MILWAUKEE, WI – The Veteran Loan Fund announced that in its first year of operations, its members have deployed more than $15 million across the country, helping 231 businesses create or retain close to 1,200 jobs. 60% of the business owners receiving financial and technical assistance were people of color, 50% low or moderate income and 30% women. These impressive statistics show the importance of the work that this group of CDFIs and their technical assistance partners do, serving those who served for all of us.
“The Veteran Loan Fund provides funds that help us assist veteran business owners as the Veterans Business Outreach Center for Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota,” says Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) President and Chief Visionary Officer Wendy K. Baumann. “Especially around Veterans Day, we are so privileged to be able to assist veterans on their entrepreneurial journeys and are very appreciative of the funding that allows us to do that.”
With two new members joining the Veteran Loan Fund, Appalachian Community Capital and Justine Petersen, the fund is significantly expanding its reach while it prepares to launch its second $25 million round of funding. The upcoming round will provide $25 million in loan capital to small businesses owned by veterans or veteran spouses.
Veterans interested in receiving financial or technical assistance can now complete a simple online assessment at veteranloanfund.com to be matched with the CDFI or partner that best meets their needs. Eligible entrepreneurs can apply for a low-interest loan with their matched lender. These loans are designed to help early-stage veteran entrepreneurs start or grow their business. Participants in this program can also access free technical assistance (specialized business coaching and education) tailored to their needs whether or not they receive financial assistance anywhere in the country.
Veteran Loan Fund loan recipients in Wisconsin are complemented by the services of the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at WWBIC. VBOC is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. VBOC is funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on VBOC, go to wwbic.com/veterans or contact VBOC@WWBIC Co-Director Keith Murphy.
Thank you to the Veteran Loan Fund’s partners and investors who made this possible, including Bank of America as lead investor and Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Northern Trust, Siemens Foundation, and Tawani Foundation.
For more information on the Veteran Loan Fund, please visit veteranloanfund.com. For details on applying locally for a loan through the Veteran Loan Fund, go to wwbic.com/loans or contact WWBIC Director of Lending Michael Hetzel.