‘Boots to Business’ program makes business leaders out of military veterans

By | 2017-11-06T15:25:57+00:00 Wednesday, November 8, 2017|

The numbers make the best case for this generation warriors-turned-entrepreneurs.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, veteran-owned small businesses typically generate more than $1 trillion in sales annually.

It’s no wonder, then, that the administration supported the lending of nearly $800 million in funding to more than 2,300 veteran-operated businesses in 2014 alone, according to the organization’s most recently published data.

The SBA, in coordination with Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program, began its Boots to Business Program, an entrepreneurial education and training program offered as a training track within the transition program.

The curriculum was devised to provide valuable assistance to transitioning service members and their spouses who are exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities.

The three-part program leads veterans through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan, program marketing materials detailed.

Additionally, participants are introduced to SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Transitioning veterans, first, are introduced to the program via the Entrepreneurship Track Overview, an informational video shown during the core transition course to introduce entrepreneurship as a post-service career option.

Next, the program engages interested veterans and spouses in a two-day Introduction to Entrepreneurship course. Subject matter experts and practitioners from SBA and its network of partners teach the course at over 165 military installations worldwide with participants learning business fundamentals and techniques for evaluating the feasibility of their business concepts.

Participants who have completed the introductory coursework, finally, can elect to further their study through an instructor-guided eight-week online course taught by professors from a consortium of accredited universities led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, according to the program description.

The Foundations of Entrepreneurship Course requires 10 hours per week to connected and independent study with participants working through the fundamentals of developing an actionable business plan.

Upon completing Boots to Business, participating vets and spouses should be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, and launch their enterprise, the SBA noted.

Beyond Boots to Business, the administration’s network of partners offers further training and technical assistance to more than 100,000 veterans every year in all areas of business ownership with an emphasis on access to capital and federal contracting opportunities.

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