Veteran Entrepreneurship OpportunitiesVeteran Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Perhaps as you transition from military life to civilian life, it is time to go after that dream you have always had of opening your own business.  As an Armed Forces veteran, there are a number of resources available to you as you embark on your adventure of entrepreneurship.

First and foremost, consider the educational opportunities afforded by your veteran status.  You may wish to consider pursuing a business degree to gain the additional expertise needed to operate a business, or even a trade school to achieve the certifications and credentials needed for the occupation you have in mind.  As a veteran, you may be eligible for VA loans from the federal or your state’s government, for tuition assistance, for benefits under the GI Bill, or for other educational support programs tailored to the needs and experience of former military service members.  Many state schools offer discounted tuition for veterans, and you may also qualify for educational loans which are available because of your veteran status.  An online learning program may be best suited to your schedule and needs, and there are now a large number of accredited online schools accessible to you.

You can also hit upon ways to educate yourself, particularly given the wide range of resources now available to you online.  Look for newsletters and social networking groups intended for veterans and for entrepreneurs— and especially those resources which are aimed to people like you, who are both of those.

As you formulate your business plan, do not neglect the opportunities of the social networking possibilities available to you as a former Armed Forces service member.  Network with other veterans as you pursue possibilities regarding business opportunities, potential partnerships, suppliers, workers, andprospective clientele.  You have a ready-made and built-in network of contacts that have already transitioned into the community, so do not be shy about reaching out to other veterans and members (former and present) of the military service to make inquiries or float proposals.

Consider leveraging your status as a veteran when you pursue funding possibilities for your new business.  There are a number of loan resources available to former members of the military, including lending businesses—such as Patriot Express—that deal exclusively with a clientele of veterans.  Research options available through the Small Business Administration, which has recently begun backing programs specifically targeting veteran entrepreneurs. Partnering with universities and lending institutions, the Small Business Administration has created avenues for entrepreneurial veterans to launch their own businesses and succeed with them.  The administration has created a specific branch devoted to assisting veterans, with a website developed for the Small Business Administration Office of Veteran Development.

The Department of Veterans Affairs also has a website and resources devoted to entrepreneurial veterans, with a website which can be found at Center for Veteran Entrepreneurs.   Whatever your previous experience with business operations, you will be able to leverage these resources to gain the information and experience you need, and get your new business planned, funded, networked, and successfully off the ground.

You can learn more about other jobs in the Armed Forces industry.

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