Business Grants for Veterans – Overview
According to reports, veteran-owned businesses amount to more than 2.5 million in the US.
This is over 9% of all businesses within the US. Despite consisting of a small population, veteran entrepreneurs have a significant impact on the small business industry.
Just like other business owners they too need additional capital to boost their business in the highly competitive marketplace.
Many enterprising veterans are awaiting capital investment to launch their businesses too.
Veterans are heroes who fought for freedom, liberty and equality for all.
Hence, numerous federal and state-powered agencies, non-profit organizations and military welfare departments provide small business grants for veterans.
If you are a veteran entrepreneur wishing to launch a new business, or a veteran trying to advance your small business, then this article is meant for you.
Sources for Small Business Grants for Veterans in 2021
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
Each year, the federal government sets aside around 3% of its contracting budget for this grant. 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 above-mentioned eligibility criteria, then you can fill in the application form by clicking on this link – https://sam.gov/content/home.
This is the government’s online application system for businesses to apply for federal contracts.
2 – Hivers and Strivers
Hivers and Strivers are known as one of the top angel investment groups that focus on funding companies formed by graduates of the US Military Academies. This group normally invests capital amounts of US$ 250,000 to US$ 1 million during a single funding round.
For additional information on eligibility criteria and the application process, feel free to visit their official website at https://www.hiversandstrivers.com.
3 – Warrior Rising
Warrior Rising is a private, non-profit organization. This organization 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.
Grants and assistance to veteran business owners are provided when they are members of the Warrior Rising organization.
Once you think you are eligible for this grant, you need to have a telephonic interview with a staff member concerning 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 application process, feel free to visit Warrior Rising official website at https://www.warriorrising.org/.
4 – The StreetShares Foundation Loans
StreetShares Foundation 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 of the most crucial ways that the organization advocates for military-personnel-owned businesses within the US.
Under this initiative, eligible veteran entrepreneur applicants are awarded around US$ 15,000 in grant money. Eligibility and grants are evaluated according to several factors.
The way the business impacts the military community, the owner’s personal history and the way the applicant plans to utilize the funds are taken into consideration before awarding the small business grant for veterans.
Besides this, you can also choose to apply for a lean from StreetShares. This is a veteran-run lending program overseen by the StreetShares Foundation.
If eligible, you can receive term loans valued at US$ 250,000, or a line of credit with a US$ 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 source of funding for veteran-owned businesses for years now.
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 business’ commercial viability. You can receive up to US$ 150,000 in non-dilutive grant money.
Once you’ve successfully received the Phase I grant and proven your proposal’s feasibility then you become eligible to 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, you are eligible to receive up to US$ 1 million over two years.
To be eligible for an SBIR grant, your business needs to be a for-profit, having majority ownership with US citizens or permanent US alien residents, with less than 500 employees in the workforce.
If you meet these criteria, you will need to submit a proposal disclosing relevant documents of your business to the SBIR’s RFP portal at – https://www.sbir.gov.
6 – GrantWatch
GrantWatch is an excellent source to find the best-suited small business grants for veterans. This is a free website with an enormous database of sources where you can receive grants for several different purposes.
The website provides comprehensive lists of local, regional and federal grants for small businesses, nonprofits and veterans alike.
GrantWatch keeps updating its extensive database with the latest small business grant opportunities for veterans and others.
This makes the website an extremely valuable source to find 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, you can simply visit the official website at – https://www.grantwatch.com/cat/38/veterans-grants.html.
These are only the top six sources to get small business grants for veterans in the US. There are many more similar organizations and departments that 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.