Operation Boots to Business Introduces Returning Veterans to Entrepreneurship
by Rhett_Jeppson, SBA Official
- Created: July 12, 2012, 10:22 am
Our mission in the Office of Veterans Business Development is to support the men and women who have returned home from active duty and are interested in starting or purchasing their own business.
Veterans already over-index in entrepreneurship. Nine percent of all U.S. firms are owned by veterans. More than 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5.75 million individuals. So we know that providing greater access and opportunity to these veteran-owned small businesses will strengthen the American economy and help create jobs.
We already have numerous programs at SBA specifically designed to support our veterans. For veterans who are establishing or expanding their small business we have a range of financing opportunities including microloans and Patriot Express Loans. There are Veteran Business Outreach Centers to train and counsel veterans, and this year we created the Mentor-Protégé Program for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses to help veterans learn how to do business with the federal government.
But, as a veteran myself, I am confident that there is more we can be doing to support our returning service men and women. That’s why we have created Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, to teach service members the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business.
Veterans are natural entrepreneurs, already possessing the experience and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs. Boots to Business will leverage SBA’s existing collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to provide training materials specifically geared toward transitioning service members to become entrepreneurs.
SBA currently offers three programs through its partnership with Syracuse University. The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities delivers entrepreneurship training through a one-year “boot camp” for service-disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who want to start or grow small businesses. Operation Endure & Grow expands on the SBA and Syracuse University ”boot camp” and provides high quality training, networking and mentoring to support Reservists and U.S. Military family members. And Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship delivers high quality training, networking and mentoring to women veterans.
Boots to Business will take these programs one step further, by providing exposure to entrepreneurship training to all 250,000 service members who transition from active duty to civilian life each year.
If you are a transitioning Marine interested in registering for the program, visit the Boots to Business registration page.
The pilot program is currently being launched with the Marine Corps at four locations-- Quantico, VA; Cherry Point, NC; Camp Pendleton, CA; and Twenty-Nine Palms, CA. The initiative will include three phases of instruction: a short introductory video on entrepreneurship; an in-person classroom training on entrepreneurship; and an in-depth, online, 8-week entrepreneurship course that leads to the creation of a business plan.
Through this initiative, we will work with our entire team of resource partners to deliver an effective introduction to entrepreneurship to returning service men and women so they can learn about the opportunities and realities of owning a small business. I’m excited about this opportunity to help our veterans start businesses, create jobs and ultimately help lead the American economy to a stronger recovery.
M. Rhett Jeppson
About the AuthorRhett Jeppson is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
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