If you have recently transitioned to civilian life after serving in the military, you may feel uncertain what to do for a career if you’re not yet retirement age. For many veterans, starting their own business is an attractive and logical choice. This option is so popular among America’s veterans that nearly 10 percent now own their own business. While operating a startup is always challenging, you have many more resources available to you as a veteran than non-veterans do. We highlight some resources geared towards startups for veterans below.
Veteran Small Business Owner Grants and Loans
Much like a scholarship, a grant is money you receive on behalf of your small business that you don’t have to repay. Some organizations provide grants specifically to veterans while others offer more general qualification requirements. Here are a few grant programs for your consideration:
- Grants.gov: Although this site isn’t geared specifically towards veterans, it provides a database of all government grants available to businesses across the country. You can narrow your results by searching for veteran grants. Grants.gov updates frequently, so don’t forget to check back if you don’t see something that applies to you right away.
- Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program: The federal government oversees the program and aims to award at least three percent of contracts at the federal level to disabled American veterans. By signing up for the program, you maintain eligibility for grants via government contract.
- StreetShares Foundation: You could win a grant of up to $15,000 by competing in a content geared at veteran owned small businesses. To participate, you create a two-minute video highlighting the impact you and your business have had on the veteran community in your area. The public chooses winners by voting on the videos.
Loans may be your next-best option once you have exhausted all grant opportunities. Some you may want to check out include:
- Hivers & Strivers: This program is only for military academy graduates. You could receive up to $1 million dollars in low-interest loans if you meet all qualifications.
- Small Business Association (SBA) Veterans Advantage: The SBA offers reduced loan fees for veterans if the requested loan amount is $350,000 or less. This also applies to widows and current spouses of veterans. You can look for a lender to meet your needs through the SBA lender match program.
- StreetShares Foundation: This organization also offers a loan program. Eligible borrowers can receive up to $250,000.
The Office of Veteran Business Development
This federal organization maintains a large database of information to assist veterans and their families transition to small business ownership. You can learn more about the numerous programs available at this link. The broad categories of programs operated by the Office of Veteran Business Development include:
- Federal Advisory Committee
- Grant Opportunities and Documents
- Other Government Resources
- Other SBA Resources
- Reserve and National Guard Members
- Resource Members
- Service-Disabled Veterans
- Veterans, Service Members, and Military Spouses
- Women Veterans
Need More Help Launching Your Startup? Work with Aura Wealth Advisors
Aura Wealth Advisors offer a wide range of services for business owners. Whether you’re just starting to consider opening a small business or you have operated one for a while and need solid financial planning help, we are here for you. Please contact us at 573-634-4006 or complete a contact request form on our website.