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Alabama Small Business Development Center Network
Alabama VetStart

Veteran Assistance Program

Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are valuable opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans. Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military. Transitioning veterans are natural entrepreneurs who possess the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs.

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SBA’s Operation Boots to Business

From Service to Startup supports veterans as they grow businesses and create jobs by building on the Alabama SBDC Network’s role as a leader in entrepreneurship training. Contact one of our professional business advisors today for assistance with pre-deployment planning, starting a new business, financing your business, or contracting and certification. The Boots to Business training is specifically for transitioning service members and is only offered on base. A modified version of the program is available to all veterans, regardless of service status. The Alabama SBDC works closely with the VBOC at Mississippi State (which covers LA, MS, and AL.)

Many incentive programs offer support for military veterans opening or growing a business, and Alabama’s SBDC business advisors can help. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Veteran-owned businesses make significant contributions to the economy and because of their unique technical and leadership skills acquired through military service, they can become successful entrepreneurs.  The Alabama SBDC Network has helped over 1,100 veteran-owned businesses, including hundreds of businesses owned by Service-Disabled Veterans, over the last three years, and has been serving Alabama’s veterans since 1980.  If you are a veteran – or if you know of a veteran – that is interested in starting or growing a business, please give us a call – we’d like to help!

SBA’s Veterans Advantage loan guarantee is designed to assist veterans in acquiring capital to start, grow or succeed in business.  For additional information on this program, download the SBA Veterans Advantage Fact Sheet.  (Note: SBA’s Patriot Express loan initiative ran from 2007-2013 and guaranteed loans of more than $790 million to over 9,400 veterans, reservists and their spouses; while this program has expired, the Veterans Advantage program may be able to help.)  Contact one of our small business finance specialists to learn how you can participate!

SBA worked with both contracting officers and veteran-owned small businesses to deliver the highest-ever percentage of federal contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in FY2010, totaling $10.4 billion. Also, through parity legislation, SBA reestablished a level playing field for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses that compete with other small businesses for set-aside contracts. The APEX Accelerator (formerly known as the Alabama PTAC, or Procurement Technical Assistance Center) has helped service-disabled veteran-owned businesses win over $15 million in prime contracts over the last two years and has been helping Alabama’s veterans since 1986. Contact one of our procurement specialists to learn more! Our Procurement Program is dedicated to serving Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their Dependents or Survivors. The SBA’s SDVETP program is open to service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs who want to start a business or already own a small business. The federal government’s goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses each year.

Contact one of our counselors to learn about a voluntary effort of International Franchise Association member-companies designed to encourage franchise ownership by offering financial incentives to honorably discharged veterans. To date, over 400 franchise companies participate in the program. Please contact us for company profiles and information on the financial incentives available to veterans.

Founded by military veterans, StreetShares provides fair and honest funding options to veterans, including business loans, lines of credit and account receivables financing for the government contract community.

This angel investment group is specifically geared to support start-ups founded and run by graduates of the U.S. military academies.

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