5 Resources for Veterans Starting a Business

Do you want to be your own boss? Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding post-military career.

If you take the leap, you’re not alone. More than 2.5 million small businesses in America are veteran-owned, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Servicemembers transitioning out of the military can capitalize on skills acquired from years of service – decision-making, leadership, teamwork, communication and commitment by becoming entrepreneurs.

If you plan to pursue your passion and become a business owner, there are several resources available to help you get started.

  • Office of Veterans Business Development – The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) has several programs and services available to veterans and the military community.
    • Boots to Business is a free entrepreneurship training program, part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program, available to servicemembers and spouses leaving or retiring from the military. The program includes a two-day classroom course followed by an eight-week online course that includes everything from how to build a business plan to access to locating resources for startup capital.
    • The Veterans Business Outreach Center Program offers business training, counseling and mentoring services at locations across the country.
    • The SBA offers a suite of Small Business Tools for any stage of business ownership including online training, business comparison tools, a calendar of local SBA events, and resources to help you manage your finances and understand healthcare insurance options and changes.
  • U.S. Department of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a Veteran Entrepreneur Portal which compiles relevant information to connect veterans with resources to become entrepreneurs.
    • BusinessUSA, a small business portal, provides information about federal, state and local services including financial opportunities and the latest regulations affecting small businesses. The website, in partnership with the VA, offers a short quiz to sort out your eligibility as a veteran-owned business.
  • SCORE Foundation – The SCORE Foundation offers online workshops, one-on-one mentoring, financial advice and more through the “Veteran Fast Launch” initiative.
  • National Veteran-Owned Business Association – The association is an advocacy group for veteran-owned businesses. Membership includes entrance in a business directory and access to online resources such as webinars.
  • Vet-Fran – Vet-Fran offers members access to mentorships, training and financial discounts to those looking to become a franchise business owner.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, becoming a small business owner may fuel your need to succeed. Earning a degree can provide you with an educational background, industry connections and fundamental principles to launch and grow your small business. An associate or bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting or communication can help you better understand strategic management, financial analysis and planning, operational management and principles of marketing.

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