United States Government Funds Veteran Business Programs
The federal government sets aside lower competition contract opportunities to encourage small business ownership among veterans.
Currently, only 2.5 million U.S. businesses are veteran owned.
In 2023, there are over 18 million veterans in the United States with over 19% of these veterans classified as service-disabled veterans. These service members often have a hard transition into civilian life. Many need employment counseling and rehabilitation services to re-enter the civilian work force. The Department of Defense provides a veteran business programs for returning service members. More programs exist to help veterans become business owners. The greatest opportunity for veterans is small business ownership and all of the programs listed below are available to assist.
Over 90% of veteran owned businesses do not bid on government contracting opportunities. The U.S. Government wants to encourage veteran owned small business by designating a portion of annual Government Contract revenue to small business. In 2018, 23% of all government contracts are set aside for small business. The Veterans Administration set aside is 20% for veteran owned small businesses. With so many opportunities available to work with the federal government, now is a great time to start a veteran owned small business.
Veterans who are getting into Government contracting have an edge over their fellow entrepreneurs. Their veteran socio-economic status helps to qualify them for veteran business programs that are funded by the US Government. These programs help veterans gain training and network with other veterans in Government contracting. Being involved in the VetCert program will give you access to set aside contracts, and there are many programs that help you to get those contracts awarded to you.
Veteran Business Programs
VOSB/SDVOSB set aside opportunities are not just for the larger prime contractors with the federal government but also for small businesses. Veteran owned small businesses are one of the groups of socio-economic certified businesses that are given opportunities for set-aside contracts. It also qualifies owners for veteran business programs.
Socio-Economic Set Asides
- Veteran Owned Small Business
- Woman Owned Small Business
- Minority Owned Small Business
- HUBZone Certified
Benefits of SD/VOSB Certification
There are many reasons to become certified as SD/VOSB. Not only are veteran business programs available, but the networking with other contractors is priceless. You will have the opportunity to introduce your business to many agencies that are looking for SD/VOSB certified business to fulfil their quotas.
Another reason you should get certified is the Veteran Administration Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is available for your business. They will assist you in getting awards. This office’s main goal is to help agencies meet their quotas and to help contractors link with contracting officers.
VetCert Program by the SBA
Special veteran business programs open up to you as a certified SD/VOSB. The SBA has many programs available to small businesses owned by veterans. The VetCert program is the one that issues certifications to qualify small businesses for set aside and sole source contracts. This program was transferred to the SBA from the VA on January 1, 2023. Since then, the SBA has been verifying businesses and issuing certifications.
Vets First Program by the VA
VA’s Vets Frist program provides opportunities for set-aside and sole source contracts available through the Department of Veteran Affairs. They only award contracts to SDVOSB and VOSB certified business that are registered with the program. The program makes getting awards easy with low competition contracts set aside just for businesses like yours.
The Surplus Personal Property for SDVOSB VOSB program
This program is designed to give access to federally owned personal property that is no longer in use and is donated by the General Services Administrations. The Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program allocates property to the states for donation.
There are certain eligibility requirements to participate in this veteran business program.
- The business must be located and operated within the State
- Your business must be unconditionally owned and operated by eligible veterans or surviving spouses.
- Is certified through the SBA as a VOSB or SDVOSB
- Must use the property for business purposes only
- Can not sell, transfer, lease or loan the property during the restriction period
- Property must stay within the state and be used as intended for 1 year of receipt
- Your business must maintain its certification during the restriction period
- Allow access to the property by the SBA and SGA and any records involved in the purchase
VetCert Program by the SBA
Special programs open up to you as a certified SD/VOSB. The SBA has many programs available to small businesses owned by veterans. The VetCert program is the one that issues certifications to qualify small businesses for set aside and sole source contracts. This program was transferred to the SBA from the VA on January 1, 2023. Since then, the SBA has been verifying businesses and issuing certifications.
Training for Veteran Entrepreneurs
Veterans that are interested in getting into the world of Government contracting have the opportunity to participate in a training program designated for veterans and service disabled veterans. Its called the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP). This program facilitates training for vets and service-disabled vets that are interested in getting into federal procurement.
Boots to Business
Other training programs include Boots to Business. There are three stages of this program. It is a training program for US Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program. This three-stage program ultimately helps veterans take their business idea to a full business model and help them meet their entrepreneurship goals.
Female Veteran Program
There is another training program established specifically for female veterans. This program is called the Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) and is funded by the Small Business Association (SBA). Not only does the program allow women veterans and women service members, but it also supports the spouse of service members and veterans. It helps these women achieve their business ownership goals.
Service Disabled Veteran Training
The SBA also funds a program for service-disabled veterans called the Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP). It provides training programs specifically to service-disabled veterans who either want to own their own business or those who already own a small business.
Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD)
This agency’s mission is to promote veteran entrepreneurship. They are responsible for the facilitation of SBA programs by veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists, transitioning service members and both their survivors and their dependents. The OVBD is also oversees the Veterans Business Outreach Center Program that offers mentorship, concept assessments, business plan workshops and training for all veterans eligible for the program.
All these veteran business programs and benefits are meant to entice veterans to get involved in Government contracting. It is the most lucrative way to get your business revenue into the millions in a matter of months. You can be on your way to being handed contracts simply because of your socio-economic status and your business’ capabilities.
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