Are you a veteran looking to start a business and you need financing/funding? If YES, here are 22 best sources of small business grants for disabled Veterans. Veteran business grants can be used to start or expand veteran-owned small businesses.

In the united states, there are a lot of available grants for veterans to start a business. But before you start searching for grants, you need a better understanding of what you are looking for. Are you starting a business, or expanding your existing business?

How much money do you need? Can you outline exactly how the money will be spent? The answers to these questions will help you to know what you really want and also narrow down your grant choices. After understanding what you want in terms of grants and expenses, you can search for grants that match your criteria as a business owner and as a veteran.

Some veteran business grants require a certain number of years of service or a very specific background in a particular part of the military. Applying to grants that you are qualified to receive will increase your chances of getting the funding. You need to apply for these grants, and some of them may even require an interview or a personal essay about your experience.

Always ensure that you include all the information requested for by the grant organization. Meanwhile, in the days or weeks following your grant application, you can send an email or make a phone call to make sure that your application was received.

Try not to pester the review committee by emailing them every day, but a quick follow-up will ensure that your application is properly reviewed. There are a few business grant programs available to disabled veteran business owners. They include:

List of Small Business Grants for Disabled Veterans to Start a Business and How to Get Them

  1. VetFran Business Grant Fund

The VetFran Business Grant Fund assists veterans who have been awarded a franchise through the IFA VetFran program by providing financial grants for business development, education, training, and/or technical assistance. Apart from the above mentioned, the grant can be used for the purchase of equipment, and products or services necessary for the operation of the business.

How to Apply to VetFran Business Grant Fund

To be eligible for the grant, candidates must have been awarded a franchise from a VetFran participating company. Candidates must have met all the requirements under the guidelines of the VetFran program, including having received an honorable discharge from any branch of the U.S. military or Coast Guard.

Candidates must have a signed franchise agreement and must have at least one unit in operation, or a letter from their franchisor confirming the “opening store” schedule. Candidates must submit an application with a current resume, copy of military discharge certificate, name of franchisor, name and location of franchise business, 500 word essay describing the need for the grant and purpose for which funds will be used, and two letters of recommendation, including one from the franchisor.

  1. VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)

The Department of Veteran Affairs offers assistance to businesses owned by economically disadvantaged individuals through their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Program. Their goal as a department is to provide these businesses with as many government contracts as possible. While this is not a financial grant or loan, the allocation of these contracts could mean money in the bank if your business qualifies.

How to Apply

Be sure to register with their office. Once your business has been verified, it will be added to their directory of small businesses and could be called upon for a government contract.

  1. Nav’s Small Business Grant

Nav understands the challenges of starting, financing, and running a small business. To give small business owners a lift, Nav recently launched the $10,000 “Legitify Your Small Business” grant.

How to Apply

This grant is currently closed. Keep an eye out for the next application round to open, but you can still check your business and personal credit score for free with Nav.

  1. Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

Similar to the VA’s OSDBU program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program aims to provide certain businesses with contracting dollars. The federal government sets aside at least 3 percent of contracting dollars for small businesses owned by disabled veterans.

How to Apply

Just like the OSDBU, you should apply for verification through the program before being added to a directory to be considered for certain contracts.

  1. USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant

This program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or State offices once per year. Applicants are advised to view program information specific to their local or State office to learn about local application timelines, concept paper requirements, etc. Grant awardees will need to complete required paperwork and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Contact your local or State office for details.

  1. FedEx Small Business Grant

It’s a grant contest with 10 small business winners. They receive grants, prizes, and insights from FedEx experts to help them grow their business. And they join a community of small businesses that offer peer insight. It’s open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have fewer than 99 employees and have been in operation selling a product or service for not less than six (6) months at the start of the contest.

How to Apply

When the contest season starts, will go live with more info on the contest and entry links. When entry opens, write a short profile, then share your unique story and offerings. Upload photos and a logo. Capture the spirit of your business in images. Create a video. Create a one-minute video pitch about your business. Check out some simple tips to get you started.

  1. Eileen Fisher Grant for Women

Female veteran entrepreneurs who are in need of capital to start or expand a business can apply for the Eileen-Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant. Eileen-Fisher awards five women with grants up to $120,000.

How to Apply

To be considered for this grant, yours must be a woman-owned company that promotes social and environmental change. Your business must have existed for at least three years, and you cannot have earned more than $1 million in annual profits.

  1. Chase Mission Main Street Grant

Tech giant Google and finance leader Chase offer over $3 million in grants to 20 businesses each year. The sponsors have been recognized for their commitment to progressive goals in the past, and women and minorities have successfully obtained funding. The Mission Main Street Project awards $150,000 grants to winners.

How to Apply

The program application is in English. Chase bankers are available to assist applicants who speak other languages complete the process. Everyone is invited to show their support for their favorite registered small businesses by voting through their Facebook account at Businesses must receive at least 250 votes to be considered for a grant.

  1. Visa Everywhere Initiative

Visa Everywhere Initiative is a global innovation program that tasks start-ups to solve payment challenges of tomorrow, further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners.

The program first launched in the U.S. in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global program with more than 6000+ participating startups, which have collectively raised over $2.5 billion in funding, with more than 257 finalists and 96 winners selected. The program activates in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, touching over 75 countries.

How to Apply

Submissions for the 2019 U.S. Visa Everywhere Initiative are now closed.

  1. LendingTree’s Small Business Grant Contest

LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loan and credit-based offerings. LendingTree also offer an online marketplace which connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan.

Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 65 million loan requests. LendingTree provides free monthly credit scores through My LendingTree and access to its network of over 400 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more.

How to Apply

The contest submission page, along with disclosures and details can be found here: Veteran entrepreneurs interested in participating in LendingTree’s $50,000 Small Business Grant Contest can submit their registration online.

The registration form consists of 20 questions, collecting information on historical business performance, future plans, why the business deserves the $50,000 grant and how the grant money would enable future growth. Once the registration submission period closes, LendingTree’s team of small business experts will evaluate, select and notify the winning small business.

  1. StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award

StreetShares is an online lender that specializes in lending to veterans. In addition to financing products like loans and lines of credit, small business grants are also available through the StreetShares Foundation. As of 2019, the StreetShares Foundation awards grants to three winners.

First place receives $15,000, second place receives $6,000, and third place wins $4,000. The StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award is open to any military veteran, reserve or active duty member of the Armed Forces, or a qualifying spouse, child, or immediate family member.

Applicants must live in the U.S., be at least 21 years old, and own at least 51% of the business. All businesses must be legal entities and must have an impact on the veteran community to qualify. Award amounts and additional requirements may change from year to year.

How to Apply

To be eligible for the grant, all applicants must view educational content through StreetShares. Once qualifying content has been downloaded or viewed, the application is available. Applicants must write a summary of their business and submit a video.

The Foundation will choose up to 10 finalists based on the business idea, how the award will be used, the history of the business, the product-market fit, and the social impact on the military and veteran community. Once the finalists are selected, their businesses will be presented to the public and put to a vote to determine the winners.

  1. National Association For The Self-Employed Growth Grants

For businesses with smaller capital needs, the National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant provides small grants up to $4,000. Like other grants, the funds must be used for a specific purpose, such as purchasing equipment or hiring new employees.

How to Apply

Applications are reviewed quarterly and awards of up to $4,000 are distributed monthly. To qualify, you must submit an application outlining your business need and providing details of how you will use the grant to fund this need.

You must also be a member of the NASE to qualify. Annual fees are $120, but veterans only have to pay $99 for an annual membership. Once you’ve joined, you are eligible to apply, and your application will be reviewed based on the association’s quarterly review schedule.

  1. Veteran Business Outreach Centers

One of the first resources a small business owning veteran can seek out for training and financing is their local Veteran Business Outreach Center. Managed by the Small Business Administration in D.C., but located in 15 centers across the country, it is a first-rate tool for veterans looking to transition to civilian life within an entrepreneurship program.

The centers offer access to management courses, market research, and qualified referrals to independent grants for vets interested in opening a business or franchise.

How to Apply

Only one project proposal may be submitted per eligible entity. Proposals must be submitted through and received by August 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

  1. Small Business Innovation Research Grant

Veteran-owned businesses with a focus on scientific research can qualify for the SBIR grant by meeting specific objectives. You must also prove that your project has commercialization potential. Thanks to the SBIR, veteran-owned businesses are given almost $90 million in allocated funds each year, with $1 million being the maximum amount awarded to an individual.

How to Apply

When it’s time to apply for grants, see if you qualify for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant. The SBIR is offered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science as part of a federal program designed for small businesses engaged in research.

  1. Small Business Technology Transfer Program

Another option for high-tech businesses is the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant. The government awards the STTR Grant to qualifying veteran-owned businesses that carry out research for the federal government.

While the grant is managed by the SBA, various government agencies and departments designate research topics and accept business proposals. These agencies include Defense, Health, Energy, NASA, Human Services and the National Science Foundation.

How to Apply

To be eligible for the STTR Grant, a business must be American- and veteran-owned with fewer than 500 employees. Each small business is awarded up to $850,000 to carry out the assigned project for which the grant is awarded.

  1. Self-Employment Grants for Service-Disabled Veterans

Service-disabled veterans should consider the self-employment grant program offered by the Veterans Administration. Applicants will need to submit a complete business plan, so make sure you spend some time fleshing it out before applying. Applicants are then assigned into one of two categories for the Veterans Administration to determine the amount of self-employment funding available.

Those classed in Category I have severe service-related disabilities while Category II is for veterans with challenges that aren’t considered too severe. Depending on the category you fall under, you may be able to obtain grant funding to purchase inventory, equipment, licensing, marketing, training and other materials for your business.

How to Apply

To see if you qualify for the program, contact your local VA office and speak with a counselor about the self-employment program.

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs isn’t known for their generous grant programs, but they do offer resources for veterans with disabilities who have difficulty finding traditional forms of employment and are interested in starting their own business as a primary source of income.

The restrictions are many, but the options are plentiful. Applicants can receive personalized counseling, management training and grant funding to purchase licenses and bonds, inventory, and specialized equipment for their business venture.

VA’s Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Veterans and Service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals.

How to Apply

To learn more about the VR&E program, review the VR&E Process page, and the tabs and links on this page. Click on the “How to Apply” tab to apply for VR&E services.

  1. Idea Café Grants

While most business owners apply for government-funded grants, private grants can also be a lucrative source of funding. Idea Café is a private organization that offers small business grants. Veterans can qualify for $1,000 in aid whether they already own a business or are planning to start one.

Note that one good thing about Idea Café grants is that the qualifications are fairly relaxed. Simply sign up at the organization’s website and include your business plan in the application. There’s no entry fee to apply and you don’t even need to finalize your business plan to submit it.

Idea Café favors businesses providing creative solutions to everyday problems, so if you think your business is original and innovative, you have a good chance of qualifying for the grant. Another great thing about Idea Café is that it also serves as a resource for business ideas and marketing tips, networking, brainstorming, ecommerce, small business taxes, government grants and merchandising.

How to Apply

Entering is easy and takes just minutes. In less than 1,000 words or in a short video you will have to provide some key business info, and answer four crucial questions about your business and plans for the future. For video applications, upload your 2-minute video to YouTube to complete the entry form.

  1. The National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants

The NASE Growth Grants® program offers access to capital for micro-business owners who have a specific business need, but lack the finances to carry out that goal. The program was designed after an online NASE Member poll found that a majority of micro-business owners (57 percent) initially fund their businesses using personal savings, and many (40 percent) continue to use personal savings for ongoing financing.

Through the program, members can apply for up to $5,000 to meet a specific business need such as the purchase of new equipment or software, or the funding of advertising, marketing materials or training. Since the program began in 2006, the association has awarded more than $650,000 to member businesses.

How to Apply

You can log in with your NASE Web account, then click on Applications to apply. Growth Grant applicants must be a member in good standing for 3-months prior to submitting an application. (Annual members may apply immediately. Monthly members may apply ninety days after joining the NASE.)

  1. Wells Fargo Community Investment Program

According to the program website, it’s long-term success is directly linked to the success of it’s customers and the communities it serves. Through a combination of strategic relationships with local and national nonprofits, grants, volunteer activities, and other community investments, they are creating solutions that help strengthen the communities in which they operate and grow local economies around the world.

How to Apply

Wells Fargo welcomes applications year-round from qualified nonprofits and educational institutions. To apply, go to the program website, select your State below and select Go. On the State page, familiarize yourself with the content, select How to Apply tab and Apply Now icon to complete a short survey.

You will then be taken to the log in page for the application. You will have an opportunity to review the Application Guide prior to log in to familiarize yourself with what information will be required.

  1. VA VR&E Business Ownership Track

If you suffer from a service-connected disability and have the desire to run your own business, you could qualify for assistance from the Vocational Rehab & Employment Ownership Track. Along with the requirements listed above, you must have an employment barrier or handicap, be enrolled in the VR&E, and your disability must make it difficult for you to obtain suitable employment.

How to Apply

Any disabled veteran applying for or receiving disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and/or the Social Security Administration (SSA) is advised to consult with a qualified benefits counselor or expert in this field. Social Security benefits assistance is available from Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects.

A WIPA is an organization that has arranged with SSA to provide information and planning services about work and work incentives to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries. To locate a WIPA in your state and to learn more about their services, visit:

  1. Grantwatch – Grants for Veterans

It’s very necessary to note that the online resource Grantwatch is always a great starting point when searching for programs to suit your niche or industry, and this is no less true for grants for veterans. This site is a virtual warehouse of detailed information, you can find grants specifically for nonprofits that benefit veterans and their families, grants for entrepreneurs with businesses that help or hires former military in the state of Idaho, and even grants to build or rehabilitate housing for veterans in Puerto Rico.

Accessing small business grants for veterans can seem difficult, but they are very much crucial to the success of entrepreneurs. Have it in mind that the path to success through small business ownership has many hindrances, but thanks to commitment and training in the armed forces, many veterans are properly suited to scale those obstacles. And when the quest for business ownership comes, a small business grant can help shape that path.