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

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

By plester, Former Contributor
Published: August 18, 2014 Updated: January 15, 2016

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 for more information.

About the Author:

Paul Lester

Former Contributor

I am an author for the the 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!