Every November 11 we honor all the men and women who have served our country. These brave Americans risk their lives to protect our rights and freedom, and Veteran's Day is one way that our great nation says thank you. This year, we not only honored the service of these men and women, but we also celebrate the lowest veteran unemployment rate in seven years. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of just 4.6% among veterans, the lowest rate our country has seen since 2007. This statistic shows a 1.4% decline from last year, continuing the consistent decline in unemployed vets.
Reports also showed that there are currently 3 million veteran-owned startups, an all time high; employing 5.7 million people and generating $1.2 trillion in annual sales. To honor and help facilitate the continued success for veterans, we wanted to share a few resources available exclusively to veteran entrepreneurs.
- Programs created by the Department of Veteran Affairs, such as the Veterans First Contracting Program, require the government to do a certain amount of business with companies that are veteran-owned businesses. Thanks to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the U.S. government spends over $3 billion every year on contracts with veteran-owned businesses.
- The Center for Veterans Enterprise website is dedicated to helping provide veterans with access to business related information.
- Becoming a verified veteran-owned business is easy – the Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Program provides you with a few simple steps to follow.
- American Corporate Partners provides veterans with an exceptional online networking site that helps veteran business owners make connections and promote their businesses.
- They also offer a countrywide adviser program that matches veterans up with a mentor. This mentor will work with a veteran entrepreneur for an entire year and the assignments are made based on the mentee’s level of experience and the business goals of his or her company.
- A non-profit organization that is mainly focused on assisting small businesses.
- Among a plethora of other helpful resources, SCORE created the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative, which provides veterans with free software and online services to assist during the early stages of launching a business.
- The Veteran Fast Launch Initiative also offers educational resources to veterans who are aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Score also offers a unique mentorship program for those with little business experience.
- The SBA offers several programs for veterans and their families, including the Boots to Business training program.
- These programs offer information that could speed up the loan process and give these business owners some of the best rates on the market.
- The SBA’s services are available to veterans, active service men and women, and families.
- GOVCON OPS is a veteran-owned and run company that seeks to aid other veteran business owners in their quest for government contracts.
- GOVCON OPS provides proposal writing services for a GSA Schedule and offers to help simplify the proposal writing process and assist veteran firms during the proposal process. The company can also help business owners with his/her GSA Schedule post-award compliance strategy.
These resources can be extremely helpful to both veterans launching a new business or trying to grow an established one. Each group offers a variety of programs and assistance designed specifically to help veterans.
And while you’re leveraging these resources, don’t forget to establish, monitor, and build your business credit to help your business qualify for loads and bids down the line. Many lending institutions, government agencies, and businesses will pull a company’s business credit file to help determine whether or not they’re interested in extending a loan or a contract.