Offer assistance to business-minded veterans



June 10, 2012|By BOB POOR
  • Robert A. "Bob" Poor
Robert A. "Bob" Poor

Q: Our son is completing his military duty and looking forward to possibly starting a small business. However, he needs some help in preparing for a business career. What kind of assistance is SCORE able to provide, especially for veterans?

A: There is a wealth of small-business resources and expert assistance available, specifically for veterans.

At the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website — — the Office of Veterans Business Development serves as a central service access point for a wide range of training, counseling and other assistance. Service-disabled veterans also can consult the site’s section on business resources for people with disabilities, including start-up, financing and operating information.

Then there’s, established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veteran entrepreneurs with starting and expanding their businesses in the federal and private marketplaces. The site also includes a database listing businesses that are majority-owned by veterans or service-connected disabled veterans, a valuable tool for promoting new business to potential federal and private-sector customers.

In addition to these online resources, veterans can get in-person help at any of the SBA’s 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers around the country. These centers provide assessment, long- and short-term business training, counseling, directed referring, electronic and online assistance, and other technical assistance.

Then there is SCORE, a nonprofit association made up of more than 13,000 business experts who offer free mentoring and other business resources. Many SCORE volunteers are veterans with firsthand experience making a transition to civilian life and starting successful small businesses.

SCORE’s vast range of small-business insights and information can be accessed online at or at hundreds of local SCORE chapters.

SCORE has teamed up with the Walmart Foundation to create the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative. This partnership provides veterans, spouses and immediate family members with free and discounted resources such as name-brand computer software and online resources.

Scholarships are available for veterans to attend SCORE’s Simple Steps for Starting Your Business workshops.

However, you don’t have to be a veteran to benefit from the information, training and expert mentoring services offered by SCORE.

For more information, go to or call SCORE Hagerstown at 301-766-2043.

Robert A. “Bob” Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business mentor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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