history, the potential impact the grant would have on your business, as well as the influence your business has had on the military veterans’ community. The platform selects up to 10 finalists based on the requirements, and then presents the candidates on the websites for public voting. First, second and third places are awarded USD 5K, USD 3K and USD 2 K respectively.
Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
This resource doesn’t directly offer funding, but connects veterans with grants and other opportunities. It is engineered to save time by providing direct access to essential resources that guide veterans through each step of kicking businesses off and managing them. It is great in that it connects veteran businesspersons with local, state and federal financing schemes. It is very worth it.
Women’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program
Women’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) is made possible by funding from the SBA, and it provides essential training regarding starting and managing a business for female veterans, service members and military spouses. Part of this program is the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, which helps female veterans and military spouses discover their drive and garner business skills to grow their businesses and actualize their dreams.
Grants.gov isn’t for veterans alone, so since it entails information concerning all available grants, it is one of the best places to seek funds. It features over 1,000 different grant programs and eliminates the need to research multiple sites and application processes jut to get in for federal grants. Applicants are validated through a five-step registration. After then, you can search for grants using keywords such as “veteran”, “military” or “small business”. Do narrow down your search on this centralized source by category and criteria so the results wouldn’t swamp you.
While there is a myriad of grant money available to veterans in the entrepreneurial sector, a good number of them will still need to secure their own cash using other lenders. By the day’s end, taking out a loan to cover left costs is a vital move. Consider borrowing from a lender online to bask in more competitive rates and keep the costs your venture accrues to the barest minimum, as you try to make it rain down the path of your expertise.