Friday, November 09, 2012
Help for Veterans to Start, Grow and Expand Small Businesses
via the SBA:
As the nation marks Veterans Day 2012, the
U.S. Small Business Administration continues to build on its
successful programs for America’s military veterans, helping tens of
thousands of veterans each year with small business financing,
comprehensive business training and counseling and access
to federal contracts.
“Around Veterans Day, our thoughts turn to the men
and women who are currently serving in the Armed Forces, as well as to
all veterans who have made sacrifices and served our country over the
years,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
“When you consider the leadership and management skills our veterans
develop while on active and reserve duty, it’s no wonder we see so many
of them choose the path of small business ownership.”
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau
veterans are successful small business owners. Nearly one in 10 small
businesses nationwide are veteran-owned. Collectively, these 2.4
million small businesses employ almost 6 million Americans
and generate more than $1 trillion in receipts. In the private sector
workforce, veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no
active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
“Today I visited the Philadelphia
Navy Yard, where I met with proven, tested military and business
leaders,” said Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “These
leaders have stepped up to the challenge of making the
Navy Yard home to 120 companies with 10,000 employees and who are
committed to utilizing this location to further develop not just
Philadelphia’s economy but the American economy.”
“At SBA we
honor veterans for their service and sacrifice and we support the
entrepreneurship of veteran small business owners, because they are
vitally important to America’s economic
future. Just as veterans helped reshape the American economy
following World War II, we know they can do it again given the right
tools and the right opportunities,” Olson-Urtecho said.
SBA supports veteran business owners through
entrepreneurial training and mentoring, access to capital, and business
development opportunities through government contracts.
This year SBA partnered
with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense
to develop a national entrepreneurship training program for
transitioning service members as part of the new Transition
Assistance Program. Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup
was piloted with all four branches of the services in summer and fall
2012. The Boots to Business program will be rolled out during 2013
providing exposure to entrepreneurship
training to all 250,000 service members who transition from active duty
to civilian life each year.
a closely related effort, SBA and Syracuse University continue to
expand the success of the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with
Disabilities program. The growing partnership
between SBA and Syracuse University, now in its fourth year, provides
training on how disabled vets can start and grow a small business, with
programs targeted to service-disabled veterans who served in Iraq and
Afghanistan and their family caregivers, women
veterans, and National Guard and Reserve members and their families.
Since 2009, the first year SBA partnered with Syracuse University, 434
service-disabled veterans have participated in the program.
schools include: Syracuse University, University of Connecticut, UCLA,
Florida State University, Texas A&M University, Purdue University,
State University, and Cornell University.
SBA is also providing
$2.6 million through a cooperative agreement over three years for two
programs; Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship
(V-WISE), that focuses on training, networking and
mentorship for women veterans, and Operation Endure & Grow,
targets National Guard and Reserve component members, their families and partners.
Access to Capital
In FY 2012, SBA backed more than 3,200 loans
supporting nearly $2.1 billion in financing to more than 2,800
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) through its flagship 7(a) and 504
loan programs, including $118
million through the Patriot Express Loan program.
loans offer many advantages to veterans and to SBA’s network of
participating lenders nationwide. They feature one of SBA’s fastest
turnaround times for loan approval and an enhanced
guaranty and interest rate on loans up to $500,000 to small businesses
owned by veterans, reservists and their spouses. Patriot Express loans
can be used for most business purposes, including startup, expansion,
equipment purchases, working capital, inventory
or business-occupied real-estate purchases.
Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program allows federal
agencies to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among
service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.
Federal prime contracting dollars awarded to Service-Disabled
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) increased for the fifth
consecutive year to $11.2 billion, or 2.65 percent, in FY2011, up from
$10.793 billion, or 2.50 percent, in FY2010.
Over the last year, SBA has created a series of online contracting courses called
Government Contracting (GC) Classroom
to help prospective and existing small businesses, including VOSBs and
SDVOSBs, understand the basics about contracting with federal agencies.
In addition, the Office of Veteran’s Business Development provides procurement training to SDVOSBs
to help them take advantage of federal contracting opportunities
under the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern
SBA reaches out to veterans through its
68 SBA district offices, 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers
nationwide, more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers, 110
Women’s Business Centers and some 12,000 SCORE volunteers,
more than 40 percent of whom are veterans. SBA also has numerous
programs creating government contracting opportunities for VOSBs. For
more information, visit