The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced a new funding program to provide critical training and counseling to aspiring and existing veteran small business owners.
The $4.1 million total fund will be awarded across a potential 12 entities of up to $400,000 each, including private organizations, colleges and universities, private sector firms, non-profit organizations and state, local or tribal governmental agencies. The money will fund new Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs), and has been announced to celebrate the upcoming Nations Veterans Small Business Week taking place from October 31 to November 4.
Expert Support for Ex-Military Business Owners
The new SBA funding will enable grant awardees to provide training to transitioning service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program. The grant awardees will also provide counseling, technical assistance, financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments and mentoring services.
Those eligible to benefit from the services provided by the grant awardees include veterans, transitioning service members, Reserve and National Guard members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
Local Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs
The Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), Larry Stubblefield, said of the new funding: “Under Administrator Guzman, the SBA remains committed to providing more local resources for veteran entrepreneurs, a critical but under-resourced group of entrepreneurs among the small business community.
“As the focus on serving underserved communities becomes increasingly important, OVBD expects the demand for VBOCs will continue to grow. This expansion will grow the VBOC program from 22 to 34 locations nationwide and assist in supporting veteran small business owners in all U.S. states and territories. The additional locations aim to enhance the experience for veteran small business owners by reducing appointment wait times, increasing local presence, providing additional local training opportunities, meeting the needs of Boots to Business participants, and ensuring that all VBOCs have the necessary resources to perform required counseling and training functions.”
States Eligible for New Funding
The states and regions eligible to receive the funding include Alaska, Central California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, Nevada, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and South Florida.
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