This week is the second annual National Veterans Small Business Week, and Small Business Administration administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet (above, left) spoke with Facebook for Business about opportunities that are available for veterans.
Contreras-Sweet said many veterans join the military in search of direction, and they emerge with business skills including discipline, leadership and perseverance, adding:
Entrepreneurs and veterans are very similar.
She also mentioned that the biggest challenge veterans faced a few years ago was the nation’s weak economy, with few job opportunities and little funding for entrepreneurial ventures, adding that consumer small business confidence has now reached pre-recession levels, and saying:
For veterans this means they come home to communities that have great confidence in entrepreneurship.
Contreras-Sweet highlighted the following SBA-sponsored entrepreneurial education programs:
- Boots to Business: Geared toward veterans transitioning back to civilian life and interested in building businesses.
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (VWise): For female veterans transitioning back to civilian life and interested in building businesses.
- Boots to Business: Reboot: For veterans (and their spouses) who have already transitioned to civilian life and are now interested in building businesses.
She also mentioned that the SBA offers capital for entrepreneurial veterans with perks such as no fees on loans under $350,000.