Many veteran entrepreneurs have worked with Pursuit to gain access to services and veteran loans to build the businesses of their dreams. In addition to special low-cost financing programs, veteran entrepreneurs can also take advantage of a wide range of services designed to make their businesses even stronger.
To celebrate Veteran’s Day, explore several of the great veteran small business resources that are free or low-cost. Use these services and programs to take your veteran-owned business to the next level.
1. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development:
The Office of Veterans’ Business Development is one of the most comprehensive sources for veterans opening or growing small businesses. It offers a full range of services, including business training, counseling, and resource-partner referrals through its Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). Services are available to transitioning service members, veterans, members of the National Guard and Army Reserve, and military spouses.
Boots-to-Business is a two-step entrepreneurial training program that’s offered by the SBA in partnership with SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. The program is available to service members transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military and their dependents at participating military installations.
Boots-to-Business begins with a two-day classroom course on the opportunities and challenges of business ownership. The second part is an instructor-guided, eight-week online course taught by professors from accredited universities who teach the fundamentals of starting and running a small business.
3. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program:
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) initiative combines the structure of higher education with experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management. This veteran small business resource is provided through a consortium of universities, at no cost to participants.
The program is available to service-disabled, post-9/11 veterans and family members serving as caregivers. EBV will take you through the challenges and opportunities for your veteran-owned business. Nearly 7-in-10 participants launch new businesses after completing the program.
4. Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Program:
Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) is a three-phase entrepreneurship program operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, with support from the SBA and corporate and foundation partners. The program is open to all women veterans, active-duty service members, and partners and spouses of active-duty service members. It’s also open to women veterans who are interested in starting or growing sustainable businesses.
You can also opt for V-WISE IGNITE, a one-day entrepreneurship training event that’s great if you’re exploring small business ownership as a post-service career path. It features nationally-acclaimed speakers, expert instructors, local and military-friendly business resource providers, and successful veteran entrepreneurs.
5. Veteran Institute for Procurement:
If you’re interested in federal procurement opportunities, the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) has several programs to train and educate you on how to approach them. The core curriculum, VIP GROW, will help your veteran-owned business develop strategies to expand and operate in the federal marketplace.
VIP START may be a good fit if you want to enter the federal market and become procurement-ready. If you’re interested in entering or expanding into overseas markets, VIP INTERNATIONAL can provide support for federal and commercial contracting opportunities.
6. EntreSkills for Veterans:
EntreSkills for Veterans is available through the New York Small Business Development Center. This online program and the interactive web-based tool were developed by veterans specifically to assist veteran entrepreneurs and business owners. It helps veterans apply skills learned during military service to business ownership and growth. This veteran small business resource is free for when you register with the New York Small Business Development Center.
Additional veteran small business resources:
Need more support for your veteran-owned business? Here are a few more organizations and guides that can help you start or grow your business:
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans First Verification Program, you can get certified as a veteran-owned small business (VOSB) or service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB). This helps you gain access to one of the largest procurement organizations – the U.S. federal government.
- National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC): NVSBC provides advocacy for veteran-owned small businesses, as well as national conferences and membership opportunities.
- NYC Veterans Alliance: A New York City-based organization created in 2015 to provide advocacy for more than 220,000 veterans and their families in the metropolitan New York area.
If you need more support for your veteran-owned business, reach out to Pursuit! We’re honored to help, and thank you for your service.