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Military entrepreneurship is on the rise. Both the military and the business world require similar skill sets. Both environments demand the ability to pivot and change course midstream. This adaptability helps veterans and military spouses manage the challenges of starting successful businesses, but sometimes entrepreneurial resources dedicated to the military community are hard to find.
If you’re ready to venture out on your own but aren’t sure where or how to start, check out these companies and nonprofit organizations offering programs and resources for the military community.
Small Business Administration Office of Veterans Business Development
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of programs for military and veteran entrepreneurs. These programs even include small business grants and loans.
The Office of Veterans Business Development’s (OVDP) mission is to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their dependents or survivors.
Consider the OVDP’s Resources Page a one-stop-shop for resources for military and veteran entrepreneurs.
Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs
Two military spouses founded the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs (AMSE). It serves to bridge the gap between a military spouse’s business dreams and the tools and resources needed to make those dreams a reality. AMSE membership is exclusively for military spouses to learn how to establish, build, or scale a business. AMSE aims to create a global resource database for military spouses to connect, learn, and empower the community to become successful entrepreneurs.
One of AMSE’s greatest benefits is the peer-to-peer interaction, which gives military spouse business owners access to real-time resources, education, and mentors. After joining, AMSE members receive access to exclusive content.
Bunker Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to make sure there’s nothing that stands in a veteran or military spouses’ dream of becoming a business owner. Founded by a Navy veteran, Bunker Labs wants to take the difficulty out of owning a business. Its core mission is all about bridging the gap between business dreams and business reality. Like AMSE, Bunker Labs is committed to ensuring the military community has what it needs to succeed.
Bunker Labs recognizes that military entrepreneurs need a place within their communities to network and connect with others on similar paths. To help make dreams a reality, the nonprofit connects other military and vetreprenuers with the tools they need. Besides hosting networking events, Bunker Labs also offers exceptional entrepreneurial training curated to offset military spouses and veterans’ challenges. These programs range from a “Veterans in Residence” program to “Launch Lab” online courses.
Patriot Boot Camp
Patriot Boot Camp is all about offering the military community access to experts, peers, and education programming to help innovate and build businesses. PBC helps lead the way for the military community to become successful in the current economy.
To meet that goal, the nonprofit offers an intense three-day training program that provides mentorship experience and one-on-one peer communication. PBC has developed content and educational tracks tailored for all business phases from the earliest days of creation to rebranding, re-strategizing, and setting the stage for the next steps of successful business ownership. Programs are held several times a year in various locations across the country.
The Rosie Network
The Rosie Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with more than 10 years of experience training and mentoring transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
The Rosie Network’s flagship program, Service2CEO, is a free, individualized small business training and mentorship program for the military community.
Service2CEO Program includes:
- 16-week program via weekly cohort virtual classroom
- Service2CEO Workbook & professional Pitch Deck!
- Award-winning curriculum provided by vetted Subject Matter Experts on Legal, HR, funding, marketing and much more
- Supplemental instruction and networking opportunities
- 1-on-1 mentorship & peer-to-peer support
- Graduation & Pitch Deck presentation
- Invitation to the national SERVICE2CEO ALUMNI network
You can learn more at The Rosie Network website.
Military Influencers Conference
Established in 2016, the Military Influencers Conference (MIC) is a community of entrepreneurs, influencers, creatives, executives, and leaders connected to the military community. What started as an annual conference has quickly become a “go-to” event for military entrepreneurs and those who believe in the value of a robust and collaborative military community.
MIC is all about mentoring and actively working to inspire the military community to reach ultimate success levels. As an organization, MIC is actively seeking new ways to collaborate with the wider military community.
Recently, MIC and Ameriforce Media partnered to launch Military Influencer, the first quarterly print and digital magazine featuring content focused entirely on military entrepreneurs and influencers. The magazine connects readers with the dynamic voices behind emerging and reputable military brands aligned with today’s unique perspectives on entrepreneurship, brand building, and social impact.
Instant Teams began tackling remote work long before the world shuttered in 2020. Founded by two military spouses who understood that for their peers, a career is only as lucrative as it is mobile, Instant Teams offers companies access to a diverse and rich pool of potential employees.
Instant Teams reimagines what it means to be part of a team by leveraging the untapped and often overlooked military spouse employment force. It connects companies in need of talent with military spouses who desire flexible employment.
Wise Advise & Assist
Like Instant Teams, Wise Advise & Assist is a team of military and veteran spouses available for remote work. WAA focuses on public relations, business strategy, bookkeeping, digital marketing, web design, and more. Since its founding, WAA has helped bridge the gap between highly qualified military spouses who struggle to find work and companies who need experienced workers.
Started by a USAF spouse, Spouse-ly is a military family and lifestyle community founded to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and access to an audience who wants to buy their products and services.
The platform showcases apparel and lifestyle brands made by military spouses, veteran spouses, and veterans. Products range from jewelry and accessories to bath bombs, cosmetics, and more. Services include coaching services, design, education, and health and fitness, along with photography, therapy, and travel services. Spouse-ly features the option to search by location to find vendors, products, and services.
Additional Resources from The Military Wallet
We have previously written helpful articles on the following related topics:
- Small Business Loans for Veterans & Military Spouses
- Tips for Running a Small Business While Serving in the Military