Transitioning from military service to civilian life can be difficult.

While the military does an exceptional job of training personnel for service, there’s still much to do about reversing that training and prepping to re-enter civilian life. With an average of about 250,000 servicemen and women making that transition every year, the need for additional services and resources seems as though it’s needed more than ever.

In Wisconsin, not only is the quality of life rated as a good place to live, start a business and attend school, but benefit offerings to military veterans and their families are the best in the nation. The 23 out of 26 benefits offered to eligible veterans and their families ranks as the most out of any state. The easy-to-navigate options and resources in Wisconsin help make one of the most difficult decisions of transitioning veterans’ lives go smoother. And with veterans having a great impact on the American economy, it’s as important as ever to ensure they have the necessary resources to flourish once settled.

According to a U.S. Small Business Administration study, military service exhibits “one of the largest marginal effects on self-employment.” The study found that not only do veterans already have many of the necessary skills to succeed, they are also 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans.

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is proud to offer a number of grant programs annually to eligible veterans, families, businesses, Veterans Service Organizations and many more. Now through Sept. 14 the WDVA is accepting grant applications from registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) non-profit organizations that provide entrepreneurship training, or technical, business or other assistance to veteran entrepreneurs to improve employment outcomes.

Just last year, six organizations received a grant through the program. That grant money was used for things such as providing support for veteran entrepreneurial business classes, business skills assessments, educational workshops, field experience, peer support and business mentoring. In addition, the grants were used to provide veterans career-building skills like volunteer management, fundraising, scheduling and marketing.

The WDVA’s Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Grant program includes a maximum total of up to $400,000 during the period of July 2, 2018, through June 30, 2019. In order to qualify for the grant, non-profit organizations must be located in Wisconsin and registered in good standing with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Once applications are received, they will be evaluated on:

  • Background and organizational history
  • Experience working with Veterans
  • The need for grant funding
  • Outreach and referral plan
  • Program goals and objectives
  • Past working relationships with other start-up businesses and entrepreneurship programs

Click here to access application materials and apply by Sept. 14 to be considered.