Veteran Small Business Grants
Veteran entrepreneurs make great small business owners. Veterans are loyal, hard-working, and supportive. All are outstanding qualities of an admirable leader.
If the following considers business ownership, they can get funding:
- Men and women veterans
- Service-disabled veterans
- Disabled veterans
- Military entrepreneurs
- Other veterans
How To Get A Small Business Grant For Veterans
Federal, state, and regional government agencies provide small businesses grants. Some organizations and nonprofits offer grants or programs to veterans across the country.
A grant is basically free money, and grant recipients do not have to repay the funds they receive.
Some grants offer extra resources, like:
- A training program
- Transition assistance program
Funds are for startup capital, business expenses, and real estate purchases.
Veteran entrepreneurs can visit their local small business development center (SBDC). Also, check government agencies and official online grant websites to apply.
Consider that most grants have a filing fee when submitting a grant application.
Veterans should visit Grants.gov. to gain free information from over 1,000 government grant programs before applying. It offers more helpful business information owners should know.
Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs. It offers potential help to businesses owned by economically disadvantaged individuals.
Veterans can get help from its Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Program.
The department provides these businesses with many government contracts. While these are not grants or loans, if the company qualifies, it could mean money in the bank.
Make sure to register the veteran-owned company with their office. Once verified, the business goes into their directory for government contracts.
Aside from government grants, state grants are also available. Veterans should contact their local chamber of commerce to see if any grants are available for veteran entrepreneurs.
What Do Veterans Business Outreach Centers Offer (VBOCs)?
There are twenty-two Veterans Business Outreach Centers across the country. Veterans can connect with any one of them to receive help with their business.
The Small Business Administration or SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development oversees VBOCs. The SBA offers small business loans and grants to veterans.
Yet, loans are not free money and have repayment plans and deadlines.
Veterans Business Outreach Centers provide veterans, veteran spouses, military, and military spouses with the following:
- Training tools
- Business plans
- Mentorship programs
- Management training
- Identifies potential SBA loan opportunities
- Loan and microloans referrals
- Package loan applications
Before starting the grant application process, research the best veteran small business grant. Veterans can use the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP).
What Is The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP)?
The VEP saves veterans time by providing direct access to federal services. It provides small businesses with the resources they need for entrepreneurship.
The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal is an interactive tool. It connects veteran entrepreneurs to specific information about "best practices" and business goals. It provides relevant details on starting a business.
The VEP identifies funding resources to support startups, small business expansion, and development. It finds federal opportunities that align with small business needs and objectives.
7 Small Business Grants For Veterans
Veteran entrepreneurs are more ready to support the many needs of employees. Yet, many owners face challenges, which makes it difficult to get the help and resources necessary for growth.
1. Hivers and Strivers Angel Fund & Veteran Capital for Veterans
Hivers and Strivers is an angel investment group. It invests in veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses. Its focus is on veteran businesses in early stages with growth potential. Funding ranges from $250,000 to $1 million.
2. StreetShares Foundation
The StreetShares Foundation offers the Military Entrepreneur Challenge. It is in partnership with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.
It is a competition that selects eight to fifteen finalists and awards prizes. The first place award prize is $15,000, the second place winner receives $6,000, and the third place winner gets $4,000.
3. Nav's Small Business Grant
Nav's Small Business Grant recognizes the difficulties of starting a small business. Nav offers a quarterly $10,000 small business grant. Although applicants do not have to be veterans, veterans have received awarded grants in the past.
4. Warrior Rising
Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization. It helps veteran entrepreneurs start or grow veteran-owned businesses.
The organization does not only help with financing. It also provides ongoing mentorship to empower veteran-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
Yet, the company cannot use the grant for passive investments, like selling securities or flipping homes.
Applicants must meet eligibility criteria and provide a business plan.
5. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is not only for veteran entrepreneurs.
Yet, the SBIR can be helpful to veterans needing to secure funding. The startup must do research and development or be in the tech sector.
SBIR grants have a Phase I and Phase II:
- Phase I grants are for businesses in the early stages of figuring out if they will be commercially viable. It can cost up to $150,000 of non-dilutive funding.
- Phase II grants are based on how the company performed in Phase I and can run up to $1 million.
The SBIR is for veteran-owned small businesses that focus on the following:
- Software development
- Any other trial and error area to create a finished and marketable tech product.
6. Boots to Business
Boots to Business is an immersive two-day educational experience. Veterans receive an entrepreneurship training program to learn the ins and outs of business ownership. It is not a venue for grants.
Yet, it is a helpful place to learn about where to get government grants or how to secure other types of financial aid.
7. Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant
The Small Business Technology Transfer STTR Grant is like the SBIR. It also focuses on tech companies but is more geared toward companies that have a contract with the Federal Government to do research.
If the company's tech solution involves working with entities, like the following, it can get up to $850,000 in funding:
- The Department of Defense
- The Department of Health
Veteran Small Business Grants FAQ
What is the Veteran Small Business Grants program?
Who is eligible for the Veteran Small Business Grants program?
The Veteran Small Business Grants program is open to any veteran who is interested in starting or growing a small business. There are no specific eligibility requirements, and the program is designed to provide assistance to veterans who may not have access to traditional sources of funding.
How can veterans apply for the Veteran Small Business Grant?
The Department of Veterans Affairs will review the business plan and financial statements and award the grant to the veteran-owned small business that is most likely to succeed.