Entrepreneurship Resources for Veterans




Picture of military seals 

Entrepreneurship

As a veterans re-entering civilian life and beginning transitioning to new careers, many of us find that we are perfectly suited to becoming a VETERAN ENTREPRENEUR. As a military veteran you already posses the Skills that will help you succeed as an entrepreneur. You already went thru the best leadership training in the world thanks to the military. You are mission-oriented and have a drive to succeed. You are willing to take risks. Grit and determination just come with the package.
You will need every and each of these skills because becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy endeavor. While it brings the satisfaction of making the world a better place, and making your goals a reality; it comes with its ups and downs, and it owns uniques challenges with doubters and naysayers around every corner. However, while there are doubters, there are also supporters that believe in you and want you to SUCCEED. According to a Gallup poll, the men and woman that have served in the military are the most trusted individuals by our society, making the military the highest rated institution in the U.S.

Because of your military training you already know that the best way to succeed is by training, creating good habits and persevering when the easier way is to quit.
Get into good habits early on, such as creating meeting agendas, sticking to meeting times, and walking away with actionable plans.” —Jennifer Mak
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Below is a list of business resources to help start or grow your business. Most of them are FREE or at very low cost to you and can help you through the process of government contracting, provide business counseling, assist you with obtaining your business and personal certifications and more. The intention of these organizations is to empower our veteran community to succeed. 
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REMEMBER
“Finding a mentor early, who’s been there before and has experience in the areas you don’t, can really help guide you through important decisions and help you prioritize what’s important.” — Bertrand De Oliveira
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Bunker Labs Programs 
Bunker Labs supports all entrepreneurs in the veteran community to include military veterans, military spouses and family members throughout the journey of starting a business: from the idea stage to the growth stage.
Launch Lab Online offer online educational platform in the ideational phase in a gamified, interactive way to get an entrepreneurship education from anywhere in the world, on your time, at your own pace. Open to active duty, veterans, military spouses.
WeWork’s Veterans in Residence program aims to assist US military veterans and their family members that have started a business by providing services that would help them achieve it.
CEOcircle is for companies that have displayed higher level growth and traction. For more information visit:
https://bunkerlabs.org
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The Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference provides interactive learning opportunities and networking opportunities to increase awareness of and facilitate access to resources through the military community. For more information visit: 
https://www.bbbc19.com
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Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Programs 
IVMF offer innovative programs in career, and entrepreneurship education and training to post 9/11 veterans and military spouses, as well as unique programs to veterans of all eras. Their programs includes EBV, EVB-F, EVB Accelerate, VWISE, VWISE Ignite, COA , COV, Boots to Business, For more information visit:
ivmf.syracuse.edu/give

Center of Excellence (COE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship: A one- stop resource connecting thousands of service providers to the veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs who need them. For more information visit:
http://veteranentrepreneurship.org

Coalition of Veteran Owned Businesses (CVOB): Supporting the success of veteran, service member, and military spouse-owned businesses by demystifying the process and connecting business owners to commerce and supply opportunities. For more information visit:
http://veteranbusinesscoalition.org
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV): A program that help you learn the steps and stages of business creation, with an emphasis on the challenges and opportunities associated with being a veteran business owner. For more information visit: 
http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/veterans
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans - EBV Accelerate: A program that wink provide veterans with a successful business the tools and mentorship to sustainable growth. For more information visit:
http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/about/ebv-accelerate
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families (EBV - F): Offering small business training and a vocational, economic path forward for military spouses and their family members, or surviving spouse of a military member who gave their life in service to our country. For more information visit: 
http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/families
V-WISE Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Provides women veterans and military spouses the training, networking and mentorship supports they need to be successful in turning a small business idea or start-up into a growing venture. For more information visit:
http://vwise.vets.syr.edu/vwise

V-WISE IGNITE: Helps women veterans and military spouses explore the opportunity of small business ownership as a post-service career path. For more information visit:
http://vwise.vets.syr.edu/ignite-program

VETNET: an online based webinar program that educate veterans and military families through business training, networking, workshops and resource tools. For more information visit:
https://ivmf.syracuse.edu/veteran-and-family-resources/starting-growing-a-business/vetnet
*Personal note: I have been able to participate in several of the IVMF programs, from V-Wise, to EVB, and Vet Edge and I honestly feel that they each and every ones of these programs will inspire you, will motivate you and will educate you to pursue your entrepreneurs goals.*
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U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs 
Boots to Business & Boots to Business Reboot: is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the SBA to explore business ownership or self-employment opportunities by guiding them through business concepts and foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. For more information visit:
https://sbavets.force.com

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC): they help you thru the process of government contracting and help you maximize your capabilities as contractors to help you service our government with better quality. For more information visit:
http://www.aptac-us.org

SCORE: provides mentoring and training to entrepreneurs helping with the transition into life as entrepreneurs. For more information visit:
https://www.score.org/content/veteran-fast-launch-initiative
https://www.score.org

SBDC (Small Business Development Center): provides small / medium business counseling, education and information. For more information visit:
http://americassbdc.org/home/find-your-sbdc

VBOC (Veteran’s Business Outreach Center) provides education and services focusing on business development, technology deployment, e-commerce, counseling and mentoring. For more information visit:
http://www.vbocix.org/about1
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The Department of Veterans Affairs 

VA: They have an 8% goal of set-aside and sole source contracts, reserved for registered Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSBs) / Veteran - Owned Small Business (DVBEs).
http://www.va.gov/osdbu/verification/index.asp
Register your business today at:
https://www.vip.vetbiz.va.gov
The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP): is hosted by the VA and it offers resources on starting, financing, and growing a business, in addition to government contracting opportunities. It provides direct access for small businesses to access federal services and the resources necessary for entrepreneurship. For more information visit:
https://www.va.gov/osdbu/entrepreneur
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Patriot Boot Camp (PBC): a program that provides military active duty, veterans, and their military spouses with access to mentors, training, and access to a community of experts and peers to help them build impactful businesses.
3-Day Boot Camp: an intensive 3-day technology entrepreneurship boot camp modeled after the Techstars accelerator to provide educational training and 1:1 mentoring to inspire and advance startup founders.
PBC RISE: for Patriot Boot Camp alumni who have completed an initial Patriot Boot Camp 3-Day Program to accelerate their businesses. For more information visit:
https://patriotbootcamp.org
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National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) is an entrepreneurship program that specifically addresses federal procurement to assist veteran owned businesses.
VIP GROW: it assists veterans businesses in developing strategies to expand and operate within the federal marketplace.
VIP START: is for veterans businesses wanting to enter the federal market and become procurement ready.
VIP INTERNATIONAL is for veterans businesses that want to enter or expand their federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas. For more information visit: 

https://www.nationalvip.org 
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Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University - Riata 
Center for Entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurship training available to all members of the military disabled as a result of their service. The program is designed to assist you in creating and growing businesses that can be profitable and is free to eligible veterans accepted into the program. For more information visit: 
https://riata.okstate.edu/veterans
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Veterans Business Services (VBS) is a business networking hub that aids Veteran that are Service Disabled and are business owners seeking, and/or developing their own businesses through the Veteran Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Self- Employment Program. For more information visit:
https://www.veteransbusinessservices.us/about
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The VetToCEO
programs are free of charge for qualified veterans and Active, Guard, and Reserve military.
Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors:
join a group of fellow qualified entrepreneurs in a seven-week program who are either exploring entrepreneurship as a career path choice or aggressively completing their business plan.
VFW Program: this program will help you understand whether entrepreneurship is for you, whether a start-up, franchise or purchase of an existing business best suits your goals and personality, and you'll have a fundable business concept. For more information visit:
https://www.vettoceo.org 
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MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS 
American Corporate Partners (ACP): A mentoring program that connects post-9/11 veterans with corporate professionals for customized mentorships. For more information visit: 
https://www.acp-usa.org

EMENTOR: An online mentoring program available for military personnel, veterans and military spouses that helps them further their personal and professional lives. For more information visit:
https://www.ementorprogram.org 
VETERATI: A digital mentorship platform that supports the military community in their personal and professional lives. For more information visit:
https://www.veterati.com 
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FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS 
DGS (Department of General Services-California) provides Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises and small businesses education and business opportunity enhancements. For more information visit:
http://www.dgs.ca.gov
Procurement Division, Attn: Outreach Section 707 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, MS 2-204
West Sacramento, CA 95605
916-375-4400 • Advocate@dgs.ca.gov
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FOR MA, CT, RI, NH, ME RESIDENTS 
VETRN is a Six month Entrepreneurship Program open to all veterans and their family members of established small businesses in MA, CT, RI, NH, and ME to provide them with the resources, mentoring & networking and more that are needed to grow their own business. For more information visit:
https://vetrn.org
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FOR NEW YORK RESIDENTS
New York State allows eligible Veteran business owners nationwide to get certified as a New York State SDVOB several opportunities for all Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB) nationwide! The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, For more information visit: 
https://ogs.ny.gov/veterans
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FOR WASHINGTON DC RESIDENTS 
Dog Tag Inc. (DTI): five-month fellowship program offered to veterans with service-connected disabilities, military spouses, and caregivers that allow you to acquire soft skills through professional workshops, gain first-hand experience in a real small business, explore a wide variety of civilian career paths. For more information visit:
https://www.dogtaginc.org
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If you know of other services or offer services to help veteran businesses for FREE or low cost please Contact Us or call 1-833-599-9944 so we may add your information to the list.
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“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”— Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

About the Author: 

Niurka Castaneda is a veteran herself, that started her own path as an entrepreneur as the Founder of Amor Umbrella and had her own shares of ups and downs along the way. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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