Women-owned businesses provide a vital boost to the U.S. economy. In fact, there are over 12 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., including 1.1 million women-owned employer businesses that employ over 10 million workers and generate trillions of dollars in revenue. Women veterans are a vital part of the women-owned small business space. To help them steer their businesses in the right direction, they can utilize diverse resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These resources are used by established women entrepreneurs who want to grow their business and women entrepreneurs who might be starting their first business.

It's vital for small business owners to have a wide network of local resources and support, which SBA provides. During Women’s History Month, and all throughout the year, women who are service members, veterans, and military spouses can use SBA resources to learn new skills and grow their business.

Below is a list of SBA programs and services here to help the women veteran establish themselves and grow in the small business community:

  1. Boots to Business: Transitioning out of the military and figuring out the path you want to take can be difficult. A perfect first step to see if entrepreneurship is right for you is to enroll in a Boots to Business class. Service members, veterans, and military spouses who are looking to transition to small business ownership will learn the fundamentals of business in this no cost, two-day class. Classes are available on military installations worldwide and in local communities via Boots to Business Reboot.
  2. Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP): Once you’ve decided you want to journey into small business ownership, the next step is growing your skills. WVETP is a training program dedicated to helping women veterans build the skills they need to navigate the challenge of small business ownership with confidence. WVETPs are provided by SBA-funded grantees including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, San Antonio LiftFund, and ONABEN.
  3. Local Resources for Women Veterans: SBA knows that starting a business in different parts of the country requires knowledge of the regional landscape. That’s why SBA has a network of local partners focused on helping women veterans and military spouses during all stages of business ownership. Women veteran entrepreneurs can access business advisors and mentors right in their neighborhood. SBA’s Small Business Development Centers and VBOCs provide mentorship and access to training for women looking to start a small business. For established business owners, they can provide resources to help your business grow. Women veterans may also want to check out SBA’s Women’s Business Centers, which level the playing field for women business owners by helping them navigate unique challenges and obstacles.
  4. Veteran Small Business Certification Program (VetCert): Once you have started your business you may be looking for ways to diversify your revenue streams. A great way to do this is to consider federal contracting. However, to compete for exclusive contracts set aside for veterans and service-disabled veterans, you must get certified by SBA’s Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) program. Taking this easy step is essential for any veteran business owner. Click here for more information about the VetCert program and to begin the process of becoming a SBA-certified VOSB or SDVOSB, to compete for exclusive government contracting opportunities.
  5. Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program: In addition to veteran-specific contracts, women veterans can also compete for women-owned business contracts. Each year, the federal government’s aims to award at least 5% of all contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses. This is done via SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. Your small business may qualify if it is at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens. Learn more about the benefits of the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting program.

Whenever you want to take the next steps to start or grow your veteran-owned small business, you don’t have to do it alone. SBA’s vast resources are here to answer your questions and work with you to achieve your business dreams. For more information about the SBA’s resources for women veteran entrepreneurs, visit the SBA’s website.

For more veteran owned small business resources and helpful tips, follow the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.

This blog was originally written by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development. To learn more about OVBD visit, sba.gov/ovbd.

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