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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA and our team hopes that you have enjoyed Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series on Business Grants for Veterans and found it to be valuable.   Please let us know what you think because we value your input.  You can email us at info@vamboa.org.

 

Once you have your funding secured, either by grant or loan, you may still need some other business assistance. Below you can find some excellent resources for your Small Veteran Owned Business to utilize to start, learn, nurture, and grow your small business:

  • Boots to Business is a two-step program offered by the Small Business Administration (the SBA) offered on military installations around the world to introduce service members to entrepreneurship and the foundations needed to begin a business when they return home.
  • Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV)is a free program for post-9/11 vets and their spouses.
  • Patriot Boot Camp is a branch of the startup incubator: TechStars and is specifically for active duty military members and their spouses who want to gain entrepreneurial skills.
  • Service-Disabled Entrepreneurship Development Training Program offers between $50,000 and $150,000 as a grant to support organizations that deliver entrepreneurship training program(s) to service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs who want to become small business owners or who currently own a small business.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several veteran entrepreneurship training programs.
  • Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) is an SBA-funded program that offers online training, a conference and mentorship specifically to female veterans.
  • Veterans Business Services helps veterans acquire or start small business. Veteran Business Services offers assistance with franchising, marketing and with connecting you with financial services.
  • Veterans Business Resource Center offers business training for Veterans including help with understanding business plans, financials, marketing, sales, human resource management, and more. They also offer webinars and professional counseling.
  • Veterans Institute for Procurement (VIP)is an accelerator program with three specific offerings specifically designed for owners, principals, and C‐level executives of Veteran Owned Small Businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses SDVOSB).  Veterans Institute for Procurement (VIP) Grow helps companies develop overall strategies to operate and expand within the federal marketplace. VIP Start helps companies that want to get into the federal market and become procurement-ready. VIP International is for companies that want to enter or expand their federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas.
  • VetsInTechis a private sector training program that offers tech related education opportunities, connections with tech jobs and workshops and bootcamps to help veteran startup founders boost and grow their businesses.

 

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

In addition to Federal small business grants, each state offers some good grant as well.   Please be mindful that state grants are a somewhat more specific and tend to provide less funding. The state grants generally require your company to match the dollar amount of the grant too. One of the major upsides to state grants is that less people apply for them, so there is a lot less competition to be awarded the grant.

 

Below are a few easy to find grants in your state as well as resources for loans in the event that grants will not work for you:

 

1.) Google Your State – The easiest way to find state grants is to simply open your browser and type in “[your state] small business grants” and see what comes up.

 

2.) Economic Development Administration (EDA) – You can also check your local Economic Development Administration (EDA) to learn about the small business services they offer. Most Economic Development Administrations offer help with grants, technical assistance and other resources to help small businesses grow.

 

3.) Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – Your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) usually offer free business consulting and a variety of low-cost services such including:

  • 8(a) program support
  • Business plan development
  • Disaster recovery assistance
  • Exporting and importing support
  • Financial packaging and lending assistance
  • Healthcare guidance
  • Manufacturing assistance
  • Market research help
  • Procurement and contracting aid

 

4.) Government Business Loans – If you find that grants aren’t are not a viable option for your business or situation, you can always look at obtaining a loan for your financing needs. The Small Business Association (SBA) is well known for Veteran business loans. The two most popular are:

 

5.) Private Business Loans – Sometimes private loans, or peer-to-peer loans, are easier to obtain than Government loans. Below are two popular options specifically tailored for Veterans:

  • StreetShares– which is an online, peer-to-peer lending service that was started by veterans, for veterans. They offer small to medium sized loans with a range of interest rates and other options.
  • Hivers and Strivers– is an investment group that specifically invests in the early stage startups that are founded and run by graduates of U.S. Military Academies.

 

6.) Other sources to consider for funding:

  • Angel Investors
  • Borrow from Friends and Family
  • Crowdfunding
  • Private Investors
  • Venture Capital & Series Seed Funding

 

As you can see, there are several excellent options for Veteran Owned Small Businesses to find and obtain funding both in the form of grants you do not need to repay as well as loans that you do.

 

What if you need more assistance than simply funding? Our next article in this three part series will provide you some outstanding resources that you can utilize to nurture and grow your small business.  Stay tuned!

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