Small Business Grants For Veterans

For Veterans who own or aspire to start small businesses, there are various resources available to support them. Notably, small business grants tailored for Veterans serve as valuable financial tools to foster the growth and progress of their ventures.

While competition for grants can be fierce, the relatively smaller pool of Veteran applicants may increase the likelihood of qualifying for these grants compared to other business funding options.

Below you’ll find six resources aiming to assist veterans in launching new startups or elevating existing businesses to the next level.


1. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

Veterans who incurred disabilities during military service may qualify for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program. This initiative aims to help disabled Veteran business owners access at least 3% of available federal contract dollars annually. Certain federal contract funds are exclusively reserved for members of the SDVOSB program.

How to Apply

To qualify for the SDVOSB program, your business must undergo self-certification. Update your business profile under the socio-economic status section on For VA contracts, certification is facilitated by contacting the Center for Verification and Evaluation.

Besides certifying your business, meeting other eligibility criteria is essential. Requirements include small business ownership as per SBA size standards, management by at least one service-disabled Veteran, and majority ownership (at least 51%) by a service-disabled Veteran.


2. Hivers and Strivers

Hivers and Strivers is an angel investment group that channels funds into Veteran-owned and -led businesses. Through its Venture Capital for Veterans program, the organization offers early-round investment funds ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.

How to Apply

Apply for funding for your business idea through the Gust platform. The program targets Veteran-led, early-stage companies with significant growth potential. Note that businesses reliant on government contracts are ineligible for funding.


3. Street Shares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award

Veteran business owners can vie for grants offered by the nonprofit Street Shares Foundation. Its grant program, the Veteran Small Business Award, disburses three grants through the Military Entrepreneur Challenge:

  • First place: $15,000
  • Second place: $6,000
  • Third place: $4,000

In addition to cash awards, the first-place recipient gains access to $25,000 worth of pro-bono legal services. Each finalist also receives a $1,000 scholarship to the Synergy Learning Institute, with bigger scholarships awarded to winners.

How to Apply

Applications for the next round of grants are currently closed. Stay updated by subscribing to the foundation’s newsletter for notifications on reopening of the application process.


4. Warrior Rising Small Business Grants

Whether you’re a Veteran embarking on a new business venture or seeking funding to expand an existing enterprise, consider exploring Warrior Rising Small Business Grants. Established in Utah in 2015, this nonprofit program extends both business grants and mentorship to eligible Veteran entrepreneurs.

How to Apply

Submit an online application to enroll as a “vetpreneur” in the Warrior Rising program. Upon acceptance, you’ll receive an onboarding email guiding you through the four-step business development program. This includes business training via Warrior Academy, personalized mentoring, funding opportunities, and membership in the Warrior Community.


5. serves as a comprehensive resource for various small business owners, including Veterans. Governed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the platform hosts over 1,000 grant programs from numerous federal agencies, collectively awarding over $500 billion in grant funding annually.

How to Apply

Register for a Workspace account on to streamline the grant application process. Following a one-time registration, apply for multiple grant opportunities using the same profile. The system simplifies subsequent applications by pre-populating your information.


6. GrantWatch

GrantWatch aids Veterans in locating grant opportunities for both business and personal pursuits, such as homebuying and home improvement. With details on over 28,000 funding opportunities across the U.S., Canada, and U.S. Territories, its extensive directory serves as a valuable resource.

How to Apply

Access to GrantWatch’s directory requires an active membership, with pricing ranging from $18 per week to $199 per year, depending on the chosen membership tier. Upon identifying a suitable grant, follow the issuing organization’s application instructions to apply for funding.


Tips for Applying for Veteran Business Grants

  1. Verify Eligibility: Prioritize applying for grants aligned with your eligibility to avoid investing time in ineligible opportunities.
  1. Adhere to Instructions: Thoroughly complete grant applications and submit required documentation promptly, observing deadlines to maximize your chances of success.
  1. Tailor Applications: Provide comprehensive details about your business and articulate how grant funding will propel your venture forward to resonate with reviewers.
  1. Proofread: Review grant applications and accompanying materials meticulously to rectify any errors or omissions, enhancing your application’s competitiveness.


Other Funding Resources for Veterans

While grants offer non-repayable funding, securing them can be challenging and time-consuming. Consider exploring alternative funding avenues, such as:

  • Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
  • Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (VWISE)
  • Boots to Business (B2B)
  • Veteran Readiness and Employment
  • Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)


Alternatives to Small Business Grants for Veterans

In addition to grants, explore alternative funding sources like family loans, small business loans, and peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans. These avenues offer diverse financing options tailored to varying business needs.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What expenses are eligible for small business grants?

You can use a small business grant for anything that’s not expressly forbidden in the terms of your grant. Most small business grants are given out for a specific purpose, such as to research a new technology or to expand in underserved areas.

Depending on the grant, you may need to provide regular reports about how you’re spending the money, so make sure you fully understand the terms of your individual contract.

How do you qualify for small business grants?

Qualifying for a small business grant will depend on the grant itself. Each organization offering a small business grant generally outlines the important details, including qualification requirements, permitted uses and any terms or conditions you’ll need to agree to. Most grant organizations also require you to submit a formal grant application to apply.

Can I apply for more than one small business grant?

You can generally apply for more than one small business grant. Unless a specific organization doesn’t allow for it, you’re free to seek as much other funding as you need.

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