Transitioning out of the military or sport and leaping into entrepreneurship?

We’ve got your back.

Check out these resources below…

The Military Veteran’s Guide to Starting a Business: Everything You Need to Know and More

  • How does a veteran make the transition from boots on the ground to starting a business? And how does a veteran go from opening a small-time startup to running a highly successful business? This veteran’s guide to starting a business should give you all the answers, programs and resources you need to put your plan into motion.
  • Author and freelancer Aislinn Carter writes for Freshbooks. She has extensive writing experience covering a number of different verticals including tech, business, entrepreneurship, SEO, health, automotive and travel.

Veteran’s Guide to Starting a Business in 2021

  • A really great resource for first time entrepreneurs to get a broad look at every critical component in launching and growing a business or nonprofit. It’s also a useful means for experienced entrepreneurs to update their knowledge of those same facets of business.
  • Author Susan Honea is is a bookkeeper and the Chief Operating Officer of SMC Innovations LLC, an accounting and tax firm near Atlanta, GA.

Patriot Boot Camp

  • PBC’s mission is to mission to assemble and activate an inclusive community that advances veterans and military spouses in their mission to become creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs leading the new economy.  
  • PBC’s core program is an intensive three-day event designed to engage, inspire, and mentor Veterans and their spouses, to help them start, innovate, and scale the next generation of technology-focused businesses. PBC provides participants with free education and training in entrepreneurial and business skills, as well as mentorship from successful leaders from the entrepreneurial, military and business communities. PBC hosts its event at no cost to participants in locations across the country.
  • What is Patriot Boot Camp?

Entrepreneurship Program for Veterans (EBV)

  • Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
  • EBV Accelerate = A 2-week online followed by 3-day in-residence program, EBV Accelerate is a bootcamp-style program focused on growth and tackles head-on topics such as the financial, management, marketing and strategic planning challenges established businesses face.
  • EBV Program = A 30-day online followed by 9-day in-residence program that offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans and their family members who are in early growth mode for their new business.
  • EBV-Families Program = Focus on veteran family members, takes advantage of the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management.

Boots to Business

  • Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. Active Duty Service members (including National Guard and Reserve), Veterans of all eras, and spouses are eligible to participate.
  • Sign up for a local, in person Boots to Business Class and then for their remote Revenue Readiness Class

Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC)

  • US Small Business Administration sponsored program is regionally hosted by the Community Business Partnership in Springfield, VA
  • Provides entrepreneurial development services such as training, counseling and access to capital for members of the military community (including Veterans, active duty personnel, National Guard, Reservists and military spouses) who may be considering starting a small business or looking to grow an existing business. 
  • Their robust calendar of low cost classes can be found here

Global Good Fund Veteran Fellowship Program

  • The Global Good Fund supports veterans through its partnership with The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods.  The Global Good Fund provides its flagship year-long leadership development program to 10 veteran entrepreneurs annually. These entrepreneurs are focused on creating sustainable jobs or supporting job search and placement for under and unemployed veterans. 
  • The Global Good Fund develops the leadership skills of veteran innovators by pairing them with executives who serve as mentors, and by providing leadership assessment resources, a network of peers, sector expertise, and targeted financial capital.
  • Global Good Fund is partnered with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation to support social entrepreneurship with free legal services 
  • Application for 2022 Veteran Fellows is expected to open in August 2020
  • POC Brenda Dilts @ brenda.dilts@globalgoodfund.org

Hiring Our Heroes

  • Employment matching tool for veterans and those seeking to hire them

Rosie Network

  • Service2CEO = Service2CEO is a national award-winning entrepreneurship program for veterans and military spouses. Combining on-line and classroom learning with mentors and subject matter experts, Service2CEO’s 16-week, comprehensive program has a proven track record of empowering those who have served to successfully launch and grow their businesses.
  • Rosie’s List = The nation’s largest nonprofit search tool featuring verified veteran and military spouse-owned businesses in every state and overseas.  We verify military affiliation using ID.me so you know you’re patronizing a military family-owned company.  
  • Rosie’s Chapters = Serving our nation’s silent warriors – our military spouses – Rosie Chapters provide our Service2CEO program, modified for the unique challenges our spouses face.  Offered nationwide, Rosie Chapters are changing military spouse unemployment through self-employment and entrepreneurship
  • M.E. Mag = Military Entrepreneur Magazine (M.E.MAG) is the nation’s only nonprofit publication by and for our veteran and military spouse business owners and budding entrepreneurs.  We share their stories, along with the best-in-class resources, with our growing readership.  DoD vetted and approved for distribution, M.E.MAG reaches over 70,000 readers!  

The MILSPO Project

  • The largest military spouse-member business organization in the country. Today, more than 450 military spouses connect daily online and in person. We believe in a future where all military spouses have a seat at the table, are able to pursue their passions, and do professional life on their terms.


PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program

  • The mission of VEIP is to provide veteran-owned start-ups with seed capital (grants and equity based investment) to build and grow their businesses, create a robust network for veteran-owned businesses to succeed, and enable the PenFed Foundation to perpetually re-invest returns in future veteran-owned businesses.

Military Influencer Conference

  • The Military Influencer Conference (MIC) is a dynamic three-day event; connecting veteran and military-spouse entrepreneurs, business executives, and brands with the influencers who shape and support the military community.
  • Established in 2016, MIC is a community of entrepreneurs, influencers, creatives, executives, and leaders who are connected to the military community. Founded as an annual conference, MIC has quickly grown into a powerful community of people who believe in the importance of mentorship, actively work to inspire one another, and are always seeking new ways to collaborate.

National Veteran Owned Businesses Association

  • Provides a certification that becomes marketing tool you can use to do business with corporations that want to work with Certified Veteran Business Enterprises VBEs™ and Certified Service Disabled VBEs™. If your customer matrix does not include these firms, forego the cost and effort of applying for certification.
  • NaVOBA is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed and led by Corporate America. NaVOBA’s mission is to create corporate contracting opportunities for America’s Veteran’s and Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises (VBEs/SDVBEs) through certification, advocacy, outreach, recognition and education.
  • NaVOBA provides a direct link for contracting between corporate America and Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprises™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprises™ (SDVBE).
  • Not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ verification through its Center for Verification and Evaluation. VBE™ certification is a private-sector program that mirrors those certifications that already exist for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) selling to corporate America.

Service Academy Business Mastermind

  • Podcast, Meetups, Investor Group, Business and Real Estate Accelerator for military service academy graduates
  • $150 / month for the monthly business accelerator, which meets remotely via Zoom for an hour and inckudes expert discussion and mutually-supportive networking. Very highly recommended.

Maryland Specific Programs

In Maryland in 2019:

  • Veteran Owned Businesses in Maryland with paid employees: 8,972
  • Veteran Women Owned Businesses in Maryland with paid employees: 346 

 And the number of veteran-owned businesses with paid employees:

  • 1,567 are construction
  • 1,903 are professional/technical/scientific
  • 1,039 are healthcare and social assistance
  • 716 are retail trade
  • 600 are administrative and support and waste management and remediation
  • 484 are wholesale/trade
  • 436 are real estate

Project Opportunity

  • A series of workshops planned to provide veterans with assistance in starting their own businesses. The first phase of Project Opportunity is to conduct outreach and educational sessions. These 2.5 hour workshops “Exploring Entrepreneurship” will include a discussion of why the individuals wants to start their own small businesses, characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, an overview of the 11 week training program, and an entrepreneurship self-assessment.
  • The second phase will consist of a 1 hour assessment conducted either telephonically or in person to determine eligibility for the 3rd phase, Project Opportunity Business Boot Camp, the entrepreneurship training program for veterans who were selected based on the assessment results.
  • The Business Boot Camp training will take ten weeks. These classes will total thirty 30 hours of classroom instruction, 3 hours per week. 

Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)

  • Enhance economic development growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. Discover, invest in, and help build great Maryland based technology companies.
  • TEDCO aims to be the recognized leader for supporting entrepreneurial and innovation development while being the critical central hub of Maryland’s Innovation Ecosystem.
  • They state this will be accomplished by administering an integrated platform of success-based programs that support advanced technology development and commercialization from research stages through company formations and growth.
  • They state they will collaborate with best-in-class partners and be inclusive of minorities, women and veterans.
  • They state they will establish and maintain an investment philosophy that supports both economic development goals and meaningful returns for our stakeholders, and we will help build great Maryland-based companies that grow and last. 

Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship

  • The Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship offers a business resource center to support businesses of all types across Howard County. Included in this center are the Small Business Development Center as well as SCORE Counselors.
  • Services range from educational programs and hands-on mentoring to social gatherings; including frequent collaborative events with the Howard Tech Council.

Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program

  • This Maryland Department of Commerce program provides $1000-$50,000 no-interest loans to small businesses in the categories below;
    • A small business owned by a military reservist or a National Guard member called to active duty
    • A small business that employs a military reservist or National Guard member called to active duty
    • A veteran small business owner or a veteran seeking to start a small business
    • A small business that employs a service-disabled veteran

Veteran Owned Small Business and Maryland State Procurement

  • Each Maryland state agency must directly/indirectly award minimum of 1% of total dollar value of procurement contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.  See The Board of Public Works for more information.
  • To qualify, veteran-owned businesses must be verified by the Center for Validation and Evaluation of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  For more information on verification visit vetbiz.
  • Once your business is verified by Center for Validation and Evaluation, you should register your business on eMaryland Marketplace, the State of Maryland’s internet-based procurement system.  Registration is free and is available at eMaryland Marketplace.  The eMaryland Marketplace help line is 410-767-1492.
  • Once your business is registered on eMaryland Marketplace, you will have access to all State, county and municipal procurement notices.  Within eMaryland Marketplace, you can monitor procurement notices that include veteran-owned small business goals.

Virginia Specific Programs

Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP)

  • The Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) is focused on helping Virginia-based technology and innovation-driven startups on their path to success. ICAP works with startups to provide support along their entire journey towards scaling – from the early idea stage, all the way through working on Series A level of funding. This is accomplished through experiential learning programs and one-on-one advising with a team of experienced entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. These services are offered at no cost and all advising is confidential.
  • The ICAP Team is focused on five key milestones on a startup’s path to investment and scaling:
  1. Business Model Validation
  2. Building a Team
  3. Developing an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)
  4. Securing Pilots/Early Sales
  5. Creating Key Partnerships (Investors, Distributors, Suppliers, etc.)
  • Working with ICAP begins with one-on-one meetings with an ICAP Mentor to assess a company’s status and determine their needs. The ICAP Team will continue to work with and support companies as long as they continue to work toward mutually agreed upon goals.
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