4 Resources to Start a Business After Serving In the Military
Military experience teaches a great deal of skills that many of which can be applied to the business field. Skills such as persistence, organization, and resourcefulness are all taught in the military are key to being a successful business owner. In America, 2.52 million small businesses are owned by veterans, as shown in a recent study done by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, which constitutes 9.1% of small businesses in the country.
You may be planning on owning business after you have finished your military service, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are several resources that can help:
1 - Veterans Business Outreach Centers
The SBA provides Veterans Business Outreach Centers for veterans, military personnel, and their spouses who are current or future business owners. They are designed to give them the opportunity to learn more about how to start and grow a small business. These outreach centers provide mentorship, concept assessments, entrepreneurial training and counseling, pre-business plan workshops, and business plan preparation, as well as other services.
2 - Veteran Fast Launch Initiative
The SCORE Foundation, through their Veteran Fast Launch initiative, gives entrepreneurs training and mentoring using thousands of volunteer trainers. Through this initiative, SCORE is dedicated to helping veterans transition into life as an entrepreneur. SCORE provides you the ability to access their services, free software, and their mentoring program to help get your business started and acquire the tools needed to be successful in the business world.
3 - Veterans First Contracting Program
The Veterans First Contracting Program gives contracting priority to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB). This program came about as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ mission to care for veterans. To qualify for this program, you must access their website and follow the steps to be verified.
4 - VetFran Directory
Through the VetFran program, you have access to financial benefits that are not available to most investors, such as lower franchise fees. The mission of this program is to educate both veterans and franchisors how many of the skills veterans have acquired are perfectly suited to the opportunities within the business world. According to their website, veterans make up only about 7 percent of the population, but account for 14 percent of all franchisees in America. There are over 500 franchise companies that currently participate in this program.
Navy Federal. (2019, October 29). Starting your own business after military service. Navy Federal Credit Union. https://www.navyfederal.org/products-services/business-services/articles/starting/tips-for-starting-business-after-military-service.php
Veterans Business Outreach Center of Florida (n.d.) About us. http://vboc.org/about-us/
VetFran (n.d.) About us. https://www.vetfran.org/about-us/#vetfran