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Boots to Business Success Story - Sandra Gonzales

Army Spouse Leverages Boots to Business to Launch Startup Software Company

Sandra Gonzales is a woman with many titles and responsibilities: army spouse, former army nurse, educator, and mother of six. Now, Gonzales adds veteran entrepreneur to a list of already impressive accomplishments.

After struggling to find a job that would allow her the flexibility to juggle her work and personal life and provide longevity from duty station to duty station, Gonzales decided to pursue entrepreneurship.

As a military spouse, Gonzales was eligible for the Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Training Track as part of the Transition Assistance Program's Transition GPS curriculum. Gonzales graduated from both the two-day "Intro to Entrepreneurship" and the eight-week online "Foundations of Entrepreneurship" courses. Upon graduating Boots to Business, she was able to launch an educational software company.

Gonzales credits Boots to Business for the training and resources the program provided that enabled her to write a detailed business plan. Gonzales first enrolled in the two-day Intro to Entrepreneurship class that educates participants on business fundamentals and guides them through an initial feasibility analysis. The two-day course helped her to decide whether entrepreneurship was the right track and introduced her to classmates who had the same goals and aspirations.

Gonzales then completed the "Foundations of Entrepreneurship" course. "The eight-week course," Gonzales said, of the interactive, instructor-led online course, helped with "the formidable task of breaking down a comprehensive business plan into much smaller, more manageable parts... steps so that you can really understand your market, do the research, and come up with an action plan of how you're going to launch a company."

Upon completing the course, Gonzales had a comprehensive business plan, the foundational knowledge she needed to launch and sustain a successful company, and a network of support through U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Resource Partners including business counselors at her local Small Business Development Center.

Asked for her best advice to others who are transitioning out of the military and thinking about starting their own business, Gonzales said "try the two day course. Take advantage of all the resources out there. And leverage your networks. You really need to surround yourself with people who are going to help you and who are invested in helping you succeed."

The Boots to Business entrepreneurship track is free of cost and open to all transitioning service members and their spouse/partner. For more information about the Boots to Business program, visit www.sba.gov/bootstobusiness.