Last month, Bank of America announced the launch of its $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program aimed at connecting U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable business loans. Prior to receiving a loan, selected business owners will participate in a two month training program to offer technical and business resources to help borrowers grow their businesses.
According to Citizen Tribune, program loans “will be administered through participating community development financial institutions (CDFIs) – nonprofit institutions with expertise in lending to small businesses and an understanding of local circumstances, including economic development and job creation opportunities.” These loans will be offered in seven states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, New York, California, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Every year, an estimated 200,000 service members leave the military for civilian life. Of that number, about 10% have a desire towards entrepreneurship. With more than 2.5 million businesses owned by veterans today, Bank of America believes its recent launch will be able to help support the current and future batch of veteran business owners in America.
In addition to deploying capital, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing $1.3 million in grants over two years to help CDFIs manage operating costs.