Half of all veterans that returned from World War II eventually went on to own or operate a business. Additionally, a veteran that served in the armed forces owns one out of every nine small businesses in the U.S.
Veterans learn all the necessary skills to survive, which includes vital military training, such as self-confidence, discipline, determination, leadership skills and high-risk tolerance. These skills translate into qualities that make excellent small business owners. However, after 9/11 many veterans have run into funding challenges that make it difficult to start or own a small business.
There are many types of veteran business loans available to the men and women that valiantly served our country, as noted below.
Veteran Entrepreneur Portal – Part of BusinessUSA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, this is an excellent starting point for veterans that want to start or own a small business. This portal helps connect veterans with business development resources, federal services for small business assistance, franchise opportunities, access to financing and much more.
Veterans Business Services – As a private consulting service, they focus on startups for franchises, helping secure loans for veterans. They can also assign veterans coaches to help provide necessary advice and guidance for small business operations.
SCORE Veterans Fast Launch Initiative – This non-profit organization is a privately funded program that offers free marketing, business mentoring, software, advertising products, downloadable template documents and business plans to help veterans prepare for applying for business loans.
Veterans Business Outreach Centers – This SBA funded program offers several benefits, including a business development boot camp, counseling, coaching and private consultations.
Military Economic Injury Loans – This program helps soldiers that are impacted by being called into active duty. For small businesses that have experienced economic struggles, the SBA offers a Military Reservist Economic Disaster Loan that offers low-interest loans to help businesses regain their financial footing. The program does require collateral for loans that exceed $50,000 and is available to veterans one year after release from active duty. Terms are available for up to 30 years.
Veterans Business Fund – This new resource for veterans is a 501(c)(3) that relies on donations to help provide loans with excellent terms. Veterans cannot finance their entire businesses with these loans, but can use outside capital for other financial resources.
Veteran business loans are necessary to help keep veterans and our volatile U.S. economy stable. Giving back to those that serve our country is a vital component to giving back to society.