11 Programs That Support Veteran Entrepreneurs

Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Department of Defense (DoD) appreciates the sacrifices made by veterans in the service of our country and is committed to making the maximum practicable prime and subcontracting opportunities available to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.

The qualities veterans developed in the military — discipline, tenacity and adaptability — make them excellent entrepreneurs.

Are you a veteran interested in starting a business? The following federal government and non-profit programs are designed to support you.

1. Boots to Business

The Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business program provides entrepreneurial training within DoD’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

2. Bunker Labs

Through local chapters in 12 cities, Bunker Labs provides educational programming, mentors and events to help veterans start and grow businesses.

3. Dog Tag Bakery

Dog Tag provides experiential training at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to veterans with disabilities as well as their spouses and caregivers.

4. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program provides training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as military family members who serve in a caregiver role to a veteran with a service-connected disability.

5. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) help small businesses navigate the complex federal procurement system to win and execute contracts with the federal government, including DoD.

6. Veteran Business Outreach Centers

The Small Business Administration’s Veterans Business Outreach Centers provide entrepreneurial development services, including business training, counseling and mentoring to veterans.

7. Veteran Institute for Procurement

The Veteran Institute for Procurement offers five programs to help veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses increase their ability to win government contracts. Training programs vary in length (from 1–3 days) and are held in the Washington, DC, area.

8. Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Since 2007, the number of woman-veteran-owned businesses increased by about 300 percent. Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) provides entrepreneurial training to female veterans.

9. Veterans Business Development Officers

There is one Veterans Business Development Officer in each of the 68 Small Business Administration District Offices. Veterans Business Development Officers can help veterans get loans and start businesses.

10. Veterans Entrepreneurship Jumpstart Program

The Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart program provides tools, training and mentorship to enable disabled veterans to start their own businesses.

11. Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program provides entrepreneurial training to service-disabled veterans interested in starting or growing a small business.


Have questions about programs that support veteran entrepreneurs? Email osd.business.defense@mail.mil.


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