The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that federal loans to veteran-owned small businesses saw an increase of 14% 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. This reflects 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. SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stated that the country has around 1.9 million veteran-owned small businesses that employ about 5.5 million Americans, a small but significant portion of the country’s workforce.
President Joe Biden has 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. The agency has already announced plans to add six new Veteran Business Outreach Centers to their existing network of 22 sites. As part of agency outreach efforts around Veterans Day, Guzman attended the opening ceremony of one new center in Long Beach, California, earlier this month. Another center is set to open in Nevada by the end of the month.
The SBA also recently launched a new SBA Veteran Business Certification program to connect 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