Veterans' Entrepreneurship Programs
Boots to Business
Boots to Business is a program offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is operated by SU's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). It is a three phase training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. Boots to Business begins during the service members transition from the service (TAP or TAMP) and can continue if the service member decides to self select into phase II and III.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)
A national center, located at The Whitman School of Syracuse University, is committed to entrepreneurship and management training for disabled veterans. Companion programs are offered at UCLA, Florida State, Texas A&M, Purdue, UConn, Louisiana State and Cornell. The program is intended for service-disabled veterans of Post-9/11 conflicts, but pre-9/11 service disabled veterans are accepted on a space available basis. This free program involves the completion of a 30 day online curriculum, followed by a nine day residency (all travel and local costs and airport pick-up are included) at the host university and a year of free business support thereafter. This is a highly rated program with a good record of success.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Family Members of Veterans with Disabilities (EBV-F)
This program is similar to the EBV program, focusing on small business ownership to provide a vocational and economic “path-forward” for caregivers, the surviving spouse, or adult children of a military member. Small business management training and balancing caregiver and family issues, assists the family member to start and grow a small business. The program is offered annually at Syracuse University and Florida State University.
Women Veterans Ignite the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)
A similar program to EBV also run by the Whitman School at Syracuse. This free program is for female veterans in any branch and era. The program consists of a fifteen day online course and a three day residency at one site in the U.S. annually. The three day residency is paid for, but transportation and the $75 application fee are not. Hardship waivers are sometimes available.
Operation Endure & Grow
Another spin-off program of EBV, this one is aimed at National Guard members, reservists, and their families. This is online training that has two different tracks. One is for small business start-up; the other for small businesses over three years old that seek to grow. The program is mostly supported by the SBA. However, there is a registration cost of $75 for eight weeks of online training. All books, materials and fees are provided thorough support from the SBA.
Veterans with Disabilities Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)
This program is for veterans that are disabled as a result of their military service. Hosted at Oklahoma State University, the program is free to those qualified veterans accepted into the program. A two-month online course is followed by an all expenses paid eight day residency at Oklahoma State University, then ten months of support and mentorship from entrepreneurship experts at the University.
Wall Street Warfighters Foundation
This is a Philadelphia-based program that trains disabled veterans for work in the finance industry. It is a rigorous six month program where students rotate through classes, field work, exam preparation and testing, mentorship, and an internship in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Expenses for travel from the H.O.R., training materials, workshops and testing fees, and securities licensing preparation courses will be covered throughout training and placement. A monthly stipend and a personal computer are also provided. Note that the objective of this foundation is to steer students towards jobs in large firms rather than starting up small businesses.
Veteran's Entrepreneur Boot Camp
The Riverside Center for Innovation (RCI) in Pittsburgh offers a free training camp for veterans and their spouses. The thirteen to fifteen week course, totaling 44.5 hours of training, teaches veterans how to start and operate a small business, through classes, Internet access, the availability of business counselors and more.
The Mission Continues
This Fellowship program helps post 9/11 veterans develop professional skills and networks, translate military-based skills to the civilian workforce, and utilize their leadership skills in the community. Fellows attend a three day orientation, and then provide part-time service work for six months at a local non-profit that focuses on educational, environmental or social issues. At the end of their service time, fellows either pursue full-time employment, pursues higher education, or a permanent role of service that bridges the military-civilian divide. A stipend is provided during this time.
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