Boot-Camp for Veteran-Owned Businesses
Last summer, the Department of Veterans Affairs brought together 80 women veteran business owners for a six-month boot camp hosted by PenFed and the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). The goal: teach them how to grow their businesses.
The education they received was like a fast-tracked MBA with hands-on classes in product/market analysis, business development and more. At the end of the six months, there was a pitch competition to win a grant for their business.
The Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP), in collaboration with PenFed, has much to offer veterans who already have a business up and running.
To learn more about PenFed, go to veip.penfedfoundation.org. Read about its various programs, especially the Master’s Program start-up fundraising accelerator. Application deadline for the Spring 2022 program is Jan. 30. The eight-week program is part of an intensive one-year Master’s Program. Classes are open to veterans and their spouses who own businesses, and include fundraising coaching, mentor matching and investor deal day.
If you don’t qualify for the Master’s Program because you don’t have the required number of years running your business or because you haven’t even started your business, there is other help for you.
The Small Business Administration offers support, grants, low-interest loans and more to veteran owners of small businesses under the “Patriot Express” program. Search the VA website (va.gov) for small business. Look carefully at the eligibility requirements, such as that the business needs to be more than 51% veteran-owned. Look for information at the OSDBU website.
If your location to open a business is flexible, check the VEIP website (veip.penfedfoundation.org) for its list of top cities for veteran entrepreneurs. Find out which locations top the list in categories such as growing economy, support for veterans and ability to start a business. Don’t miss the list of emerging cities to get ahead of the curve.
Image by Daniel Friesenecker