Resources That Recognize Your Service

The federal government provides many veteran-focused resources to help ex-military personnel become entrepreneurs. Veterans get the benefit of special guidance and financing assistance and even have lucrative government contracts set aside specifically for them.

Mentoring and Training

The Veterans Business Outreach Program[1] is a nationwide network of 22 centers offering mentoring, training, workshops, clinics, referrals, and more, exclusively for veterans, active duty service members—including members of the National Guard and Reserves—and their families. Much of the content is provided online, on-demand, and without cost to recipients, while other courses are in-person and available for modest fees. Services are provided mostly by colleges in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Boots to Business[2] is an entrepreneurial training program presented without charge to service members preparing to leave the military at 165 bases around the world. The program, created by the SBA as part of the Department of Defense's Transition Assistance Program (TAP), consists of a two-day classroom introduction to business ownership and an eight-week instructor-led online course in fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

Growing Your Business

The Vets First Verification Program[3] is a resource provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Veteran-Owned Business Small Business, one may qualify for advantages when bidding on government contracts. Its offerings also include tools to connect potential entrepreneurs to government resources for veterans, learn how to expand an existing business, and access tax relief and business capital opportunities. provides owners of existing businesses, as well as those seeking to start new businesses, information about government financial assistance programs based on factors including location, industry, and veteran status. These programs range from narrowly targeted state grants to broadly available resources like the SBA-backed 7(a) loan program.

Government Contracts

The world of federal contracting can be confusing for first-timers. Individual government agencies, such as the department of commerce and education, have their own contracting system and rules. has information and resources to help veteran business owners attain federal government contracts for their businesses.

For Service-Disabled Veterans

Federal law establishes an annual government-wide goal calling for at least three percent of all contract award dollars to be set aside for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. The SBA's Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program[4] describes how service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs can qualify for these set-asides, including business size and the ownership percentage and job title that must be held by the disabled veteran.

A Tradition of Entrepreneurship

Government help for ex-military personnel seeking to become business owners speaks to the large numbers of veterans who pursue entrepreneurial paths after their military service.

As of 2020, there were approximately 19.4 million American veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs[5]. According to a research study[6], veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no active military duty experience to be self-employed.