UHV to present free workshop on small business financing for veterans

Veteran business owners can receive help identifying funding sources and learn about state mentoring programs at a no-cost workshop presented by the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center.

SBA Small Business Financing for Veterans will get underway at 1:30 p.m. March 26 at the UHV SBDC office, 3402 N. Ben Wilson St.

Joe Humphreys

“There are a number of great resources available for veterans who want to start a company or grow their business,” UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “The question often is how do business owners find the resources that are right for them. This workshop will help bridge the gap so that those who served our country are aware of what assistance is out there specifically for them.”

The seminar will be led by Annie Hudspeth, a lender relations specialist with the San Antonio Small Business Administration District Office, and Greg Shigemasa, a program specialist with the Texas Veterans Commission. Hudspeth will discuss loan options for veterans.

Shigemasa runs the commission’s Veterans Entrepreneur Program, which provides training and mentorship for veteran entrepreneurs. The program began as a pilot in 2012 and came into existence a year later following approval of the Texas Legislature.

Annie Hudspeth

“Veteran-owned businesses add value to their communities and create employment opportunities for Texas veterans,” Hudspeth said. “The Veterans Entrepreneur Program fosters and promotes veteran entrepreneurship and business ownership. Veterans receive help from a team of experienced business consultants for free.”

Shigemasa also will talk about the Veteran Entrepreneur Academy, a 120-day program followed by a two-year mentorship with the Texas Veterans Commission. It is designed to provide veteran entrepreneurs with a strong foundation in small business basics. Active duty and honorably discharged veterans or their spouses who complete the academy are eligible for up to a $35,000 loan at a fixed interest rate of 5 percent, although some restrictions apply.

To register for the SBDC workshop, contact the center at 361-485-4485 or toll free at 877-895-7232, or Participants also can sign up through the SBDC website at

The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community in partnership with federal, state and local governments. The center offers business advising, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro