“If you have it in you to take that oath, then you have it in you to start a business and to succeed at it…” – Greg Coleman, Co-Founder Nexercise
I have been approached on a number of occasions by veterans asking what kind of grants and training program resources are available for people trying to start their own business. If you have a business and/or are thinking about starting one in the near future all this information should be beneficial to you. While most of this is geared towards veterans, some of it can be used by civilians.
Having a great foundation is key when starting, maintaining or growing your business. Training programs help to ensure the business owner has the most up-to-date and relevant information for entrepreneurship and small business ownership. Below are a few programs that I have found to be a great source that cuts through all the fanfare of how great they are and how lucky you are to be there. Instead these programs focus on why the business owner is there, learning about key elements to a successful business.
Boots to Business is a program designed for transitioning military members providing an overview of business ownership. This program is being offered by the U.S Small Business Administration(SBA) as a part of the DOD T.A.P. additionally this program is also offered to service member’s spouses.
Reboot is a program that extends the entrepreneurship program offered by T.A.P to veterans of all eras. While this is a great follow-on program, when I attempted to visit the website for more information I received an error. This could be a valuable program for those who have not attended Boots to Business, once the website is back up.
V-Wise (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) open to all women veterans, active duty female service members and female partners/spouses of active duty service members and veterans who share the goal of launching and growing a sustainable business venture. This is a (3) phase program including: a 15-day online course (phase 1), 3-day entrepreneurship training event (phase-2), and ongoing mentorship, training and support opportunities for graduates launching or growing their business(Phase 3) This is an outstanding opportunity for any veteran females looking start or grow their business, additionally V-Wise is a source that should be used for news and information.
Bunker Labs uses an interactive game to educate veterans and active duty. Military members are very familiar with interactive games that try to educate…. I’m sure it’s nothing like the terrible yearly interactive training we all had to endure and complete by COB after receiving word 30 minutes before afternoon muster.
The following is a list of training programs for service-disabled veterans:
Veteran Entrepreneurship Jumpstart Program
Dogtag Inc Dogtag is a service that empowers service-disabled veterans, military spouses and caregivers through an entrepreneurship fellowship program. This is a comprehensive (5) month fellowship enabling each person(s) upon completion to confidently launch, as well as grow, their small business.
Growing a business can be challenging mentally, physically, and financially; not all of us were given a couple million dollars to start multiple businesses. There are options other than taking out a traditional loan. While loans are, for the most part, a guaranteed method to infuse your business with capital, it isn’t always something Small Businesses owners are willing to do. Below is a list of Grants, awards and loan options available for any entrepreneur:
StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award – Loan options, 3 grant awards ($15,000, $6,000 and $4,000)- click the link for more information.
National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants- Provides $4,000 in grants, applications are reviewed quarterly and distributed monthly.
FedEx Small Business Grant Program- $25,000 grant and $7,000 in FedEx services- click the link for entering information.
USDA Rural Development state office- $10,000 to $500,000 in grants you don’t have to be in the agriculture industry, but to qualify you have to be in a rural area…(the Sticks)
Federal Grants- click the link to search the database for applicable grants for your business
Texas Veteran Grants- click the link for 41 grants for Texas veterans
You can also apply to SBA (Small Business Association) for loans/microloans up to $50,000. SBA also offers the SBA Veterans Advantage program which offers qualified veterans guaranteed loans and/or fee reductions.
I hope this information helps in some way, to start or grow your business. As always while the information provided is accurate the opinions are just that, opinions of Cal-Tex Designs. Please comment below if you found this helpful in any way or if you know of any other programs that would help small business owners.