According to James Schenck, President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, “approximately 200,000 veterans leave active duty each year” with 25 percent of them planning to start a business soon after.  With this growing market in mind, PenFed Foundation announced the launch of the Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP) to support veteran entrepreneurs.  “Through Foundation contributions and matching funding of up to $1 million from PenFed Credit Union in 2018, the program will: provide veteran-owned start-ups with seed capital to build and grow their businesses, create a robust network for veteran-owned businesses to succeed and enable the PenFed Foundation to perpetually re-invest returns in future veteran-owned businesses.”

In addition to providing capital, the program will leverage PenFed’s “network of more than 1,700 business partners and its respective internal human capital to provide professional advice for strategic/business planning, HR and sales expertise, marketing opportunities and other support as needed.”

PenFed Foundation VEIP is currently planning on investing in no more than five businesses a year with investment returns being re-invested into the program to support future veteran entrepreneurs.  The PenFed Foundation is no novice when it comes to connecting with and supporting veterans as since 2001, “the Foundation has provided more than $30 million in financial support to veterans, active duty service members, families and caregivers.”

Programs that the foundation has invested include:

  • Emergency financial assistance for veterans with disabilities
  • Caregiver assistance, such as childcare or educational assistance
  • Homeownership grants for low- to moderate-income veterans and service members to purchase their first home
  • Interest-free microloans for service members and reservists to combat and provide alternatives to predatory lending