Transitioning from an active-duty service member to a small business owner can be a very challenging process. Hence, veteran startup business loans can provide a smoother transition for veterans looking to explore their entrepreneurial endeavors.  

The Importance of Recognizing and Supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses

Veterans are the backbone of American society. The sacrifice American veterans demonstrate through their service reflects deep dedication to the preservation of American liberty. Veterans who choose to launch small businesses further demonstrate their dedication to America’s founding values by actively fueling the economy and demonstrating their sense of independence. 

It is important for citizens who benefit from this service to acknowledge and honor veteran sacrifice. This can include, but is not limited to, verbally expressing gratitude, or purchasing from veteran owned businesses. 

Boots to Business: Clerical Support before Financial Support

The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency partnered with the federal government to aid American citizens with launching, growing, and maintaining successful businesses. To provide specific support for American veterans who have courageously served, the SBA offers financial and clerical assistance for veterans looking to embark into the world of entrepreneurship.

Getting in touch with one’s local Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program can be key in setting an aspiring entrepreneur on the right trajectory. Veterans with limited knowledge on entrepreneurship should be ensured that they possess thorough understanding of what is involved in  business ownership before borrowing any veteran startup business loans. 

The VBOC programs are educational in nature and can assist veterans in understanding fundamental and imperative information about launching a small business. There are VBOC programs for business plan preparation, comprehensive feasibility analysis for enterprising ideas, mentorship, and entrepreneurial training. 

Boots to Business, a VBOC program offered by the SBA, is an introductory course on the fundamentals of business ownership and includes topics such as Legal Considerations, Financing your Business, and Market Research.

Alternatively, veterans can Join AFE and receive discounted business coaching from The Messenger Institute that aims to “reinvigorate vitality and mentality and scale your business to new heights through their educational offerings”.

How to Acquire Veteran Startup Business Loans

The SBA recommends that veterans connect with lenders to acquire loans. Participating in the Lender Match will match veterans to a lender who will provide an understanding of grace periods, prepayment penalties, rates, terms, and vital information for different veteran startup business loans from different organizations. 

To participate in the SBA’s Lender Match, an interested candidate should prepare their business plan, intended use of funds, credit history, financial projections, and industry experience so that the lender has an idea of what loan is optimal. 

Lenders can choose from a variety of organizations with programs that offer Veteran Startup Business Loans: including the SBA Veterans Advantage Loans Program, which provides loan guarantees to lenders for up to five million dollars.


Article by
Zoe Maung
Content Writer and Researcher

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