Top 4 resources for veterans starting a small business
For many veterans, life after active duty is an opportunity to apply their training to a role in the private sector. There are more than 2.45 million business with majority ownership by veterans in the United States (US Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners). That’s not surprising given that vets tend to possess highly desirable business skills like discipline, leadership and risk analysis that are ranked among the top 10 most important characteristics of an entrepreneur.
Nevertheless, the transition to civilian business life isn't always easy. Speaking about his experience, Hiscox customer Michael Anderson, who retired after 23 years in the Navy said, “It can be hard [as a veteran] start-up because although you have the knowledge and experience to provide top level support to any potential customer, you don’t always have the private sector experience and it's a dog-eat-dog industry.” Luckily, there are some resources our there to help our veterans start their own businesses.
1. Small Business Administration
The SBA provides a wide variety of programs for veteran owned businesses. From financing, to entrepreneurial training programs, and workshops on government contracting opportunities, the SBA should be the first stop for any veteran that is considering starting a small business. If you’re looking for nearby help for a veteran owned business, locate your local Veterans Business Outreach Center.
2. The Veterans Affairs Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
The OSBDU is the go-to place for veterans that are looking to get government contracts and features a number of programs with unique benefits for vets. The office has several resources that veterans should take advantage of including:
- Vetbiz.gov – this is the VA portal through which your small businesses can be certified as veteran-owned, opening your company up to a wide variety of benefits.
- Direct Action Program – this program works to ensure that Veteran-owned and other small businesses are fully-prepared to compete for and win new business with the federal government and commercial corporations.
- Opportunity Show Case – Through this program Veteran-Owned Small Business can network and market their capabilities with a Procurement Decision Makers (PDMs) and other Federal agencies. This program helps the small business owners gain a better understanding of the industry vision of future opportunities provided by VA and other Federal agencies.
3. SCORE Veteran Fast Launch Initiative
SCORE is a great resource for all small business owners, but they have unique programs for veterans, guards and reservists that you shouldn't miss. Through the organization’s Veterans Fast Launch Initiative, you can receive free access to a highly experienced mentor to help you launch your business as well as free or significantly reduced resources, like computer software, that can help you run your business.
4. American Corporate Partners
In the small business world, mentors can make a world of a difference, which is where this organization comes in. This non-profit is dedicated to assisting veterans in their transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce. With the help of business professionals nationwide, ACP offers veterans tools for long-term career development through mentoring, career counseling, and networking opportunities. ACP’s mentorship program connects veterans with professions from some of Americas top corporations and select universities. Any veteran who has served on active duty for at least 180 days since 2001, including spouses of those wounded or killed in action, is eligible to apply.
Check out some of our excellent small business clients. Please join us in thanking them for their service!
Michael Anderson is the owner of IA Expert Inc., a certified consulting firm specializing in cyber security and information assurance. Mr. Anderson is a U. S. Navy Veteran, retired after 23 years on active duty.
Traxler and Associates
Dan Traxler is the owner of Traxler & Associates. He provides tax preparation for both individuals and business filings. He processes returns for all states that require tax filings and has clients throughout the world. Dan is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Central California EHS
Michael J. Puckett, is President and Principal Consultant of Central California EHS, a professional Environmental, Health & Safety resource working in partnership with organizations to provide a broad range of technical and business safety solutions. Michael is a veteran of the U.S. Army.