A new Small Business Administration program aims to provide strong resources for veterans transitioning into civilian life who want to start businesses.
The national program, Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, will be piloted with the U.S. Marine Corps, according to an article in Diversity Plus Magazine. Before a national rollout, the program will be in four locations: Quantico, Va., Cherry Point, N.C., Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif.
Through Operation Boots to Business, interested, transitioning veterans will take a entrepreneurship training class to learn the “nuts and bolts of how to start and run a business.”
The training will take place in three phases. It starts with a short video introduction to entrepreneurship, followed by in-person training course. Finally, vets will undergo an 8-week online/distance learning course to create a viable business plan.
The SBA will tap its partner network, including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, and Veterans Business Opportunity Centers (VBOCs), to support veteran business owners through startup and long-term growth.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense also supports the program, which is working to reach the 250,000 service members from all military branches that transition each year.
“Through this partnership, we stand ready with support, entrepreneurial training, and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive economic growth and create jobs for themselves and their communities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in the Diversity Plus article.
Vets make a big mark on U.S. entrepreneurship. Citing U.S. Census Data, the SBA found that veteran-owned firms represent 9 percent of all U.S. firms. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employed over 5.8 million individuals.
“Transitioning service members are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the training, experience, and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs,” the SBA adds.
A national rollout of Operation Boots to Business is set for 2013.
This is the latest of veteran-focused service the SBA provides. For more information, go to Office of Veterans Business Development of the SBA website.