The Small Business Administration (SBA) has seen an increase of 14% 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, reflecting a rise of approximately 40% in funding and 33% in total loan numbers since 2020. 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.
According to SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman, 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. Guzman stated that this growth is a result of the SBA’s efforts to provide support services and resources to help veterans start their own businesses.
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 agency outreach efforts around Veterans Day, Guzman attended the opening ceremony of one new Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Long Beach, California earlier this month. Another VBOC is set to open in Nevada by the end of the month.
The SBA has also recently launched a new SBA Veteran Business Certification program that connects 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. More information on support services for veteran businesses is available on the SBA website.
Overall, these initiatives demonstrate the SBA’s ongoing commitment to supporting veterans as they pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities.