It begins with an idea. You have a great vision for a business venture, but may not know where to start. Or, you’re already a veteran business owner with big plans to continue growth. Regardless of your status – veteran, service member, National Guard, Reserve, military spouse – or stage of entrepreneurship – ideation, startup, expansion – there is an entire veteran entrepreneurship network available for you.
The veteran entrepreneurship network looks different for each veteran or military business owner, and may even be as simple as the local community center down the street. From local to regional and even national support, read on to find out how you can tap into the expansive veteran entrepreneurship network.
- Connect with your local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Located throughout the nation, VBOCs can connect you with business counselors, training programs, or referrals to other programs within the SBA network. They’re also able to help you make the connection to other veteran business owners!
- Visit an SBA District Office or an affiliated resource partner, such as SCORE, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), or a Women’s Business Center (WBC).
- Attend local networking events. Many businesses and community groups host networking events where you can meet other business owners in your area, industry, and even desired focus. If you’re looking to start a business, this is a great place to meet a mentor! If you already own a business, this is a great place to add like-minded individuals to your business network.
- Establish virtual connections through veteran entrepreneurship groups on social media. Leverage nontraditional channels like LinkedIn to connect with business owners in your area and beyond. Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit may also have members-only or open groups where you can chat with other veteran business owners.
To learn more about resources available whether you’re starting, growing, or purchasing a business, visit sba.gov/veterans.
OSD CEO & Executive Director Glenn Banton is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs (ACVBA) providing an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the SBA administrator, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development, Congress, the President and other U.S. policymakers on programs affecting veteran-owned small business from all segments of American society.