Are you thinking about small business ownership for your post-service career? If so, you don’t have to face the ups and downs of business ownership alone. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resources that veterans and military spouses can use to expand their business acumen and open doors to new assistance on a local level.

One of these local resources provided by SBA is Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). VBOCs provide a one-stop shop for all your veteran-owned business-related needs. There are 28 VBOC locations across the United States that understand the geographical make up of their region and tailor advice and assistance based on the business.

Continue reading to learn how VBOCs help you start or grow your veteran- or military spouse-owned small business!

1. Mentorship and Advice:

Whether you have just decided to start a veteran-owned small business or have been an entrepreneur for years, everyone can use a little advice. A great way to get all your questions answered is to visit your local VBOC, in-person or online!

If you have an idea for a business, but don’t know the steps to take, your local VBOC will mentor you on all steps of your journey to owning a successful business. First, your VBOC mentor provides business concept analysis to determine your needs and how to acquire the right resources. Next, your VBOC will work with you to develop a five-year business plan, if you don’t have one. This plan will feature everything from a market analysis, to how to structure the back end of your business, and even help with financial planning.

If you already have an established business with a business plan, your VBOC analyzes and investigates it to find new ways to achieve your goals. Additionally, VBOCs provide extra insights and advice with on-site visits to assess needs in the field and review monthly financial statements to make sure your business remains on the path to success.

2. Training Programs:

It’s always great to learn new skills – especially in the business world. Training programs, conducted by SBA and other resource partners, teach you new skills to enhance your business.

By going to your local VBOC, you can find out about the various local training programs available and see which ones are right for your business.

If you’re in the early stages of starting your business or if you’re transitioning from military service, your VBOC may recommend you enroll in Boots to Business. If you’re a veteran who no longer has access to an installation, Boots to Business Reboot can help you understand the basics of entrepreneurship. Information on training programs, such as the Military Spouse Pathway to Business Program, are also available to military spouses through their VBOCs.

If these trainings enhance your interest in entrepreneurship, your VBOC may suggest you enroll in their development workshops to better understand self-employment or provide you advice on how to enroll in Entrepreneurial Training Programs to further develop your specific skillset.

3. Local Resources:

Every region in the United States is different. What works for a business located in one might not work in another. That’s why VBOCs provide regional support to your veteran-owned business. Each VBOC is an expert in the region they serve and understand its unique challenges, market, policies, and other nuances.

VBOCs use this expertise to advise you on the right moves to make for guiding your business to success. It also means that VBOCs know about various local resources available to your business and can connect you with the right partners if your business needs capital, you’re interested in government contracting, or you need other types of resources. VBOCs have strong relationships with local SCORE mentor programs, Small Business Development Centers, and Women’s Business Centers to help provide you with additional support to grow your business.

4. Access to Capital:

In business ownership, you have to be prepared for anything – good or bad. You might encounter a new growth opportunity or difficult situation that requires additional funding you don’t have. VBOCs provide assistance based on your funding needs and help veteran and military spouse business owners come up with a plan to acquire new capital.

VBOCs know about the various types of SBA-backed loans available and which ones will work for your business. SBA-backed loans come with competitive terms and support, as well as opportunities for assistance from your VBOC.

Check out the different types of SBA loans available for your veteran-owned small business. Then talk to your VBOC about your specific needs and how to apply for them using SBA’s lender match tool.

Contacting your local VBOC is the first step to accessing a one-stop shop for all your veteran business-related questions. VBOCs provide mentorship throughout your entrepreneurship journey and connect you with the resources to help your business grow. Find your local VBOC and set up an appointment today!  

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,

© Copyright 2024. Veterans Business Outreach Center @ Fayetteville State University