2024 Resources for Veterans
There are Many Resources for Entrepreneurial Veterans
Veterans and franchising go hand-in-hand because military personnel are skilled in following a proven system, collaborating with a team, and overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Franchisors have noticed this and know veterans are ideal candidates for business ownership.
A way that the International Franchise Association (IFA) has worked to increase veteran business ownership is through its VetFran Program. The two main goals of VetFran are to educate vets and franchisors about how veterans are ideal candidates for franchising, and to make the transition to business ownership easier for vets. Veteran business ownership has increased as a result. According to the IFA, one out of every seven franchise businesses is veteran-owned. Additionally, veterans only make up about 7% of the U.S. population but account for 14% of the country’s franchisees, according to the VetFran Program’s website.
When polled, nearly all franchisors agreed that veterans would be a good fit for franchise ownership. Veterans should take advantage of all of the programs and services that are at their disposal because there are veteran-friendly franchises that have incentives and discounts just for them. Here are special programs that all veteran entrepreneurs should know about.
Boots to Business is one of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) three programs geared toward veterans. This program offers veterans a two-day online and classroom training course with information to start a business, including how to write a business plan. Veterans who complete this introductory program can go on to take a Revenue Readiness online course.
The Bunker Labs nonprofit organization is made up of veterans and their spouses who assist veteran families in starting businesses. Bunker Labs offers mentorship, online courses, and local chapter events. The organization has more than 60 resource partners.
In 2007, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) was established by Syracuse University to provide post-9/11 with veterans’ entrepreneurship training using the resources and infrastructure of higher education. This program has since expanded to Saint Joseph’s University, the University of Missouri, Texas A&M, UCLA, the University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, and The Florida State University.
This institute for Veteran and Military Families was established by Syracuse University and helps military families either start a business or enter the civilian workforce after deployment.
The National Veteran Small Business Coalition was formed to assist veteran-owned businesses obtain federal contracts. Veterans will appreciate being helped by other veterans who are experts in networking.
The National Veteran-Owned Business Association encourages larger companies to work with smaller vendors owned by veterans and monitors the awarding of federal contracts to ensure they are properly allotted to veterans.
Patriot Boot Camp is a Techstars program that helps veterans, active-duty military members and their families start technology companies. They do this by offering mentorship, connections to a community of experts, and educational programming.
Service-Disable & Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Certification (SDVOSBC)
This is one of the U.S. SBA’s three veteran-orientated loan programs. The SDVOSBC program was formed to help service-disabled veteran-owned entrepreneurs who seek to land federal contracts.
V-Wise, which is an acronym for Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, offers mentoring and other resources to female veterans who want to open a business. The program, which was established at Syracuse University, is funded partially through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. SBA.
VetBiz is a website that the U.S.Department of Veteran Affairs has created for vets to find contracts where they are prefered applications. Female vets can benefit from VetBiz’s Women Veteran Owned Small Business Initiative.
VetBizCental is a veteran-run website that advocates for veteran entrepreneurs by offering mentoring, training, counseling, and more.
A purpose of the IFA’s VetFran Program is to make the transition into franchising as seamless as possible for veterans. It also educates franchisors and veterans about how franchising and veterans go hand-in-hand. Brands that are part of this program give veterans discounts on franchise fees.
VetToCEO is a free virtual program that helps veterans and military personnel explore business ownership opportunities.
Veteran Business Outreach Centers assist veterans in finding business training and advice in their communities. With this program, veterans learn to create a business plan and analyze it. More than 20 organizations have partnered with outreach centers in 10 regions.
The Veteran Administration’s Veteran Entrepreneur Portal is part of the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. With this portal, veterans are assisted with business education and financing opportunities.
The Veterans Fast Launch Initiative is how SCORE helps veterans by providing training and mentoring in areas such as obtaining business funding.
The VAMBOA assists and nurtures veteran business owners by helping them network to find veteran-friendly businesses and government agencies.