Six Types of Small Business Grants for Veterans
After being discharged from the military, many veterans often think of opening their own business. Some deem it necessary to survive while for others, it’s primarily to fulfilling a lifelong passion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, veterans own 7.2% of businesses in the U.S. Fortunately, there are numerous programs that have been created specifically for veterans to help make their business goals a reality. No matter how small, these small business grants for veterans have played a role in transforming many lives.
So, if you have been recently discharged and want to start a business of your own, there are a lot of business grants you may be eligible for. However, you need to fall into the categories imposed by the government. These are:
- Honorably Discharged Veterans
- Service-Disabled Veterans
- Active Particpant of Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
- Spouses of active duty military personnel, veterans, or reservists.
If you fall into one of the categories above, then you’ll surely be eligible for a grant. Furthermore, a variety of small business grants are also available to assist veterans in financing their new business concept. Check out these grants.
1. A Veteran Business Outreach Center
The Veterans Business Outreach Center Program is a great way to kick-start your small business idea. The program, designed by the Small Business Administration, offers business training, mentoring, and counseling. Veteran Business Outreach Center has 15 different locations across the United States.
The training courses include management and market research. Furthermore, other courses are also designed to provide potential new business owners with the necessary tools needed to start and grow your business. Moreover, the program provides vets with qualified referrals to independent grants needed to get their business off the ground.
This program, also created by the Small Business Administration, is designed to help budding entrepreneurs who have suffered a service-related disability. Through this program, a qualified vet can apply for up to $5 million in government funding that can be invested into their business. To qualify, there are two requirements each candidate must meet:
- They own at least 51% of the business
- They have a service-connected disability. (This will need to be confirmed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.)
Related: 5 Most Common Uses of SBA 7(a) Loans
3. The Grantwatch Program – Grants for Veterans
Grantwatch is an online educational resource that provides information on a wide variety of government grants. One of these is designed to aid veterans in financing their small business. It’s a great tool for veterans who own their business. Aside from veterans, people with businesses that specifically work to aid veterans may also apply for this program. A sampling of the grants found on the site includes grants that:
- Are Specifically for non-profit organizations that support veterans and their families
- For entrepreneurs that own businesses that help/hire a veteran in Idaho.
- Create housing for veterans in Puerto Rico
The HCC Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program gives access to funding partners and angel investors. Without this program, veterans won’t be able to connect with important people in the industry. Veterans in the VET program also receive expert training and entrepreneurial guidance on how to start and run a business.
5. A Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs may not grant generous programs but, they do offer resources for disabled veterans. One of these is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. The downside of this grant is that it’s not easy to qualify. But once the business is approved, you’ll be able to receive the business and personal support, like:
- Management training
- Personalized counseling
- Grant funding in order to buy inventory, specialized equipment, licenses, and bonds
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be veteran to use these grants. However, there is a catch: your business must offer products or services to military veterans in order to qualify.
6. VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
Many may not know this but the Veterans Affairs has prioritized economically disadvantaged veteran business owners. Through their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Program, they offer qualifying veteran businesses with government contracts to help them boost their profitability. What makes this ideal is that businesses that aren’t getting much attention can benefit from this program.
While these contracts are not granted by the government, it does play a big role in improving the cash flow in your business. To apply, one must go to the Veterans Affairs office to get their business registered. Only then will you be added to their directory and contacted when there’s an available contract for your business
Try Small Business Grants for Veterans
Funding is extremely important for every business. The goof thing is, for veteran-owned businesses, they can reach out to organizations to get the resources they need for their business. Small business grants for veterans are designed to help veteran-owned businesses navigate through the competitive industry. Although this may come challenging to others, once you qualify, these grants could give your business the success you’re aiming for.