Small Business Grants For Veterans

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As a veteran entrepreneur, you understand the challenges of starting and growing a small business. One of the most significant obstacles is accessing the capital needed to get your business off the ground or expand.

Fortunately, there are numerous small business grants available to you as a veteran. These grants can provide the necessary funding, resources, and support to help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

In this article, we will explore various small business grant programs, funding options, and organizations supporting veteran entrepreneurs. We will also provide helpful tips for applying for grants and resources available to help you succeed.

Whether you are just starting or looking to expand your business, this article will provide you with valuable information to help you obtain the funding you need to succeed.

Second Service Foundation

Second Service Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers opportunities for veterans and their spouses to pitch their business ideas and win grants through its Military Entrepreneur Challenge program. The challenge is open to veteran-owned businesses and offers small business grants for veterans to help launch or grow their businesses.  

Warrior Rising

Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization that offers a comprehensive six-step business development program to assist veterans in transitioning to entrepreneurship and achieving success. The program includes business training, mentorship, and access to capital through their grant programs. 

Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur-Lab

The Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur-Lab, operated by Grand Valley State University, is a nonprofit organization that provides a three-month training program for veteran entrepreneurs and their spouses. During this period, the participants are also given a chance to establish their businesses through various networking opportunities. 

Veteran Woman Entrepreneur Grant

The Veteran Woman Entrepreneur Grant offers Texan female veterans the opportunity to receive funding and support for starting or growing their own businesses. As a veteran entrepreneur, you can take advantage of this state-based initiative provided by Texas Woman’s University. The grant application is open to female veterans who own or start a business and can be used to cover various business expenses.  

U.S. Chamber of Commerce America’s Top Small Business Awards

This program honors small businesses, including veteran-owned small businesses, with a grand prize of $25,000. To be eligible, your business must have less than 250 employees, operate for at least three years, and have demonstrated financial strength and growth.

While the program is open to all small businesses, it’s a great opportunity for military veterans and those with service-connected disabilities to gain recognition and support for their businesses. 

Hivers and Strivers

Hivers and Strivers is an angel investment group that invests exclusively in businesses owned and operated by veterans. They provide assistance to veterans who are looking to start or grow their business venture. Hivers and Strivers offer a comprehensive feasibility analysis, educational events, and term loans to eligible veterans

VetFran

VetFran is a program that connects veterans with franchisors who are committed to offering a discount on the initial franchise fee and providing training and support to veterans who are interested in starting their own business venture. 

Grants.gov

Grants.gov is an online database rather than a grant provider itself. This organization aims to compile various federal grant programs available to eligible veterans. These programs offer small business grants for veterans who own or are starting a business, and some are specifically for veteran-owned small businesses with a service-connected disability. 

GrantWatch

Same with Grant.gov, GrantWatch is a great resource to check out. This online grant listing platform features hundreds of small business grants specifically for veterans, including those for veteran-owned small businesses and eligible veterans with a service-connected disability.

Veteran Business Outreach Centers

The Veteran Business Outreach Centers offer workshops and connections to community partners, providing valuable resources and support for military veterans who are eligible to start and grow successful businesses.  

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small-Business Program

This program is designed to help qualifying veteran entrepreneurs obtain government contracts, and it can be a great way to secure funding for your business. To be eligible for this program, you must have a service-connected disability and own at least 51% of a veteran-owned small business. 

Boots to Business

The Boots to Business program by Small Business Administration (SBA) offers free two-step education and training for service members looking forward to becoming entrepreneurs. This program is specifically designed to provide assistance to eligible individuals, including active-duty military members, veterans, and their spouses, who are interested in starting their own businesses. 

Institute for Veterans and Military Families

The IVMF offers a range of entrepreneurial programs, including pre-business plan workshops, management training, and venture capital for veterans. They also provide employment resources and support for veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. 

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

This program offers tools and resources specifically tailored to the needs of female veterans, including business ideas, franchise opportunities, and loans to vets. They also offer accountability partners to help you stay on track and achieve your goals. 

Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization provides various services and resources to help veterans achieve their business dreams, including information on small business grants for veterans, guidance on eligibility criteria, and connections to community partners and government entities.

Additionally, the office offers training and support to help veterans navigate the process of starting and growing a successful business, including assistance with business tax returns and financial planning. 

Alternative Options for Business Grants for Veterans

You might be surprised to learn about other options available to support your entrepreneurial goals as a veteran. Here are four alternative options to consider:

1. Look into veteran-specific term loans with more favorable terms and lower interest rates than traditional small business loans.

2. Some franchises offer discounts on franchise fees for veteran entrepreneurs, which can help reduce startup costs.

3. Bunker Labs is a non-profit organization that provides resources and support to veteran-owned businesses, including access to mentors, workshops, and networking opportunities.

4. Before pursuing any funding options, conducting a feasibility analysis is important to ensure that your business idea is viable. Additionally, eligibility criteria may vary depending on the program, so be sure to research and understand the requirements before applying.

With these alternative options, you can explore different avenues for funding and support as you launch or grow your veteran-owned business.

Helpful Tips for Business Grant Application

To increase your chances of success, it is important to pay attention to the eligibility criteria and thoroughly research the different types of grants available. In addition, it is recommended to prepare a comprehensive feasibility analysis and seek assistance from organizations such as Bunker Labs, which provide support and resources to veteran-owned businesses. To help you get started, here are some helpful tips for submitting a successful grant application:

1. Understand eligibility criteria – Research the requirements for each grant and ensure you meet all criteria before applying.
2. Prepare a comprehensive feasibility analysis – This will help you identify any potential challenges and demonstrate that you have a solid business plan.
3. Seek assistance from veteran support organizations – Organizations such as Bunker Labs can provide guidance and resources to help you navigate the grant application process.
4. Consider alternative financing options – Besides grants, explore other financing options such as term loans or financing for the initial franchise fee. 

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of securing a small business grant for your veteran-owned business. Remember always to do your research, prepare thoroughly, and seek assistance when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any grants specifically for veterans looking to start a non-profit organization?

Yes, there are grants specifically for veterans interested in starting a non-profit organization. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Adaptive Sports Grant Program and the Homeless Providers Grant, and Per Diem Program, among others.

How long does it typically take to receive grant funding after submitting an application?

After submitting a grant application, it typically takes several weeks or months to receive funding. The exact timeline can vary depending on the specific grant program and the volume of applications being processed.

Are there any grants that cater specifically to veterans who have experienced homelessness?

Yes, there are grants available specifically for veterans who have experienced homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which provides financial assistance and support services to help veterans and their families find and maintain stable housing.

Can veterans receive multiple grants for different business ventures?

Yes, veterans can receive multiple grants for different business ventures. Several grant programs are available specifically for veterans, including the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Business Outreach Center Program and the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal.

Are there any grants available for veterans who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States?

Unfortunately, no grants are available for veterans who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. However, there may be other resources, such as loans and assistance programs, that can aid in starting a business.

Conclusion

With the various grant programs, funding options, and organizations available to support you, it’s important to do your research and apply for the opportunities that best fit your needs. Use resources such as the U.S. Small Business Administration and Veterans business outreach centers to receive guidance and support throughout the application process.

Don’t be discouraged if you face rejection, as it’s common in the world of business. Instead, use feedback to improve your application and keep pushing forward toward your goals. With determination and the right resources, you can achieve success as a veteran entrepreneur and make a positive impact on your community and the economy.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!