Through the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the Small Business Administration of the federal government provides training and support to veterans who want to start a business. One of the main programs is known as Operation Boots to Business. This teaches service members how to develop a plan for their business, present it to investors, and pursue other funding options. It also provides basic accounting training. Following a two-day introduction offered through Transition Assistance Programs, veterans can complete an eight-week online training course. Operation Boots to Business also opens the door to further training programs for veterans who are interested in starting a business.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities
Coordinated with Syracuse University, various universities throughout the U.S. provide this program to veterans who are suffering from a service-related disability. You may be eligible even if your application for VA disability compensation is pending but not yet approved. You must have left the military after 2001 to qualify. EBV eligibility does not require a certain disability rating, but it does require a strong interest in starting a small business and a likelihood of success in starting the type of business that the veteran envisions. This program covers basic skills related to business formation and growth, as well as incorporating material specific to veterans with a disability.
Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship
Syracuse University offers this program to female veterans who honorably served in the military, as well as to spouses and partners of veterans. It involves a three-day conference and an online component. Most of the course is offered free of charge, except for a registration fee and transportation costs. The conference allows female veterans to get firsthand insights about core business skills, such as marketing and accounting, from women who have successfully built businesses in various industries.
Opportunities for Members of the National Guard and Reserves
You may be eligible for an eight-week online training program in business planning, financing, and marketing, known as Operation Endure and Grow, if you served in the National Guard or Reserves. Family members of people who served in the National Guard and Reserves also may be eligible. If you have a disability related to service in the National Guard or Reserves, you may qualify for the EBV program above as well.
Further Options for Veterans Starting Small Businesses
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families also offers business training programs for veterans and their family members. Through the Office of Veterans Business Development, the Small Business Administration offers local support for starting and developing businesses and getting government contracts. Also, the VA Center for Veterans Enterprise offers resources in this area. If you are verified as a veteran by the VA, your business will get priority in receiving VA contracts.