SBA's Support for Veterans
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
With thousands of veterans returning
home in coming months and years, America has both an unquestioned
responsibility and a compelling incentive to help them leverage their
leadership skills to start or grow a small business and create jobs.
- In FY 2011, SBA had
one of its strongest years ever in lending to veterans with more than
4,300 loans supporting $1.5 billion in financing for veteran-owned small
businesses (VOSBs) through SBA’s top two loan programs.
- Since FY 2009, SBA lending to VOSBs
nearly doubled. Cumulatively, SBA
has made over 12,000 loans to VOSBs supporting over $3.1 billion in
lending over the past three years.
This includes over $460 million delivered through a streamlined,
low-interest program (Patriot Express) for veterans, which SBA extended
- SBA worked with both contracting officers and VOSBs
to deliver the highest-ever percentage of federal contracts to
service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in FY2010, totaling $10.4
- Also, SBA reestablished a
level playing field for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses that compete
with other small businesses for set-aside contracts.
- Since 2009, the SBA has dramatically increased the
number of counseling and training resources available to veterans and
VOSBs. This includes:
- doubling the number of SBA Veteran Business
Outreach Centers nationwide;
- expanding the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for
Veterans with Disabilities to eight top U.S. business schools nationwide,
and providing additional online training (Operation Endure & Grow)
for reservists and military families;
- funding a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship
program for women veterans at seven U.S. sites (Veteran Women Igniting
the Spirit of Entrepreneurship);
- awarding funds for state-based Small Business
Development Centers that are reaching out to veteran entrepreneurs and
- supporting the First Lady’s
Joining Forces campaign through continued funding for the Service Corps
of Retired Executives (SCORE) which created the Veterans Fast Launch
- Launched in 2011 with
representation from the veteran community, SBA’s Council on Underserved
Communities will help guide SBA to reach even more veteran entrepreneurs
and small business owners, as well as other underserved communities.
At the President’s
direction, SBA led the first-ever Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small
Business Development, which included representation from seven federal agencies
and four leading veterans organizations.
The Task Force is focused on increasing the number of veteran-owned
businesses and the number of Americans – including other veterans – those
businesses employ. Through public
meetings, the Task Force gathered input and ideas which ranged widely in scope,
strategy, and feasibility.
In November 2011,
the Task Force delivered its first report to the President, which included 18
recommendations across three priority areas:
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH. By increasing the flow of capital
and federal contracting opportunities to VOSBs, veterans will have more
opportunities to build or expand a business and hire more workers.
- Recommendations include: leveraging
new commitments from lenders to serve more veterans, increasing veteran
participation in microlending and surety bond programs, and more.
- IMPROVE AND
EXPAND COUNSELING AND TRAINING SERVICES.
business counseling and training services helps put returning veterans –
many of whom seek self-employment or small business ownership – on the
path to success.
- Recommendations include: augmenting
entrepreneurship programs for veterans, revising the Transition
Assistance Program to include entrepreneurial resources, and easing
navigation for veterans that go online to find federal tools.
- REDUCE BARRIERS
TO GROWTH AND IMPROVE COORDINATION AND EFFICIENCIES. By improving collaboration and focus across public,
private, nonprofit, and academic resources, the federal government can
more effectively identify and implement best practices that serve existing
and prospective veteran small business owners.
- Recommendations include:
reducing barriers for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in
federal contracting, centralizing information for veteran-owned and
service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, developing streamlined
certification processes, and more.
report also includes additional recommendations ranging from modifications to
the G.I. Bill benefits, to greater research surrounding veteran employment
data, to revisions to unemployment compensation, and more.
view the Task Force’s full report, go to www.sba.gov/veterans