Operation Boots to Business
Returning Veterans to Entrepreneurship
By Calvin W. Goings
U.S. Small Business Administration
Each year, 250,000 service members make the transition from military service to civilian life. In fact, nine percent of all U.S. firms are owned by veterans. That’s why the SBA launched Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup to help transitioning service members and veterans become entrepreneurs and create jobs.
Operation Boots to Business is the SBA’s project to connect veterans to resource partners. Those partners are the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), and Veterans Business Opportunity Centers (VBOCs). Through ongoing collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), the SBA will also provide comprehensive training materials specifically geared toward transitioning service members.
The initiative includes 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.
Veterans are natural entrepreneurs, already possessing the experience and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs. Boots to Business is an opportunity to assist local veterans in channeling skills to create an economy built to last.
The pilot program is currently underway with the Marine Corps in Virginia, North Carolina, and California. There are plans to expand the service area to all branches next year.
For more information, click Boots to Business