The Veterans Administration and several private organizations, including Hivers and Strivers, the Veterans' Opportunity Fund and Street Shares, all fund investment grants aimed at helping veterans start businesses after returning from war. The stresses of combat make assimilating to an office job difficult for many veterans, making entrepreneurship attractive.
Veterans disabled in the service are granted access to the Veterans Administration self-employment program. An applicant must turn in a complete business plan to garner consideration for funding, and applicants are classified as Category I (more severe disabilities making self-employment the best option) or Category II (some challenges to employment but less severe). Grants fund equipment, training, inventory, licensing fees and supplies.
Angel investment groups, such as Hivers and Strivers, target veteran-owned businesses for venture capital investments. The goal of the fund is to bring in an exit return of 10 times the up-front investment, and successful applicants use a business plan to show how that is possible.
Veterans looking for smaller funding amounts ($5,000 to $50,000) have the option of applying to online loan platforms, such as Street Shares, that are focused on helping former military service personnel operate their own businesses. Loan terms vary between one and five years.
Certain venture capital funds focus on helping veterans as well. The Veterans' Opportunity Fund was the first fund that dealt exclusively with veteran-owned businesses. This fund's area of interest involves the early accrual of revenue or the point at which a new service or product is ready for evaluation.