If you’re one of the 20 million veterans living in the United States, then you understand just how difficult it is to acclimate yourself to society. Depending on the experiences that veterans experienced while on duty, they can suffer from major health problems, physical, mental, emotional or otherwise. And this readjustment issue can take many forms; from difficulty connecting to family members to returning to an old job or even applying to a new one, veterans can experience tremendous issues when coming back to civilian life.
According to a recent article, more than half of those 20 million veterans simply can’t find civilian work once they return from service. Obviously, this can be detrimental to having a consistent income. And for those veterans looking to enter the field of entrepreneurship after their tour, it’s even worse. The main issue stems from the fact that veteran entrepreneurs have a difficult time securing investment funding. And with over 2 million veteran-owned businesses, it’s clear that veteran entrepreneurship is a hot-ticket industry. Luckily, there are several programs and investors looking to help out those who’ve served our country.
The PenFed Foundation is an organization designed exclusively to assist veteran entrepreneurs to reach their business goals. Through their Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP), PenFed will assist a bevy of veterans in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Just recently, the foundation helped to fund its first company, True Made Foods, an organic condiment manufacturer founded by former US Naval Aviator, Abe Kamarck.
Hivers & Strivers
Hivers & Strivers looks to offer angel investments to graduates of any of the US Military academies. Investments can be quite generous, ranging anywhere from $250,000 to a whopping $1 million. What’s more, the foundation offers various other investment channels to veterans should they need even more funding.
Veterans’ Opportunity Fund
The Veterans’ Opportunity Fund (VOF) has the distinction of being the very first venture capital fund designed specifically to assist veterans within the United States. If you thought that Hivers & Strivers’ investments were generous, then the VOF is even better, with capital reaching $3 million in some cases. While investments can reach high numbers, unfortunately, the fund does have some limits. VOF is exclusively focused on businesses located out of the East Coast, and they tend to invest in companies involved in technology, healthcare, business services and specialty manufacturing. If your business meets this criteria, then it might be worth your time to apply.