The Best Small Business Loans for Veterans
Being an entrepreneur is tough — really tough. Fortunately, some of the nation’s toughest people are up for the challenge. Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that veterans own about nine percent of all American businesses, employing 5.4 million people in total.
It’s no surprise that veterans perform well in the business world. It takes discipline to start and operate your own small business and many veterans cultivate that discipline during their time in the armed forces. Unfortunately, discipline alone is not enough. One of the most important tools for starting a small business and developing existing businesses is, unfortunately, cash. There are many loans for small businesses to cover this need, but there are also some lenders that cater specifically to veterans. Check out some of our favorite small business loans for veterans.
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Veterans are known for looking out for their own. StreetShares puts this idea into practice with financial support for veterans who are looking to fund their own small businesses. StreetShares began in 2013 when founders Mark Rockefeller and Mickey Konson set out to fight back against the dominations of small business funding by big banks.
Whether you need money to fund your startup idea or you have plans to expand your existing small business, StreetShares is a great choice if you want a company run by veterans for veterans.
Hivers and Strivers
Every entrepreneur with a great business idea wants to find their angel — an investor who believes in their vision and will provide the financial assistance necessary to get that vision off the ground. Hivers and Strivers seeks to connect graduates from any of the U.S. Military Academies with angel investors of their own, many of whom have served in the armed forces themselves.
Hivers and Strivers recognizes that graduates of U.S. Military Academies are highly motivated, highly skilled individuals with the ability to turn a small business vision into reality.
MilitaryFinancial.com offers a variety of financial support options for veterans, from personal loans to credit cards. They also offer loans to support veteran entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses. MilitaryFinancial.com can be a good option if your time in the military has left you with poor credit or unable to build credit on your own.
SBA Loans for Veterans
The U.S. government is not about to leave veterans out in the cold after their service. Although the VA does not directly offer loans for veterans, they do work with the SBA (Small Business Administration) to support veterans who are interested in starting a small business.
The SBA has a general interest in offering loans that support small businesses, but they also have special programs available to those who have served in the armed forced. Loan programs like the SBA Patriot Express Loans can help veterans who are starting a small business. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans can help service members who operated a small business before being called to active duty to get back on their feet.
A small business loan is an important part of getting any startup off the ground, but you need more than money to make your dreams come true. Fortunately, the VA is ready and willing to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life with resources for entrepreneurs. The VA can help you find training, get in touch with other veteran entrepreneurs, and find franchising opportunities with special conditions specifically for veterans.
Starting and running your own small business requires a can-do attitude. These lenders recognize that veterans have that attitude, making them eager to support veteran entrepreneurs with small business loans.
For more tips and guides for active service members, veterans, and their families, visit our military support resource center.
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Nick Cesare is a writer from Boise, ID. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and making avocado toast.
This post was updated February 28, 2019. It was originally published August 17, 2017.