By: Allan Thompson | Chief Operating Officer
The team at Jet Capital would like to salute and thank our dedicated military service personnel and all those who have served to keep our country safe. We thank you around the calendar and honor your special role in making the world a better place. We would also like to extend a special salute to our veterans.
Jet Capital offers this list of resources for the many veterans who are now entrepreneurs and small business owners. The skills you learned in the military are a strong base upon which to build your company. Here are some resources to keep your business thriving.
Mentoring and Training for Veterans Running a Small Business
As military service members transition into the workforce, there are a number of resources to connect with experts and train for business ownership. These resources are also a place to find mentors and programs that will guide veteran business owners as their business grows.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Office of Veterans Business Development extend resources and support to veteran business owners by offering training materials, information on funding, and connections to their network of support centers for veterans. The SBA network of Veteran Business Outreach Centers connects veterans to training and referrals in their area. The SBA recently announced six new centers to serve veterans even better.
If you are a veteran exploring the idea of starting a business, the Boots to Business program is designed for you. This program combines a few days of classroom time with an 8-week online course designed to guide you through creating a business plan and the information you need to get off to a strong start.
For women veterans, V-Wise (Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) provides training and mentorship. In partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, this network enables women Veterans “to learn the business-savvy skills to turn their ideas or businesses into growth ventures.”1
The SCORE network of mentors also offers their Veteran Fast Launch Initiative which provides training, useful templates, and free advice from a network of CPAs. SCORE is a non-profit organization designed to help all small business owners, but they offer specialized support and information for veterans who are on the small business ownership path. Inquire to find mentors with military backgrounds and experience in managing their own company.
Procuring Federal Contracts for Veterans Running a Small Business
The government sets aside 5% or more of their contracts for veteran-owned businesses. Furthermore, another 3% or more contracts are set aside for service-disabled veterans.2
These set-aside programs are an important way to build your business, but there are several steps to navigate in the eligibility and application process. First, you must be verified for the Vets First program by the Office of Veteran Affairs. You can start the verification process HERE.
Once your business has been approved, you can monitor upcoming opportunities and participate in programs like the Office of Veteran Affairs Direct Access Program, which joins veteran small business owners with procurement decision makers. The VA has been working to streamline the procurement process and improve customer service, but it is still up to the business owner to follow the appropriate steps to apply and qualify for government contracts.
While there is a burden of additional paperwork, the Vets First program is designed to give a competitive advantage to our veterans and encourage the growth of their businesses.
Another site for exploring government contracts is FedBizOpps.gov. This site lists active government contracting opportunities.
Business Resources for Veteran Small Business Owners
From government agencies like the SBA to private companies and universities, veterans have many organizations on your side. Here are a few places to look for additional tools and resources.
Again, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to the success of all small business owners and offers veterans this comprehensive page of information tailored to their needs. You can also download “Getting Veterans Back to Business: Veteran’s Small Business Resource Guide” which covers legal issues, taxes, financial planning, and health care advice.
The Syracuse Institute for Veterans and Military Families is an excellent resource with links to topics ranging from technology, finance, management, and government contracting.
The International Franchise Association runs the VetFran program with around 650 member companies offering discounts, mentoring, and training to veterans. Here are the top 100 franchises participating in this program.
Jet Capital is proud to stand with our military service personnel and veterans. We wish you success and happiness.
Jet Capital offers fast, flexible on-demand funding for small businesses. Our merchant cash advance financial products are an alternative to traditional small business loans. Follow us on Facebook for news, business tips, and resources for your small business.
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