The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the awarding of $400,000 in funding to the University of Maryland, Division of Research to provide training and counseling as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) serving veteran small business owners in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, has an initial project year of 11 months with up to four additional one-year option periods, subject to the availability of funds. The project period is effective starting June 1, 2021 and ends on April 30, 2026.
“The military small business community – which includes entrepreneurs from active duty military, reserves, National Guard, veterans and military spouses – are a driving force in our nation’s economy. The SBA’s 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers work hard to support these entrepreneurs, and give them the tools and support they need to live their American dream, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s important for our continued economic recovery and growth,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The can-do spirit of our servicemen and women is the entrepreneurial spirit – the grit, determination and resilience it takes to start, grow and sustain a small business. At the SBA, we want our military entrepreneurs to know that we’re here to help them harness that spirit and use the skills and expertise they gained in the military to start, grow and sustain successful small businesses. We’re doing that work with this award to the University of Maryland. Our message to our nation’s military entrepreneurs is this: You invested in our country. Now, it’s our turn to invest in you.”
Each VBOC provides training to service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program, which is part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. VBOCs also provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to veterans, transitioning and active-duty service members, Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses interested in small business ownership.
As the state of Maryland’s flagship university and a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, the University of Maryland is uniquely qualified to serve as a Veterans Business Outreach Center based on its demonstrated history and commitment to working with transitioning service members, veterans and military spouse entrepreneurs. The university’s experience providing Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot instruction as well as their existing regional partnerships with the SBA’s resource and community partners make UMD an asset to the agency’s veteran small business network.
To learn more about the VBOC program, and to find your local center visit www.sba.gov/vboc.
For more information on the SBA’s programs for veterans, visit www.sba.gov/veterans.