With their service-honed qualities of resoluteness, zeal, flexibility, resilience, and courage, veterans of the U.S. military are uniquely suited to entrepreneurship. However, sometimes lack of financing for veterans proves to be an obstacle to the success of their businesses. Here are some options of the best places veterans can obtain needed funds to start up or grow their companies.
Look to the VA
A great place to start in the search for financing for veterans is the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This well-designed and easy to use web portal provides you with information and links to assist you in starting a business, accessing financing, growing a business, and finding a range of opportunities, programs, services, and resources.
SBA Program for Disabled Veterans
The U.S. Small Business Administration runs a special program for veterans with service-connected disabilities called the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program. This enables businesses primarily owned by service-disabled veterans to compete for government contracts specifically set aside for this purpose.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Another program that the SBA offers is the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Through this program military reservists and former active duty military personnel are able to secure loans at very low interest rates to rebuild businesses that they had to neglect during deployment. You must apply for these loans within a year of finishing your active service.
Apply to Accion
Accion is a nonprofit organization that focuses on offering financing for veterans. If your business qualifies, you can receive funding for needs such as inventory, equipment, marketing, and employee salaries. If your company does not yet qualify for a loan, Accion offers financial planning to help your business become loan eligible.
StreetShares is a for-profit marketplace that veterans can access to search for funding opportunities. Although StreetShares is also open to non-veterans, the organization is actively committed to assisting veteran entrepreneurs.
For more advice on financing for veterans, contact New Horizon Capital Funding.