The Veteran Loan Fund raised $15 million to support current and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs. It includes a $3.5 million investment from Well Fargo and a $15 million grant to CDFIs that provide loans to eligible veterans.
Grant Bennett, the director of veteran programs and operating manager of the Veteran Loan Fund, said veterans returning to civilian life prefer to start their businesses but often lack access to capital, formal business training and a network of peers. The Veteran Loan Fund addresses all these issues. Veteran entrepreneurs need estimated funding of $100 million annually, and the Veteran Loan Fund aims to close the gap in five years.
The Veteran Loan Fund has many technical assistance partners. They include Bunker Labs, SCORE, SBDCs, Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Vet Met and Vet to CEO. Its capital providers include Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs in Georgia, Business Impact Northwest in Oregon and Washington, and Black Business Investment Fund in Florida.