The Top 2022 Grants For Veterans Starting a Business

grants for veterans
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In terms of funding and grant opportunities, veteran-owned businesses are frequently underserved. Small business grants provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to obtain the funds they require to start or expand their businesses. Not to mention, there are numerous free resources available to assist veteran-owned small businesses in succeeding. If you’re looking for free money for your business but don’t know where to begin, we can help with the best small business grants for veterans starting a business.

Grants for Veterans

As previously stated, finding and applying for grants for veterans starting their businesses can be difficult. Following that, we’ll show you government-managed business centers, agencies, courses, and independent organizations and platforms that can assist with that process, as well as information about other business financing options for veterans. The following is a list of the best grants for veterans starting a business in 2022.

#1. Strivers and Hivers

To begin, Hivers and Strivers is an angel investment group that provides startup funding to businesses founded by graduates of the United States Military Academies. In single funding round, Hivers and Strivers typically invest between $250,000 and $1 million.

To apply for funding from Hivers and Strivers, you must first complete an online application on their website.

#2. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

The federal government aims to set aside 3% of its contracting budget each year for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. To be eligible for this program, your business must meet the following requirements:

  • Follow the SBA’s definition of a small business.
  • Delegate day-to-day operations and long-term decisions to one or more service-disabled veterans.
  • Veterans must have a service-connected disability to be eligible.

If your company meets the requirements for these grants for veterans starting a business, you can list it as a service-disabled veteran-owned business on SAM.gov, the government’s online system for businesses to apply for federal contracts.

#3. The StreetShares Foundation and Loans

The StreetShares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It was founded with the goal of “inspiring, educating, and supporting the military entrepreneurial community” by a group of military entrepreneurs and supporters.

Their grant program, which awards up to $15,000 to veteran entrepreneurs, is an important way they advocate for military-owned businesses; this year, they sponsored the Female Founders Veteran Small Business Award Grant Program. Applications are evaluated based on factors such as the business’s social impact on the military community, the personal history of the business owner, and how the applicant intends to use grant funds. The deadline for this year’s StreetShares grant program has passed, but applying in 2021 is highly recommended.

Applying for a loan through StreetShares, the veteran-owned online lending platform that oversees the StreetShares Foundation is another option. The platform isn’t designed specifically for veteran-owned businesses, but they do offer three types of loans designed for vets.

#4. Warrior Rising Small Business Grants

Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting aspiring veteran business owners by offering workshops, training, and grants to veterans who are starting a business.

To join Warrior Rising, you must first complete a phone interview and speak with staff members about your background. After that, you must complete a virtual course. Warrior Rising will then provide mentorship and assistance with grant funding opportunities once the project is completed.

#5. Veteran Readiness and Employment

Service-disabled veterans who are unable to work in a traditional employment environment are eligible for training and grant funding to start their businesses or help with job training through the Veteran Readiness and Employment program.

Interested veterans must fill out an application. After they submit their applications, they will be reviewed to see if they meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

#6. Small Business Innovation Research Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, while not limited to veteran small businesses, provides grant funding to small businesses that develop technological innovations. SBIR grants are divided into two categories: Phase I and Phase II. Phase I grants are given to businesses that require funding to determine their commercial viability. These grants are non-dilutive and up to $150,000 in value.

If you were awarded a Phase I grant and successfully demonstrated that your proposal is feasible, you will be eligible for a Phase II grant. Phase II grants are based on your Phase I work performance, and you could receive up to $1 million over two years.

To be eligible for an SBIR grant, your business must be for-profit, majority-owned by U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, and employ fewer than 500 people. If you meet those requirements, you will be able to submit a proposal to the SBIR program’s RFP portal containing relevant documents about your business.

#7. GrantWatch 

GrantWatch is a great way to stay up to date on the latest grants for veterans starting businesses. It is a free website that compiles all federal, regional, and local grants for small businesses, veterans, and nonprofit organizations. GrantWatch is updated daily with the most recent grants, making it an invaluable resource for both veteran and non-veteran business owners.

#8. Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), managed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, is primarily responsible for assisting veterans in obtaining federal contracting opportunities. Having said that, the OSDBU website is a one-stop resource for veteran entrepreneurs looking for assistance with virtually every aspect of starting, running, and financing their businesses.

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal, which aggregates resources to help entrepreneurs find and apply for government contracts, access franchising opportunities, and access training and employment programs for vets, among many other resources, is an especially important tool in this context.

#9. Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The SBA’s Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides grants to veterans who are starting a business but are unable to meet operating expenses due to the call-up of the owner or a key employee to active duty. Loan funds provide the working capital required by the business to continue operations until the owner or employee returns from military service. Unlike other SBA loans, funds are provided directly by the SBA rather than through an intermediary lender in this program.

The MREIDL loan program offers up to $2 million in loans with repayment terms of up to 30 years and a 4% interest rate. For MREIDL loans exceeding $50,000, collateral is required. Businesses can apply for this loan up to one year after the employee has received notice of an expected call-up.

#10. VetFran Franchising Opportunities

While this is not a grant for veterans starting a business, it is still worth investigating. There are numerous franchise opportunities for veterans available, many of which offer generous financial incentives for veterans and their spouses to join a franchise system. Typically, that incentive entails the franchisor discounting or even waiving the veteran franchisee’s initial franchise fee.

If you want to buy a franchise (at a discount), go to the VetFran website and look through the Opportunities Portal. This portal connects you to the VetFran network’s 600+ franchises that provide special discounts to veterans and military spouses.

#11. Veterans Business Outreach Centers

The Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC), which are overseen by the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, provide veterans and veteran spouses with the training and tools they need to start their own businesses, such as business plan workshops, mentorship programs, and management training. Because they are governed by the SBA, VBOCs can also assist you in identifying potential SBA loan opportunities, providing loan referrals, and assisting you in the preparation of loan applications.

There are 22 VBOC centers across the country, but if you can’t find one near you, you can always contact an office and see if they can provide remote assistance.

Tips for Applying for Grants for Veterans Starting a Business

#1. Confirm your eligibility

Grant applications can be time-consuming and tedious. As a result, it’s critical not to waste your limited time applying for cash awards that you’re not qualified for.

Examine all eligibility requirements before submitting any grant applications for veterans. Even among veterans grants, some may be restricted to disabled vets, those with honorable discharges, veterans starting new businesses, and others.

#2. Comply with the instructions

You want your grant application to be thorough and complete as a grant applicant. It is critical to complete the entire application and submit any required supporting documentation. Pay attention to deadlines as well, both for the initial submission and beyond, to avoid missing out on valuable funding opportunities due to a lapse on your part.

#3. Think about who will be reviewing the application.

When applying for any type of grant, you should think about who will be reviewing your application and what they want to see. A reviewer will have no prior knowledge of your business or business idea. As a result, be sure to provide detailed information about your company, including how you intend to use the grant award to propel your business forward.

#4. Proofread

Take the time to proofread your grant application and any required documents before submitting them (perhaps multiple times). Grammatical errors or missing information may turn off some reviewers. You should also do everything possible to distinguish your business from the competition.

Can you use a VA loan to open a business?

No, the VA does not make business loans. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “Patriot Express” loan program is designed specifically for veterans. We recommend that owners work with the Small Business Development Center to ensure they have all of the necessary documentation to apply for the program.

Can you own a business on VA disability?

If you are awarded 100% disability based on your impairment rating, you are not subject to any income restrictions. You can run your own business and make as much money as you want.

What is a VA grant?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grants to Servicemembers and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to assist in the purchase or construction of an adapted home, or in the modification of an existing home to accommodate a disability.

What are the benefits of being a veteran-owned business?

The Benefits of Owning a Veteran-Owned Business:

  • Your set of abilities.
  • Contracts with the government.
  • Google will help you grow.
  • Loans from the SBA.
  • The Advantages of Franchising
  • Incentives from the government.
  • Workshops on Veteran-Specific Training.
  • Small Business Week for Veterans.

What is a Patriot Express loan?

Patriot Express loans are available through a nationwide network of participating lenders and have one of the SBA’s fastest loan approval turnaround times. Patriot Express loans of up to $500,000 are available.

Can I sell my VA disability payments?

No, it is not an annuity or another type of financial instrument. It cannot be sold, traded, or attached under any circumstances.

Conclusion

Grants for veterans starting a business are difficult to come by, but you can improve your chances by doing your homework and taking your time during the application process. A grant is an excellent way to fund your business, and you will not be required to repay the funds.

Even if you do not qualify for grants for veterans, you can still take advantage of other low-cost financing options for starting or expanding your business. Consider SBA loans or our recommendations for small business loans for veterans to give your business the financial boost it needs to succeed.

Grants for Veterans FAQs

How much can I get for a VA business loan?

You and your partners can apply for a total of $350,000! All active and retired military members, as well as their families, are eligible to apply for business loans for veterans. VA mortgage loans with no down payment of up to $417,000 are available. Veterans can get up to $350,000 in business loans with terms ranging from one to five years.

What is an SBA Express loan?

SBA Express loans are the most common type of Express loan available to eligible small businesses in the United States. The SBA responds to applications within 36 hours, which is much faster than most SBA loans. Loans of up to $500,000 are available, with the SBA guaranteeing up to 50% of the amount.

What is the $10 000 SBA grant?

EIDL loans are low-interest fixed-rate loans for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that apply for the EIDL program may be eligible for a $10,000 EIDL Advance Grant. EIDL loans have interest rates of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits) and repayment terms of up to 30 years.

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