Every day is an occasion to celebrate the brave military personnel who have diligently served in the U.S. Armed forces. Philadelphia recognizes the valuable contribution of the able veteran workforce and the general veteran community. Veterans are crucial parts of the communities and take measures such as running businesses to contribute to communal and economic growth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, veteran-owned businesses make up approximately 5.9% of all businesses. Below are ways that veterans in Philadelphia can succeed as entrepreneurs.
Greater Philadelphia Veteran Network (GPVN)
The GPVN was founded in 2010 by Navy vet Alex Archawski. It provides career and entrepreneurship training for vets while linking corporations to veteran-owned businesses. The organization has a veteran business referral network where veterans interact and share ideas as well as indulge in businesses. Moreover, GPVN hosts annual veteran shark tanks where veteran entrepreneurs share their business ideas in an effort to win prize money. It is the perfect platform for veterans in Philly to gain valuable business insights, share business ideas and promote each other’s business interests.
Pennsylvania small business development centers
Philly is a major city and player in Pennsylvania, sharing some major resources with other cities in the state. The SDBC is the only nationally and statewide accredited program offering top-quality one-on-one consulting, training, and information resources to empower existing and new businesses in Philly and other parts of Pennsylvania. It offers resources for veterans, including financing. The program partners with the U.S. small business administration, DCED, and different learning institutions across Pennsylvania to provide promising entrepreneurs and small business owners with the necessary resources to thrive. Moreover, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has dedicated a page to veteran-owned enterprises for veterans interested in becoming business owners. It shows resources for funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities.
Seek financial literacy and funding
Different organizations provide veterans with valuable financial advice. Financial experts use VA income guidelines to help veterans come up with viable business ideas and funding. Most veterans are ideal candidates for low-interest, long-term fixed loans offered via the SBA’s SBA 504 loan program. The loan program has interesting features, making it ideal for funding veteran-owned small businesses.
Veteran entrepreneurship training programs
Besides the loan program accessible to veterans, SBA has other programs that feature customized curriculums, online courses, and in-person classes to provide veterans the necessary training they need to succeed. Such programs teach the fundamentals of business ownership and small business experts. Training and courses on businesses help veterans open their perspectives to different ideas and possibilities.
Learning resources such as the Entrepreneur’s Guide is a free publication guiding small business owners via the process of starting and growing a business in Pennsylvania. This publication includes expert information regarding designing a business plan, registration, funding assistance, among others.
Veteran-owned businesses make up a major part of the Philadelphia economy. However, it is not just enough to own a business currently. There need to be different levels of support that help such businesses to succeed eventually. Besides networking, veterans can sign up for training programs that help them understand the Philadelphia business sector as well as how to leverage the market to grow their businesses. Most importantly, with the aid of proper funding, there is no limiting how successful veteran-owned businesses can get.