Did you know that in the United States, there are more than 2 million veteran-owned businesses that depend on agencies such as the Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business Development and the VA?
While it might sound daunting to hear that there are 2 million other businesses you might be competing against, it’s actually all great news. For veterans, there are numerous resources, groups, and funding available to you if you want to take the skills you’ve learned in the military (or even as a civilian) to start your own business.
However, simply knowing that those resources exist doesn’t help much. You have to understand where to find them and how to best take advantage of them. And, that’s not even mentioning the need to access funding. It’s okay, though. Take a deep breath. We’re here to help.
Wealth Stack is a veteran-founded and veteran-operated digital advisory platform with a mission to help small business owners access the tools and capital they need to increase the value of their company. We’ve been where you’ve been, and all we’re looking to do now is help you achieve the success you’re destined to achieve. Let’s get started.
Veteran Resources for Starting a Business
It makes sense to start this off by talking about all of the resources available to you as a veteran when you’re starting a business.
While the SBA does have an Office of Veterans Business Development department, there are other independent organizations out there that exist to help you not only access the resources you need but also find the personnel, funding, and more that will be crucial in helping you achieve real success. Here are a few of those.
Wealth Stack is an exclusively veteran-owned digital financial advisory platform. Our mission is to help small business owners, particularly veterans, learn how to increase the value of their business.
To achieve this, we have created an online platform where business owners can access a knowledge base of corporate finance resources, latest news and trends in your industry, benchmark comparable financial data and assistance in navigating the path to raising capital from alternative providers.
To learn more about the Wealth Stack Growth Pack or to schedule a free call to speak with one of our veteran business experts, click here.
VetBiz is a Department of Veterans Affairs organization where new veteran CEOS or hopeful entrepreneurs can learn anything and everything about creating and managing a small business. While they have lots of resources available to you, the best feature they offer is the ability to become a certified veteran-owned business through them. When you do this, you’re eligible to win federal contracts depending on the industry your business is in.
More than a program or platform, bUSA is just a super helpful database you can use as a veteran to help find the small business resources you’re looking for. In the database, you’ll find lots of great information on loans, grants, insurance, and sources of funding.
Boots to Business
Want to participate in a program where you can learn how to become a better entrepreneur? Boots to Business is the place to start. It’s a program led by the Department of Defense’s training track for their Transition Assistance Program, so it’s well-structured.
For example, they offer a course titled “B2B: Revenue Readiness” where you can learn about how to prepare to operate a successful B2B business.
Bunker Labs is similar to Boots to Business but is independent of the DoD or VA and offers so much more. They offer “ community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses and startups.”
The community aspect of Bunker Labs is perhaps one of the best features. However, you can also browse through the various programs they offer, which include Veterans in Residence, an incubator for early-stage startups, and CEOcircle, a monthly mastermind.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans
Accessing the resources and funding you need is only the first step in building a successful business. You’ll also need to learn how to be a CEO or an entrepreneur. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans is a great way to learn these skills.
Founded at Syracuse University, the EBV (as they call it) “everages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans.”
The entire program is free to veterans (including travel and lodging to the 9-day residency experience!) and is completed in three phases.
How to Access Funding as a Veteran CEO
Okay, assuming that you’ve looked through all of the resources and taken all of the courses, now it’s time to understand how to finance your business. Accessing traditional sources of capital might be tough, which is why we here at Wealth Stack offer a platform designed to help you access alternative sources of capital.
Before we dive into that, though, it’s worth mentioning that there are grants available to veteran business owners. Warrior Rising Veteran Grants is one such source for those types of grants. You can learn more about those here.
Now, back to the alternative forms of funding. You might already know that some institutions offer loans to businesses with annual revenues as low as $20,000. However, it’s quite rare to find a good loan offer if your business earns under $500,000 annually.
This is actually part of the reason why we created the Wealth Stack Growth Pack. We’re all about connecting eager startup founders and small business owners with the cash they need to grow their company. What do some of those forms of capital look like on our platform?
Private credit is an asset class of privately negotiated loans and other forms of debt financing from non-bank lenders. They can include things such as small business loans, venture debt, and consumer loans. And, they’re available to all types of entrepreneurs, including veteran business owners.
Businesses with lots of potential but little traction to show due to a lack of funding can turn around and pay off the loan quickly with little to no risk that other investments like stocks and real estate involve. If you’re just getting started on your vet-owned business, this might be a good option for you.
Private Debt Fund
The process of borrowing money (traditionally, outside of Wealth Stack) from a private debt fund can be difficult. Loans range in size and interest rates, so it is important for borrowers to do their research on the different lenders out there before applying or committing themselves fully into any one lender's program as they may not offer what you need at an affordable price point.
However, the best way to get funding from a private debt fund is by doing your research and finding the right lender for you. A lot of people don't know that there are different types of lenders out in this market, so it's important not just go with anyone who offers money without checking their track record first.
Grow with Wealth Stack: A Veteran-Owned Advisory Platform
Starting a business is hard, but when you’re backed by a community of other veterans, it can be a whole lot easier. Here at Wealth Stack, we cater to veteran business owners looking to invest in their own retirement and the retirement of their employees.
We’ve just thrown a lot of information at you and know that it’s probably hard to digest it all (particularly the last bit about debt funds, equity, and all the finance stuff). Don’t worry; we’re here to help you make sense of it all. And, we offer packages that include the management of it all, too.
The Wealth Stack Growth Pack offers you the ability to have fully-managed SIMPLE IRA plans for all of your employees on top of the following digital advisory services:
- Access to hundreds of videos and articles that help provide you and your employees with a solid financial foundation
- Access to the Wealth Stack app with your own individual retirement account access, including the ability to monitor stocks, view new financial updates, and more
- The tools and resources you need to learn how to invest in your employees, attract and retain top talent, and access the funding you need at the terms you want
- Exclusive access to our founder and a former investment banker who will personally assess your business to help you increase its value
- Access to a platform where we will provide you with capital introductions to investors and alternative sources of funding
Did we mention that all of this is provided by veterans just like you? We know where you’ve been and we’ve been there too. Ready to get started?
Learn more about the Wealth Stack Growth Pack here.