2023 Small Business Grants for Disabled Veterans in USA

Starting a small business can be a rewarding venture for disabled veterans, and there are several grants and programs available to provide financial assistance and support. These grants can help veterans with disabilities launch or expand their businesses, access training and resources, and promote their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Small Business Grants for Disabled Veterans

Here are some options to explore:

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers several programs and resources specifically designed to assist veteran entrepreneurs, including disabled veterans. The SBA does not provide direct grants, but it does provide access to low-interest loans, business counseling, and training programs. The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) can help veterans navigate these opportunities.

Small Business Grants for Disabled Veterans

Funding for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses:

  1. Patriot Express Loan Program: The SBA’s Patriot Express Loan Program was designed to provide veterans, service-disabled veterans, and their spouses with access to capital to start or expand their businesses. This program offers loans up to $500,000, featuring low-interest rates and flexible terms. It enables veterans to secure the financial resources they need to turn their business ideas into reality.
  2. SBA 7(a) Loan Program: While not exclusively for veterans, the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program offers various loan options that veterans can access. These loans can be used for a range of purposes, including working capital, equipment purchase, and real estate acquisition. Veterans often benefit from favorable terms and reduced fees under this program.

Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Programs:

  1. Boots to Business (B2B): The Boots to Business program is an entrepreneurial education and training initiative offered by the SBA as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). It equips transitioning service members and veterans with the knowledge and skills needed to start and manage a successful small business. The program covers business fundamentals, market research, and business plan development.
  2. Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs): VBOCs are a valuable resource for veteran entrepreneurs. They provide counseling, training, and mentoring services to help veterans navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. VBOCs also assist veterans in accessing SBA loan programs and government contracting opportunities.

Government Contracting Programs for Veterans:

  1. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program: This program sets aside certain federal contracts for businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. Eligible businesses can compete for these contracts, gaining a foothold in the lucrative federal contracting market.
  2. Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program: Similar to the SDVOSB program, the VOSB program reserves federal contracts for businesses majority-owned by veterans. Veterans can leverage this program to access government contracting opportunities that align with their business capabilities.
  3. CVE Verification: To participate in SDVOSB and VOSB programs, businesses must undergo verification by the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE). This verification process ensures that veteran-owned businesses meet the eligibility criteria, enhancing their credibility when pursuing government contracts.

StreetShares Foundation

This nonprofit organization offers the “Veteran Small Business Award,” a grant competition that provides financial assistance to veteran-owned small businesses. Disabled veterans are encouraged to apply for this grant.

The StreetShares Foundation Business Grant for Disabled Veterans is a valuable resource for disabled veterans who aspire to start or expand their small businesses. This grant is offered by the StreetShares Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting veteran-owned businesses and fostering entrepreneurship within the veteran community. Here’s an expanded look at the StreetShares Foundation Business Grant and how it can benefit disabled veterans:

Overview of the StreetShares Foundation Business Grant:

  1. Purpose: The primary purpose of the StreetShares Foundation Business Grant is to provide financial support and resources to disabled veterans who are entrepreneurs or small business owners. The grant is designed to help them overcome financial barriers and take their businesses to the next level.
  2. Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for this grant, applicants must be disabled veterans who own at least 50% of a small business. The business must be at least one year old and have generated revenue during that time. Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  3. Grant Amount: The grant award amount varies from year to year but typically ranges from $2,000 to $15,000. This funding can be instrumental in covering various business expenses, such as equipment purchase, marketing efforts, inventory, or operational costs.
  4. Application Process: The application process for the StreetShares Foundation Business Grant typically involves submitting an online application that includes information about the veteran-owned business, its financial status, and the intended use of the grant funds. Applicants may also need to provide a business plan and other relevant documentation.
  5. Judging Criteria: Grant applications are assessed based on various factors, including the business’s potential for growth, its impact on the community, the applicant’s commitment to the business, and the overall quality of the business plan.
  6. Support and Mentorship: Beyond the financial grant, the StreetShares Foundation often provides recipients with access to mentorship and networking opportunities. This can be invaluable for disabled veterans looking to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship.

How to Apply

The applications for the upcoming grant cycle are presently closed. However, you can stay informed about future opportunities by subscribing to the foundation’s newsletter. This way, you will receive notifications when the application process becomes available again.

Benefits for Disabled Veterans:

  • Financial Assistance: The grant provides essential financial assistance that can help disabled veterans overcome some of the initial barriers to business growth. Whether it’s investing in equipment, hiring staff, or expanding marketing efforts, this funding can make a significant difference.
  • Recognition and Exposure: Winning the StreetShares Foundation Business Grant can bring recognition to the veteran-owned business. This can lead to increased visibility, potential partnerships, and enhanced credibility within the business community.
  • Access to Resources: Recipients of the grant may gain access to valuable resources, including networking opportunities, business development workshops, and mentorship programs. These resources can help veterans grow their businesses strategically.
  • Community Support: The grant is part of a broader effort by the StreetShares Foundation to support and uplift the veteran entrepreneurial community. By applying for and receiving this grant, disabled veterans become part of a supportive network of like-minded individuals and organizations.

Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs)

These centers provide training, counseling, and mentoring to veteran entrepreneurs. While they do not offer grants directly, they can help veterans prepare for financing opportunities and navigate the business world. For further information visit here.

Hivers and Strivers Angel Fund

This angel investment group focuses on early-stage investments in veteran-owned businesses. While not a grant, it offers financial support and mentorship to help veteran entrepreneurs succeed.
This program provides capital investment, not a loan, exclusively directed towards businesses owned and led by veterans.

The investment amounts vary, typically falling between $200,000 and $500,000. These funds are exclusively extended to businesses that have progressed beyond the conceptual stage and exhibit substantial growth potential.

Naturally, the enterprise must also be under the leadership of a veteran and meet additional qualifying criteria. For entrepreneurs with a promising start, this program represents a compelling option.

V-WISE (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship)

While primarily for female veterans, this program offers training and resources to veteran entrepreneurs, including those with disabilities. It helps participants develop and grow their businesses.

This institution provides training and educational opportunities tailored to female veterans aspiring to launch their own businesses. Its mission is to enable these women to discover their passions and acquire the essential skills required to excel in the realm of entrepreneurship.

These initiatives and gatherings are conducted nationwide and feature an impressive lineup of speakers, including government dignitaries, CEOs, and accomplished business leaders. Additionally, they provide continuous support geared towards fostering business expansion and success.

Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program

While specific to Florida, this program provides training and resources for veterans looking to start or expand their businesses. It includes access to grants, mentorship, and training.

The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is a valuable initiative designed to support and empower veterans in their entrepreneurial endeavors. This program is specifically tailored to assist veterans in Florida who aspire to start, expand, or strengthen their own businesses.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Small Business Grants

DAV offers small grants to veterans with service-connected disabilities who are looking to start or expand their businesses. These grants can help cover startup costs or other business-related expenses. If you have any questions or need additional assistance with accessing the system, contact a member of the Trust’s team via email at cst@dav.org or by phone using (859) 441-7300, ext. 3309 or 3313.

Veteran Support Organizations

Some nonprofit organizations and foundations provide grants and financial assistance to disabled veterans pursuing entrepreneurship. Examples include the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business and the PenFed Foundation’s Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program.

State and Local Programs

Depending on your location, there may be state and local programs that offer grants or incentives for veteran-owned businesses, including those owned by disabled veterans. Check with your state’s veterans affairs department or local business development agencies.

It’s essential to thoroughly research each grant opportunity, meet eligibility requirements, and carefully follow application procedures. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from organizations specializing in veteran entrepreneurship, such as the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs), to help you navigate the grant application process and develop a strong business plan.

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