Are you interested in joining the women veteran small business community? There are 2.5 million veteran-owned small businesses in the United States. And get this: 15.2% of these businesses are owned by women.
You have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and the SBA is ready to support you every step of the way. From specialized training programs for women to general resources for veteran small business owners, SBA and its partner programs have the tools to help you achieve your business goals.
Here are six tips to help you succeed as a woman veteran entrepreneur.
1. Check out a Boots to Business class
Boots to Business is the perfect first step for women service members and veterans (including spouses!) who are interested in transitioning into small business ownership as the next step in their career. This entrepreneurial education and training program will introduce you to the business fundamentals that go into launching a business, including market research, legal considerations, financing, and more. Plus, Boots to Business can help you determine if business ownership is right for you.
Boots to Business is offered as part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) on military installations worldwide. And if you don’t have access to an installation, no problem! Boots to Business Reboot delivers the same curriculum right in your local community.
2. Participate in the SBA’s Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program
The Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) is a specialized program that provides entrepreneurial training to support women veterans as they navigate through the complexities of small business ownership. As part of WVETP, here are two SBA-funded programs that you can leverage as a woman entrepreneur:
• Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE): This program teaches women veterans and military spouses the business skills necessary to turn an idea into a fully functioning business.
• San Antonio LiftFund: This organization helps small business owners access the capital and financial training they need to build the business of their dreams.
3. Visit your local Small Business Development Center
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost business training to thousands of veterans every year. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for help with business planning, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, international trade and more. With nearly a thousand SBDCs across the country, there’s an SBDC near you. Find your nearest SBDC.
4. Visit your local Women’s Business Center
Women’s Business Centers (WBC) are leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs. Through training, counseling, and access to capital services, WBCs empower women small business owners by providing the right resources to help you along your entrepreneurial journey. WBCs are also equipped to prepare you for the unique obstacles you may face as a woman veteran in the business world. Find a WBC near you.
5. Take advantage of the set-asides for women-owned small businesses
Did you know that the federal government’s goal is to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses (WOSB) each year? It’s time to leverage the advantages set aside for you as a woman entrepreneur! If you’re ready to start applying for government contracts, make sure you get to know the benefits that are available to you before diving in. Learn more about the WOSB set-aside program and certification process.
6. Connect with a Veterans Business Outreach Center near you
Just like Women’s Business Centers are specialized to help women succeed as small business owners, Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) do the same for veterans. VBOCs are a one-stop shop for aspiring entrepreneurs that provide resource navigation and referrals, transition assistance, counseling and mentorship, and beyond. Connect with your local VBOC today.
To learn more about the resources available to the women veteran small business community, check out the SBA website at: http://bit.ly/MarVetBiz.
This blog was originally written by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development. Additional information is provided by America’s SBDC.