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Boots to Business: Helping Veterans Become America’s Future Business Leaders

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Boots to Business: Helping Veterans Become America’s Future Business Leaders

By plester, Former Contributor
Published: August 18, 2014 Updated: August 18, 2014

The brave men and women who serve in the nation’s armed forces are disciplined, goal-oriented leaders who embody the American spirit of determination and hard work. These qualities also prove invaluable when service members transition to civilian life after active duty has ended.

To help veterans become America’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders, the Small Business Administration (SBA) established Boots to Business: From Service to Startup. The free training is an educational track within the Defense Department’s Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) program that enables transitioning service members to explore the basics of entrepreneurship and owning a small business. Boots-to-Business teaches transitioning service membershow to identify a business opportunity, write a business plan, connect with small business resources and take the initial steps to starting a small business.  The training program consists of three main parts:

  1. The Entrepreneurship Track Overview, a 10-minute introductory video shown during the mandatory five-day Transition GPS course.
  2. Introduction to Entrepreneurship, a two-day, in-person classroom course offered as one of the three Transition GPS elective tracks.
  3. Foundations of Entrepreneurship, an eight-week, instructor-led online course that offers in-depth instruction on key elements of a business plan and teaches transitioning service members tips and techniques for starting a business.

Boots to Business is a collaborative effort involving Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families and SBA’s many resource partners throughout the country including Veterans Business Outreach Centers, SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers

All transitioning service members, regardless of rank and transition stage (post-initial service through retirement), and their spouses and dependents can participate in the program. Since the program began last year, more than 16,000 service members took part in the program at 140 military installations across the United States and major installations in Europe and Asia. To participate in the program, contact your on-base TAP coordinator or reach out to your local SBA district office. Go to www.sba.gov/bootstobusiness for more information.

About the Author:

Paul Lester

Former Contributor

I am an author for the the SBA.gov Community, writing about topics that matter to you as a small business owner. Our ongoing goal is to improve this site to meet your needs, so we're happy to receive your feedback and participation. Thanks for joining our online Community here at SBA.gov!


Thanks for your article and please let the Veterans know that http://www.boots2businessreboot.org/ the Boots to Business Reboot program is running strong and Veterans Business Services is supporting the classes as an instructor and we are supporting the program through VBS marketing efforts as well. Keep up the great work.
I can't think of a harder working bunch of folks than our service men and women. They possess the top 3 components of an entrepreneurial mind: Focus, Risk Taking, and Perseverance. Thanks for this wonderful and insightful post!
Helping veterans to rise from their stature to form a strong business of their own, is a good idea. As they are both physically & mentally strong enough to take decision of their own & if the same is utilized for the benefit of developing a business, then it is the best one can expect from them.
What an excellent program. Boost to Business will definitely be helpful for starting a new career of the veterans.
I did post a positive feedback, but my post isn't here anymore? I think veterans will surely aspire to such a change in direction, and see more going into business. This will give them confidence and create a positive peace of mind
In working for an IT recruiting firm, I've learned that employers value the traits military members learn. Most veterans that I have met tend to be loyal, have good leadership, teamwork skills, and discipline.
What a wonderful program. Veterans and their families deserve a place in American business.
We all have a responsibility to serve this country and support our active-duty service men and women and veterans. From great organizations like the Navy SEAL Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project, to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes and Boots to Business, we are helping get these brave Americans get back on their feet.
Boot to business will definitely help aspiring veterans to start a new career in business. As this can be the best medium, where they will be taught, what is the basic requirement of business to be successful & also work towards generating revenues for the country.
I believe that the military teaches discipline. A virtue that true entrepreneurs must possess. These men and women have served our country and I feel an opportunity to own and run their own business is well deserved. Meanwhile if more businesses would re-train and provide opportunities for vets to hold key positions in our companies is a good first step to groom business leaders.

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