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Starting a Business

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Boots to Business (Active Duty)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers "Boots to Business," an entrepreneurial education and training program as part of the Department of Defense's Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, knowledge required to develop a business plan and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Active duty military members (and their partners/spouses) separating from service may elect to participate in the entrepreneurship training track of Boots to Business.

Visit the site link provided below for program details to include registration procedures.

External Website: Small Business Administration

BusinessUSA Resource Center

This site is recommended for women entrepreneurs and business owners looking for current information--lending, government contracts, grants, mentorship programs and more--about women-owned business operations and management.

External Website: BusinessUSA Resource Center

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans With Disabilities (EBV)

The EBV National Program is a one-of-a-kind initiative offered to post 9/11 veterans and their families. It is designed to leverage the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management with the aim of opening the door to economic opportunity for our veterans and their families.

Contacts are listed at: http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/contact/

For program details to include registration, visit the site below.

External Website: Syracuse University

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families (EBV-F)

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans' Families (EBV-F) is an education and self-employment training program for the post-9/11 surviving spouse of a military member who gave his or her life in service to our country, military family members who are caregivers for a wounded servicemember and for active duty spouses. The program leverages the flexibility inherent in small business ownership to provide surviving family members with an opportunity to explore vocational  paths forward.

The EBV-F is operated by Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

Program application link:  http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/apply-to-the-ebv-f/

External Website: Syracuse University

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund was established in 2011.  The program provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund gives money to a third party vendor, not directly to the veteran, for any items critical to the launch of a young farm business.

The Fellowship also provides the following support:

  • Guidance in production, business planning, and marketing. 
  • Scholarships to study for a career in agriculture at a college, university or farm-training program.

Visit their site for applications and other guidelines.

External Website: Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund

Funding for Veteran Businesses

Funding options that specifically benefit veterans are rare.  This article highlights four funding programs for veterans starting or expanding a business.  They include:

  • Self-employment grants for service-disabled veterans.
  • Angel Investment Group supporting veteran start-up companies founded and run by graduates of the U.S. military academies.
  • The Veterans' Opportunity Fund (VOF) is the first venture capital fund formed to invest in businesses that are started, owned and/or managed by veterans of the United States armed forces.
  • Street Shares is an online lending platform designed to connect investors and small business owners to support veterans starting or expanding their business.

External Website: Entrepreneur

Operation Endure & Grow (Reserve & Guard)

Operation Endure & Grow is open to National Guard and Reserve members (those serving and who have served) and their first degree family members.  It is an online training opportunity offered in cooperation with the Small Business Administration.  The eight-week program is focused on the fundamentals of launching and/or growing a small business and includes start-up and growth tracks for training in the core components required to develop a business or nonprofit organizational plan.  It also addresses the interrelationship/interdependency of marketing, accounting and finance, operations and production, and human resources required to formulate that plan. The program provides the analytical tools, methodologies and frameworks useful in creating business plans, and teaches participants to present to prospective investors, lenders and financial backers.

External Website: Syracuse University

Resources for Veteran Business Owners

This library offers 20 resources to help veterans start up and sustain a business.  Each program varies in their focus, but in total, they offer opportunities for mentorship, training, and funding connections.

External Website: Small Business Trends

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

The VA Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is a collaborative initiative with BusinessUSA designed to save time!  BusinessUSA makes it easier for small businesses to access federal services and quickly connects veteran entrepreneurs to relevant 'best-practices' and offers direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.

External Website: VA

Veteran-Owned Businesses

The Small Business Administration has resources to help veterans and service-disabled veterans start and grow their own small business. Services include creating a business plan, finding your first customer, financing opportunities, mentoring and many other tips and tools.

Visit the link below for all the details.

External Website: Small Business Administration

Women-Owned Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides online and state-based resources to help women entrepreneurs launch new businesses, grow their businesses and compete in the global marketplace. SBA offers financing opportunities and hosts Women's Business Centers.

To aid and stimulate Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), federal acquisition officials must ensure full participation by women in the free enterprise system. This includes the award of prime contracts and subcontracts and counseling of Women-Owned Small Businesses. A business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women who are U.S. citizens. The firm must be "small" in its primary industry in accordance with SBA'ps size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed "economically disadvantaged," its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage.

For all program details, please visit the external link below.

External Website: Small Business Administration

Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)

The Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program was developed for women veterans, and is open to any woman veteran who served honorably in the military and who wants to start her own business. This program was recently opened up to spouses and partners of veterans who own businesses.

The program involves an online segment as well as participation in a three-day conference. Conferences are held at various locations around the country. You do not have to pay a fee for the course, and a hotel room and most meals will be taken care of for you. Your only costs will be transportation to the conference and a registration fee. You can request assistance paying the registration fee by emailing vwise@syr.edu.

At the conference, you will meet successful women entrepreneurs, learn about business planning, accounting, marketing and more. You can apply for the program online. Contact the VWISE Admissions Coordinator at (315) 443-8791 or vwise@syr.edu, for more information, including application deadlines.

See the link below for more program details.

External Website: Syracuse University