If you’re a veteran who wants to start your own business, there are a variety of ways to get help. From grants to training, these resources can help you get off the ground and stay afloat during your journey.
One non-profit that aims to help veterans with small businesses is the Veterans Business Fund. While this organization does not currently offer loans, it is worth keeping an eye on.
Veterans are a large part of the small business community, but many have struggled to find funding for their businesses in recent years. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help veteran entrepreneurs succeed.
VA Loans, for example, are specifically designed for veteran and qualifying spouses to provide them with the financing they need to start a new business or grow an existing one. These loans have lower fees, lower interest rates and better terms than traditional bank loans for non-veterans.
In addition to VA loans, there are also a number of other options for veterans seeking business help. These include traditional banks, online lenders and nonprofit organizations.
Many federal, state and private organizations offer small business grants for veterans. These programs don’t have to be paid back and can be a great way to jumpstart your startup or grow your existing business.
One of the biggest benefits of a grant is that it can help you avoid the high cost of small-business loans and other debt-based financing options. However, a grant may not be enough to cover all of your costs.
To help you find the right funding, consider searching for small-business grants for veterans online. There are several search engines available, such as GrantWatch, that list hundreds of grants from all over the country.
Warrior Rising, for example, offers funding for startups and businesses owned by military veterans and their families. The nonprofit provides mentoring and education in addition to funding opportunities. To qualify, you must pass a verification process and be working to build a sustainable business model.
Upon returning home from the military, veterans often struggle to find a job that meets their needs. Many turn to entrepreneurship and start their own small businesses.
One way to help veteran entrepreneurs is with training. There are programs offered by the SBA that teach veterans the fundamentals of business ownership.
Boots to Business is a free two-day course that trains veterans and their spouses about the basics of running a business. Afterward, they can continue their training through the B2B Revenue Readiness program, which is available online through Mississippi State University.
There are also a number of entrepreneurial programs available at various military installations around the world. Some of these programs, such as Boots to Business and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, are a training track of the U.S. Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
Another way to get trained is through the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program, which is a three-phase entrepreneurship program for honorably discharged female veterans and active-duty service members. The program consists of resources, a 15-day online course and a three-day in-person event, as well as ongoing mentorship and support.
Mentorship is one of the most important resources available to veterans looking for business help. It is an opportunity to discuss issues and problems with a veteran who has already faced them, giving both parties valuable insight into their unique experiences.
Many mentoring programs match veteran mentees with mentors who have similar backgrounds and professional experience. This can help veterans find their passions and build a successful career in the civilian world.
For a mentor to be effective, it is crucial for them to build trust with their mentee. This can be done by communicating regularly and following through on their promises. A successful mentorship requires a lot of time and effort on the part of both parties. The mentor and mentee must work together to set long-term goals and establish professional and personal development plans. They also need to be able to communicate their feelings to each other freely and openly.