(Article excerpted from SBA.gov website.  Click here for full article)

Are you a veteran transitioning from active service and want to become an entrepreneur? Or perhaps you’ve been out of the service for some time and want to start a new small business or expand an existing one?

If that’s you or someone you know, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, a new commitment by its top national regional and community lenders to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. This initiative has the potential to boost the already $2.1 billion per year in lending support that various SBA programs provide to new and existing vet small business owners.

Many veteran entrepreneurs face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners, and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years.

The combined goal by the top 20 national lending partners’ will provide nearly $249 million of lending, potentially impacting nearly 800 veteran entrepreneurs. The five percent increase in lending by approximately 10 lenders in each of the 10 Regions will account for the remaining $226 million in loans and more than 1,100 additional veteran entrepreneurs assisted.

For more information:  please call one of SBA’s 68 local district offices, or one of its 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide.

SBA’s resources for veterans, and its partnership with 1,000 Small Business Development Centers and some 12,000 SCORE-Counselors to America’s Small Businesses volunteers, help more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists each year.

To learn more about additional opportunities for potential and existing veteran small businesses, visit the website at www.sba.gov/veterans.