Small-Business Resources and Programs for Veterans
July 8 – The dream of entrepreneurship may seem hard to obtain for veterans who are considering the next step in their lives after leaving the service. With support from government agencies and other various resources, this dream is one that is more attainable than one may think. Many of my clients are veterans and have asked about programs directly focusing on the information and training needed by those who are “re-entering” the workforce or starting a new business after being in the military for an extended amount of time. The Small Business Administration has an excellent group of programs designed with the Veteran, Women Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran in mind. Check out the information and resources I have gathered to support those needs:
Veteran entrepreneurship training programs
SBA programs feature customized curriculums, in-person classes, and online courses to give veterans the training to succeed. These programs teach the fundamentals of business ownership, SBA resources, and small business experts.
- Boots to Business: An entrepreneurial program offered on military installations around the world and a training track of the Department of Defense (DOD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Boots to Business Reboot extends the entrepreneurship training offered in TAP to veterans of all eras in their communities.
- Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP): Provides entrepreneurial training to women veterans, women service members, and women spouses of service members and veterans as they start or grow a business. SBA funds these entrepreneurship training programs available exclusively for women veterans through grantees:
- Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP): Provides entrepreneurship training program(s) to service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs who aspire to be small business owners or currently own a small business. SBA funds entrepreneurship training programs for service-disabled veterans through grantees:
- IVMF – Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities(EBV)
- Veterans Entrepreneurship Program(VEP) – Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University
- Veteran Entrepreneurship Jumpstart Program– St. Joseph’s University
- Dog Tag Inc.
- Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP): Delivers entrepreneurship training to veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses nationwide interested in pursuing, or are already engaged in federal procurement.
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern program (SDVOSBC) gives procuring agencies the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. Sole source awards will be delivered if certain conditions are met.
A benefit of the program is the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program. Joining the disabled veterans’ business program makes your business eligible to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. You can still compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs you qualify for.
To qualify for the Disabled Veterans’ Business program, your business must:
- Be a small business
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans
- Have one or more service-disabled veterans manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions
- Eligible veterans must have a service-connected disability
You can view the full eligibility requirements in Title 13 Part 125 Subpart B of the Code of Federal Regulations
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.
Phyllis R. Varnon
Community Economic Development
Extension Agent for Zavala, Dimmit and Uvalde Counties