The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced that there was a 14% increase in federal loans to veteran-owned small businesses last year, marking a continued trend of growth for entrepreneurs in the military community. In fiscal year 2023, the agency provided over $1.1 billion in support to more than 2,800 veteran companies, which represents a rise of approximately 40% in funding and 33% in total loan numbers since 2020. This is a significant improvement from the figures from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2020, which showed a decline.
SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stated that this growth is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of American heroes and the SBA’s commitment to simplifying access, reducing red tape, and expanding outreach to meet entrepreneurs’ needs. Guzman also noted that there are around 1.9 million veteran-owned small businesses that employ about 5.5 million Americans, which is a small but significant portion of the country’s workforce.
In June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the SBA to develop more tools to assist would-be veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses wanting to start their own businesses. As part of this effort, the agency has already announced plans to add six new Veteran Business Outreach Centers to their existing network of 22 sites. These centers will provide resources and support services to help veterans start and grow their businesses successfully.
Additionally, the SBA recently launched a new SBA Veteran Business Certification program that aims to connect service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses with more federal contracting opportunities and expanded existing entrepreneurship training programs with a focus on women veterans and disabled veterans. This program will provide valuable resources and support services for veteran business owners who want to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
More information on support services for veteran businesses can be found on the SBA website. Overall, this news indicates that there is growing interest in supporting veterans who want to start their own businesses and achieve success in their chosen field.