Did you know that, according to SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) estimates, approximately one out of every ten businesses is owned by veterans? This contributes approximately $1.4 trillion to the country’s total receipts/sales every year. With this in mind, veterans are valuable to the nation not only for their time spent serving, but also for their positive impact on the economy. However, not every veteran comes home equipped to start a business.
As Steve Strauss highlighted in yesterday’s article for veteran small business owners, there are many resources designed to help veterans start and grow their businesses, from training and mentorship opportunities to federal contracting opportunities and loan programs. This article will dive deeper to explore additional resources to help broaden the scope of services available to veterans. Perhaps no areas are as important to the establishment and successful management of a business that training and funding.
OVBD (Office of Veterans Business Development) facilitates support to service-disabled veterans, SBA programs by veterans, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, veterans’ dependents or survivors, and reservists. OVBD is an SBA faction devoted to promoting veterans entrepreneurship via funding and training.
Training is an integral part of any startup. Many mistakes that kill new businesses are avoidable. SBA is armed with a network of resource partners with extensive experience offering training and counseling, equipping business-minded veterans for the market and lenders. Commercial supply chains and federal procurement play a significant role in the veterans business.
The SBA’s “Veteran Business Outreach Center” is a one-stop-shop that provides interactive learning opportunities and hands-on experience to transitioning veterans. Opportunities are available for all veterans and their spouses.
Veterans Business Outreach Center seeks to:
- Boost the veteran awareness of entrepreneurial development services
- Increase the access of the veterans to entrepreneurial development services
- Help veterans fully utilize the entrepreneurial development services for the growth of the economy.
Visit their site to find a center near you: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/vboc
Investors are sometimes weary to invest in startups due to the high risks of failure. Many studies have shown that nine out of every ten businesses fail in the first year of operation. As a result, investors and lenders need assurance that the money they give will come back to them.
Through varied programs, SBA offers business loans to veterans for much needed capital to grow their businesses. The Veteran Advantage program under SBA guarantees approved loans to business that are at least 51 percent owned by a veteran or military spouse.
Of note, the MREIDL (Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan) program provides veteran-owned small businesses with a monetary lifeline in the event the business is struggling to meet the necessary operating and cashflow needs. This can sometimes happen after a crucial employee is recalled to military active duty.
All the services available to the veterans through these institutions are done to appreciate the veterans’ valued sacrifice and service to the nation. What can you do? Support veteran-run businesses, as they not only stimulate the economy but provide opportunities to give back to those who have given much for us.
For more information about great business resources for veteran entrepreneurs, check out these podcast episodes:
- “The Heartbeat of Main Street,” Episode 3: Exploring Veteran Entrepreneurship Part I
- “The Heartbeat of Main Street,” Episode 3: Exploring Veteran Entrepreneurship Part II
- Why Veterans Make Great Entrepreneurs by Steve Strauss
About Ebong Eka
Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.
Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.”
Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.
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