For many veterans re-entering civilian life, entrepreneurship is a way to leverage the unique skills acquired through military service.
Currently, one in 10 small businesses is started by a veteran, and about 20 percent of small business employees work for veteran-owned businesses, according to the Small Business Administration.
For many veterans re-entering civilian life, entrepreneurship is a way to leverage the unique skills acquired through military service. The growth of veteran entrepreneurship is important not just to these soldiers returning home, but to the overall economy. The question remains not only how to help more veterans start businesses but how to help them achieve long-term success.
Below are three resources for veterans looking to start or grow a business.
Boots to Business
A critical resource for veterans is the SBA's Boots to Business training program which provides entrepreneurial training for U.S. veterans. The program is available free to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military.
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy
There are also a variety of programs to help aspiring military entrepreneurs gain technology skills. The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) is a great resource. The 16-week full-time training course readies active duty service members transitioning out of the military with STEM and IT-specific skills.
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans National Program
Designed specifically for post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities, the EBV National Program leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management. The aim of the program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans and their families by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.
Whatever your goal when you’re ready to hang up your combat boots, technology and the right resources can help you strike out on your own and turn your years of service into a lifetime of success. And if you’re not a veteran but want to support a veteran-owned business, there are great sites like veteranownedbusiness.com where you can find businesses for any need grouped by category.
This article originally appeared on Cindy Bates’ Blog.