6 Best Business Grants for Veterans

Business Grants for Veterans – Overview

According to reports, there are approximately 2.52 million veteran-owned businesses in the US.

Veteran-owned firms represent approximately 9.1% of all U.S. businesses. Despite consisting of a small population, veteran entrepreneurs have a significant impact on the small business industry.

Like other business owners, they also need additional capital to boost their business in the highly competitive marketplace.

Many enterprising veterans are awaiting capital investment to launch their businesses, too.

For those who don’t know, veterans are heroes who fought for freedom, liberty and equality.

Hence, numerous federal and state-powered agencies, non-profit organizations and military welfare departments provide small business grants for veterans.

This article is for veteran entrepreneurs who wish to launch a new business or advance their small businesses.

Sources for Small Business Grants for Veterans

Let’s check out some of the top sources where veteran entrepreneurs can get grants for their small-sized businesses:

1 – Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

The federal government aims to award at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses annually. The service-disabled veteran-owned small business program requires the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Adhering to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) definition of “small business.”
  • Having at least 51% stakes owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans
  • Having one or more service-disabled veterans handling the business’s day-to-day operations and making long-term business decisions
  • Applicant must have a service-related disability.

In case you and your business meet the eligibility as mentioned above criteria, then you can fill in the application form by Accessing the SAM.gov website for federal contracting opportunities.

This is the government’s online application system for businesses to apply for federal contracts.

2 – Hivers and Strivers

Hivers and Strivers is known as one of the top angel investment groups focusing on funding companies formed by graduates of the US Military Academies. Hivers and Strivers investment amounts can vary based on the specific opportunity and need.

For additional information on eligibility criteria and the application process, visit their official website at https://www.hiversandstrivers.com.

3 – Warrior Rising

Warrior Rising is a non-profit organization that assists veterans in starting their businesses. It is focused on supporting entrepreneurial veteran business owners. The organization offers several training sessions, business management workshops, and grants to cover expenses for business startups.

Veteran business owners receive grants and assistance when they are members of the Warrior Rising organization.

Once you think you are eligible for this grant, you need to have a telephone interview with a staff member about your service background.

After this, you will be required to complete an online business course. Once you complete this course, the organization will offer mentorship and guidance with grant funding.

For more details on eligibility criteria and the application process, visit Warrior Rising’s official website at https://www.warriorrising.org/.

4 – Second Service Foundation

Second Service Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It was founded by a group of veteran entrepreneurs and their supporters. This organization aims “to inspire, support and educate the military entrepreneurial community”.

The organization’s grants program is one crucial way to advocate for military-personnel-owned businesses in the US.

Under this initiative, grant amounts awarded by organizations like the Second Service Foundation can vary and are based on the specific needs and merits of the application. Eligibility and grants are evaluated according to several factors.

Before awarding the small business grant for veterans, the way the business impacts the military community, the owner’s personal history, and the applicant’s plan to utilize the funds are considered.

You can also choose to apply for a loan from the Second Service Organization, a veteran-run lending program overseen by the Second Service Organization.

If eligible, you can receive term loans valued at $250,000, a line of credit with a $250,000 limit, or find contract financing.

5 – Small Business Innovation Research Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is not exclusively aimed at helping veterans. However, this program has been a constant funding source for veteran-owned businesses for years.

This program aims to provide financial funding and aid to small businesses that develop technological innovations. These grants are categorized into Phase I and Phase II.

Phase I grants are meant for businesses that require funds to determine their commercial viability. Phase I SBIR grants typically offer funding up to $256,000, but the amount can vary based on the agency and solicitation.

Once you’ve successfully received the Phase I grant and proven your proposal’s feasibility, you can apply for the Phase II grant.

The second type of grant is based on the performance of your Phase I work performance. Under the second grant, Phase II SBIR grants can provide up to $1,000,000 or more over two years, depending on the agency and project requirements.

To be eligible for an SBIR grant, your business must be a for-profit, have majority ownership with US citizens or permanent US alien residents, and have less than 500 employees.

If you meet these criteria, submit a proposal disclosing relevant business documents to the SBIR’s RFP portal at https://www.sbir.gov.

6 – GrantWatch

GrantWatch requires a subscription to access full grant details and application information.

The website comprehensively lists local, regional and federal grants for small businesses, nonprofits and veterans.

GrantWatch updates its extensive database with the latest small business grant opportunities for veterans and others.

This makes the website an extremely valuable source for finding the most suitable and crucial grants for small businesses owned by ex-service members in the US.

To find out the latest grant opportunities for veteran small business owners, visit the official website at – https://www.grantwatch.com/cat/38/veterans-grants.html.


These are only the top six sources for veterans to get small business grants in the US. Many similar organizations and departments offer financial and management aid to eligible applicants.

A simple Google search will reveal the nearest and most convenient source to apply for grants that help boost your business.

Interactive US Map for Small Business Grants

See Also

What is a VA Loan?

What is HVRP?

Medical Grants for Veterans

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