Are you a veteran looking to start a business and you need financing/funding? If YES, here are 22 best sources of small business grants for disabled Veterans. Veteran business grants can be used to start or expand veteran-owned small businesses. In the united states, there are a lot of available grants for veterans to start a business. But before you start searching for grants, you need a better understanding of what you are looking for.
Are you starting a business, or expanding your existing business? How much money do you need? Can you outline exactly how the money will be spent? The answers to these questions will help you to know what you really want and also narrow down your grant choices.
After understanding what you want in terms of grants and expenses, you can search for grants that match your criteria as a business owner and as a veteran. Some veteran business grants require a certain number of years of service or a very specific background in a particular part of the military.
Applying to grants that you are qualified to receive will increase your chances of getting the funding. You need to apply for these grants, and some of them may even require an interview or a personal essay about your experience. Always ensure that you include all the information requested for by the grant organization.
Meanwhile, in the days or weeks following your grant application, you can send an email or make a phone call to make sure that your application was received. Try not to pester the review committee by emailing them every day, but a quick follow-up will ensure that your application is properly reviewed. There are a few business grant programs available to disabled veteran business owners. They include:
List of Small Business Grants for Disabled Veterans to Start a Business and How to Get Them
Table of Content
- VetFran Business Grant Fund
- How to Apply to VetFran Business Grant Fund
- VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
- Nav’s Small Business Grant
- Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
- USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant
- FedEx Small Business Grant
- Eileen Fisher Grant for Women
- Chase Mission Main Street Grant
- Visa Everywhere Initiative
- LendingTree’s Small Business Grant Contest
- StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award
- National Association For The Self-Employed Growth Grants
- Veteran Business Outreach Centers
- Small Business Innovation Research Grant
- Small Business Technology Transfer Program
- Self-Employment Grants for Service-Disabled Veterans
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
- Idea Café Grants
- The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
- Wells Fargo Community Investment Program
- VA VR&E Business Ownership Track
- Grantwatch – Grants for Veterans
VetFran Business Grant Fund
The VetFran Business Grant Fund assists veterans who have been awarded a franchise through the IFA VetFran program by providing financial grants for business development, education, training, and/or technical assistance. Apart from the above mentioned, the grant can be used for the purchase of equipment, and products or services necessary for the operation of the business.
How to Apply to VetFran Business Grant Fund
To be eligible for the grant, candidates must have been awarded a franchise from a VetFran participating company. Candidates must have met all the requirements under the guidelines of the VetFran program, including having received an honorable discharge from any branch of the U.S. military or Coast Guard.
Candidates must have a signed franchise agreement and must have at least one unit in operation, or a letter from their franchisor confirming the “opening store” schedule. Candidates must submit an application with a current resume, copy of military discharge certificate, name of franchisor, name and location of franchise business, 500 word essay describing the need for the grant and purpose for which funds will be used, and two letters of recommendation, including one from the franchisor.
VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
The Department of Veteran Affairs offers assistance to businesses owned by economically disadvantaged individuals through their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Program. Their goal as a department is to provide these businesses with as many government contracts as possible. While this is not a financial grant or loan, the allocation of these contracts could mean money in the bank if your business qualifies.
How to Apply
Be sure to register with their office. Once your business has been verified, it will be added to their directory of small businesses and could be called upon for a government contract.
Nav understands the challenges of starting, financing, and running a small business. To give small business owners a lift, Nav recently launched the $10,000 “Legitify Your Small Business” grant.
How to Apply
This grant is currently closed. Keep an eye out for the next application round to open, but you can still check your business and personal credit score for free with Nav.
Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
Similar to the VA’s OSDBU program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program aims to provide certain businesses with contracting dollars. The federal government sets aside at least 3 percent of contracting dollars for small businesses owned by disabled veterans.
How to Apply
Just like the OSDBU, you should apply for verification through the program before being added to a directory to be considered for certain contracts.
USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant
This program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.
How to Apply
Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or State offices once per year. Applicants are advised to view program information specific to their local or State office to learn about local application timelines, concept paper requirements, etc. Grant awardees will need to complete required paperwork and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Contact your local or State office for details.
FedEx Small Business Grant
It’s a grant contest with 10 small business winners. They receive grants, prizes, and insights from FedEx experts to help them grow their business. And they join a community of small businesses that offer peer insight. It’s open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have fewer than 99 employees and have been in operation selling a product or service for not less than six (6) months at the start of the contest.
How to Apply
When the contest season starts, www.fedex.com/grantcontest will go live with more info on the contest and entry links. When entry opens, write a short profile, then share your unique story and offerings. Upload photos and a logo. Capture the spirit of your business in images. Create a video. Create a one-minute video pitch about your business. Check out some simple tips to get you started.
Eileen Fisher Grant for Women
Female veteran entrepreneurs who are in need of capital to start or expand a business can apply for the Eileen-Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant. Eileen-Fisher awards five women with grants up to $120,000.
How to Apply
To be considered for this grant, yours must be a woman-owned company that promotes social and environmental change. Your business must have existed for at least three years, and you cannot have earned more than $1 million in annual profits.
Chase Mission Main Street Grant
Tech giant Google and finance leader Chase offer over $3 million in grants to 20 businesses each year. The sponsors have been recognized for their commitment to progressive goals in the past, and women and minorities have successfully obtained funding. The Mission Main Street Project awards $150,000 grants to winners.
How to Apply
The program application is in English. Chase bankers are available to assist applicants who speak other languages complete the process. Everyone is invited to show their support for their favorite registered small businesses by voting through their Facebook account at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com. Businesses must receive at least 250 votes to be considered for a grant.
Visa Everywhere Initiative
Visa Everywhere Initiative is a global innovation program that tasks start-ups to solve payment challenges of tomorrow, further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners.
The program first launched in the U.S. in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global program with more than 6000+ participating startups, which have collectively raised over $2.5 billion in funding, with more than 257 finalists and 96 winners selected. The program activates in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, touching over 75 countries.
How to Apply
Submissions for the 2019 U.S. Visa Everywhere Initiative are now closed.
LendingTree’s Small Business Grant Contest
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loan and credit-based offerings. LendingTree also offer an online marketplace which connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan.
Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 65 million loan requests. LendingTree provides free monthly credit scores through My LendingTree and access to its network of over 400 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more.
How to Apply
The contest submission page, along with disclosures and details can be found here: https://www.lendingtree.com/about/Business-Grant. Veteran entrepreneurs interested in participating in LendingTree’s $50,000 Small Business Grant Contest can submit their registration online.
The registration form consists of 20 questions, collecting information on historical business performance, future plans, why the business deserves the $50,000 grant and how the grant money would enable future growth. Once the registration submission period closes, LendingTree’s team of small business experts will evaluate, select and notify the winning small business.
StreetShares is an online lender that specializes in lending to veterans. In addition to financing products like loans and lines of credit, small business grants are also available through the StreetShares Foundation. As of 2019, the StreetShares Foundation awards grants to three winners.
First place receives $15,000, second place receives $6,000, and third place wins $4,000. The StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award is open to any military veteran, reserve or active duty member of the Armed Forces, or a qualifying spouse, child, or immediate family member.
Applicants must live in the U.S., be at least 21 years old, and own at least 51% of the business. All businesses must be legal entities and must have an impact on the veteran community to qualify. Award amounts and additional requirements may change from year to year.
How to Apply
To be eligible for the grant, all applicants must view educational content through StreetShares. Once qualifying content has been downloaded or viewed, the application is available. Applicants must write a summary of their business and submit a video.
The Foundation will choose up to 10 finalists based on the business idea, how the award will be used, the history of the business, the product-market fit, and the social impact on the military and veteran community. Once the finalists are selected, their businesses will be presented to the public and put to a vote to determine the winners.
National Association For The Self-Employed Growth Grants
For businesses with smaller capital needs, the National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant provides small grants up to $4,000. Like other grants, the funds must be used for a specific purpose, such as purchasing equipment or hiring new employees.
How to Apply
Applications are reviewed quarterly and awards of up to $4,000 are distributed monthly. To qualify, you must submit an application outlining your business need and providing details of how you will use the grant to fund this need.
You must also be a member of the NASE to qualify. Annual fees are $120, but veterans only have to pay $99 for an annual membership. Once you’ve joined, you are eligible to apply, and your application will be reviewed based on the association’s quarterly review schedule.
Veteran Business Outreach Centers
One of the first resources a small business owning veteran can seek out for training and financing is their local Veteran Business Outreach Center. Managed by the Small Business Administration in D.C., but located in 15 centers across the country, it is a first-rate tool for veterans looking to transition to civilian life within an entrepreneurship program.
The centers offer access to management courses, market research, and qualified referrals to independent grants for vets interested in opening a business or franchise.
How to Apply
Only one project proposal may be submitted per eligible entity. Proposals must be submitted through www.grants.gov and received by August 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered for funding.
Small Business Innovation Research Grant
Veteran-owned businesses with a focus on scientific research can qualify for the SBIR grant by meeting specific objectives. You must also prove that your project has commercialization potential. Thanks to the SBIR, veteran-owned businesses are given almost $90 million in allocated funds each year, with $1 million being the maximum amount awarded to an individual.
How to Apply
When it’s time to apply for grants, see if you qualify for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant. The SBIR is offered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science as part of a federal program designed for small businesses engaged in research.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Another option for high-tech businesses is the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant. The government awards the STTR Grant to qualifying veteran-owned businesses that carry out research for the federal government.
While the grant is managed by the SBA, various government agencies and departments designate research topics and accept business proposals. These agencies include Defense, Health, Energy, NASA, Human Services and the National Science Foundation.
How to Apply
To be eligible for the STTR Grant, a business must be American- and veteran-owned with fewer than 500 employees. Each small business is awarded up to $850,000 to carry out the assigned project for which the grant is awarded.
Self-Employment Grants for Service-Disabled Veterans
Service-disabled veterans should consider the self-employment grant program offered by the Veterans Administration. Applicants will need to submit a complete business plan, so make sure you spend some time fleshing it out before applying. Applicants are then assigned into one of two categories for the Veterans Administration to determine the amount of self-employment funding available.
Those classed in Category I have severe service-related disabilities while Category II is for veterans with challenges that aren’t considered too severe. Depending on the category you fall under, you may be able to obtain grant funding to purchase inventory, equipment, licensing, marketing, training and other materials for your business.
How to Apply
To see if you qualify for the program, contact your local VA office and speak with a counselor about the self-employment program.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs isn’t known for their generous grant programs, but they do offer resources for veterans with disabilities who have difficulty finding traditional forms of employment and are interested in starting their own business as a primary source of income.
The restrictions are many, but the options are plentiful. Applicants can receive personalized counseling, management training and grant funding to purchase licenses and bonds, inventory, and specialized equipment for their business venture.
VA’s Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Veterans and Service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals.
How to Apply
To learn more about the VR&E program, review the VR&E Process page, and the tabs and links on this page. Click on the “How to Apply” tab to apply for VR&E services.
Idea Café Grants
While most business owners apply for government-funded grants, private grants can also be a lucrative source of funding. Idea Café is a private organization that offers small business grants. Veterans can qualify for $1,000 in aid whether they already own a business or are planning to start one.
Note that one good thing about Idea Café grants is that the qualifications are fairly relaxed. Simply sign up at the organization’s website and include your business plan in the application. There’s no entry fee to apply and you don’t even need to finalize your business plan to submit it.
Idea Café favors businesses providing creative solutions to everyday problems, so if you think your business is original and innovative, you have a good chance of qualifying for the grant. Another great thing about Idea Café is that it also serves as a resource for business ideas and marketing tips, networking, brainstorming, ecommerce, small business taxes, government grants and merchandising.
How to Apply
Entering is easy and takes just minutes. In less than 1,000 words or in a short video you will have to provide some key business info, and answer four crucial questions about your business and plans for the future. For video applications, upload your 2-minute video to YouTube to complete the entry form.
The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
The NASE Growth Grants® program offers access to capital for micro-business owners who have a specific business need, but lack the finances to carry out that goal. The program was designed after an online NASE Member poll found that a majority of micro-business owners (57 percent) initially fund their businesses using personal savings, and many (40 percent) continue to use personal savings for ongoing financing.
Through the program, members can apply for up to $5,000 to meet a specific business need such as the purchase of new equipment or software, or the funding of advertising, marketing materials or training. Since the program began in 2006, the association has awarded more than $650,000 to member businesses.
How to Apply
You can log in with your NASE Web account, then click on Applications to apply. Growth Grant applicants must be a member in good standing for 3-months prior to submitting an application. (Annual members may apply immediately. Monthly members may apply ninety days after joining the NASE.)
Wells Fargo Community Investment Program
According to the program website, it’s long-term success is directly linked to the success of it’s customers and the communities it serves. Through a combination of strategic relationships with local and national nonprofits, grants, volunteer activities, and other community investments, they are creating solutions that help strengthen the communities in which they operate and grow local economies around the world.
How to Apply
Wells Fargo welcomes applications year-round from qualified nonprofits and educational institutions. To apply, go to the program website, select your State below and select Go. On the State page, familiarize yourself with the content, select How to Apply tab and Apply Now icon to complete a short survey.
You will then be taken to the log in page for the application. You will have an opportunity to review the Application Guide prior to log in to familiarize yourself with what information will be required.
VA VR&E Business Ownership Track
If you suffer from a service-connected disability and have the desire to run your own business, you could qualify for assistance from the Vocational Rehab & Employment Ownership Track. Along with the requirements listed above, you must have an employment barrier or handicap, be enrolled in the VR&E, and your disability must make it difficult for you to obtain suitable employment.
How to Apply
Any disabled veteran applying for or receiving disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and/or the Social Security Administration (SSA) is advised to consult with a qualified benefits counselor or expert in this field. Social Security benefits assistance is available from Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects.
A WIPA is an organization that has arranged with SSA to provide information and planning services about work and work incentives to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries. To locate a WIPA in your state and to learn more about their services, visit: http://choosework.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp.
Grantwatch – Grants for Veterans
It’s very necessary to note that the online resource Grantwatch is always a great starting point when searching for programs to suit your niche or industry, and this is no less true for grants for veterans. This site is a virtual warehouse of detailed information, you can find grants specifically for nonprofits that benefit veterans and their families, grants for entrepreneurs with businesses that help or hires former military in the state of Idaho, and even grants to build or rehabilitate housing for veterans in Puerto Rico.
Accessing small business grants for veterans can seem difficult, but they are very much crucial to the success of entrepreneurs. Have it in mind that the path to success through small business ownership has many hindrances, but thanks to commitment and training in the armed forces, many veterans are properly suited to scale those obstacles. And when the quest for business ownership comes, a small business grant can help shape that path.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Va Help Veterans Start A Business?
No! VA does not offer help in starting a business.
How Do You Get Funding For A Veteran Owned Business?
You can get funding through the following ways;
- SBA Express loans
- 504 CDC loans
- SBA Microloans
- 7(a) loans
Does The Veterans Administration Offer Grants Or Loans To Veterans Who Want To Start their Own Business?
Yes, the veterans administration offers grants to veterans who want to start their own business.
Tips On Where You Can Find Veteran Business Grants?
Some tips where you can find veteran business grants are the following;
- The Street Shares Foundation
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs
- Veteran’s Business Outreach Center
- Grant-forward online
- Governmental grant center
How Can A Veteran Start A Business?
A veteran can possibly start a business by considering the following tips;
- Get a Written business proposal
- Get your business registered
- Create a perfect business idea
What Advantages And Disadvantages Do Veterans Have When Trying To Start A Business?
The advantages are;
- It gives financial rewards
- It provides an opportunity to be independent
- It gives personal satisfaction and growth
The following are the disadvantages;
- The risk of loosing capital
- It causes stress which can result to health issues
- It consumes more time
What Are Small Business Grants For Veterans?
The small business grants for veterans are grants that are made available to veterans to start their business with.
Who Qualifies For A Va Business Loan?
- Who has an existing profitable business
- Who has a business proposal in the U.S. or within its region
- A business owner who has invested equity
- Who has exhausted alternative financial resources
- Who already has a personal assets and needs financial support
How Much Can A Veteran Get For A Business Loan?
A veteran can get about $1 million loan for a business.
How Do You Qualify For Veteran Owned Business Status?
- Be sure of at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled Veterans
- Acquire one or more service-disabled Veterans
- Get a service-connected disability
- Make sure the service-connected disability reflects on the DD214 document issued when discharged from the service
What Grants Are Available For Veterans?
The available grants for veterans are the following;
- US Cares Emergency Assistance Program
- The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance
- Operation Family Fund
- Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
- U.S Department of Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance/Housebound Assistance
- Personal Online Fundraising
How Do You Get A Government Grant To Start A Business?
You can possibly get a government grant to start a business by creating a convincing government grant application to increase your chances of possible approval.
How Do You Qualify As A Veteran Owned Business?
How to qualify as a veteran owned business are in the following ways;
- Your business must be more than majority, about (51%) owned by a veteran
- Veteran owner must have been honorably discharged from service
- Veteran owner must part-take in the management and daily business operations
How Can You Get A Loan To Start A Business?
You can get a loan to start a business by considering the following factors;
- Establish your business identity
- Apply for a business credit card
- Use personal business loans
- Get an equipment loan
- Be observant about how lenders assess you
- Request for vendor’s credit
Do Banks Give Loans To Start A Business?
Yes, bank offer loans to start a business. As a matter of fact, banks or financial institutions provide financial assistance for business owners and companies in every stage of their business life-cycle.
What Other Business Financing Options Are Available For Veteran Small Business Owners?
The following are some financing options available for small business owners;
- Business Credit Cards
- Online Loans
- Street-shares Foundation
- Nav’s Small Business Grant
- Veteran Business Outreach Centers
Can You Get A Va Business Loan?
No! VA does not offer loans for businesses.
Why Do Grants For Veterans Make Sense?
Even though there are so many obstacles, grants for veterans is meaningful because it is an escaping way to some obstacles and the pathway to prosperity for small business owners.
What Benefits Are You Entitled To As A Veteran?
As a veteran, you are entitled to the following benefits;
- Medical Benefits
- Home Loan
- Education Benefits
- Educational and Career Counseling
- Federal Hiring Preference
- State Specific Benefits
- VA Burial Allowance
- Presidential Memorial Certificate
- Disability Compensation
20. What Qualifies As A Veteran Owned Business?
- Veteran owner must have been honorably released from service
- Veteran owner must engaged in management and daily business operations
- An eligible veterans must have a service connected disability
How Do You Get Free Money To Start A Business?
Get free money to start a business by considering the following;
- Grants.gov Database
- SBIR and STTR Programs
- Investigate on Corporate Grants
- Look out for State Grants
Do Banks Give Loans To Startups?
Yes! Banks do offer loans to startups so long as there is convincing ability to repay them.
How Do You Register A Minority Owned Business?
To register a minority owned business, the following are required;
- Certificate of incorporation
- Articles of incorporation
- Stock certificates and stock ledger
- Corporation bylaws and amendments
- An ownership agreements and business documents
- Corporate bank resolution agreements and bank signature cards
- Business lease agreements and security services
What Is The SBA Supplemental Targeted Eidl Advance?
The supplemental targeted advance permits the smallest and hardest hit eligible businesses to receive a non refundable supplemental payment of $5,000. Even if you may have received an EIDL advance worth up to $10,000, you may still qualify to receive this $5,000.
25. Is A Veteran Owned Business A DBE?
Yes! A veteran owned business is DBE. This is actually a for-profit small business where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.
26. Are Business Grants Taxable?
A business cash grants are usually taxable because they are sources of income.
27. How Do You Get A Small Business Loan In Virginia?
To get a small business loan in Virginia, simply apply through an SBA participating lender for an SBA guaranteed loan. And you can also make a direct contact with a local SBA representative.
28. How Much Is A Va Small Business Loan?
A VA small business loan is about is $50,000.
29. What Types Of Va Small Business Loans Are Available?
The following are the types of a VA business loans available;
- Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL)
- SBA Microloan
- SBA 504 Loan Program
- SBA Standard 7(a) Loan Program
30. Where Is The Best Place To Find Government Grants For Veterans?
The best place to find government grants for veterans is their website. It provides the comprehensive details on grants for veterans.
31. Can A 100 percent Disabled Veteran Own A Business?
Yes, a 100 percent disabled veteran can possibly own a business and continue to collect VA benefits.
32. Is It Hard To Get A Loan To Start A Business?
Yes! It is quiet difficult to be qualified for a small business loan to start up a business.
33. What Is Covered By The Va Veterinary Health Benefit?
With the VA veterinary, you are entitled for regular checkups, with a primary care provider and appointments with specialists like; cardiologists, gynecologists and even mental health providers.
34. Are There Any Loans For Veterans With Bad Credit?
Yes, there is a loan for veterans with bad credit. As a matter of fact, a veteran loan for bad credit offers plenty of benefits, like a personalized interest rates and tailored payment plans.
35. Does The Wife Of A Veteran Get Benefits?
Yes, the wife of a veteran is qualified for certain benefits. like; health care, life insurance or even capital for school or training.
36. What Is A Patriot Express Loan?
The Patriot Express Loan is another system of loan which allows military business owners both term loans and lines of credit for financing up to $500,000.
37. Who Qualifies For SBA, Grant?
- An independent contractor
- A Freelancers
- A Sole proprietorship, with or without employees
- Gig workers
- A businesses Agriculturist
- Small businesses with minimum of 500 employees
38. How Hard Is It To Get A Va Business Loan?
Getting a VA business loan is not always easy. As a matter of fact, banks are often the hardest to get funding from, and they tend to have the toughest requirements. Sometimes, most veterans who apply are denied VA small business loans due to low credit scores and some flaws in financial histories.