SBA: Nonprofit Organizations Receive Funding for Providing “Boots to Business” Entrepreneurship Training

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded a total of $2,324,100 to two nonprofit organizations providing “Boots to Business” entrepreneurship training to military service members, military spouses and veterans.

This funding, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, will enable the two organizations to deliver Boots to Business—the entrepreneurship track of the Department of  Defense’s Transition Assistance Program—to military service members and their spouses, both within the continental United States and overseas.

The award is awarded based on an initial 12-month project period plus four option years, subject to the availability of funds. Each awardee has displayed a commitment and ability to deliver entrepreneurial training to transitioning service members and their spouses.

The two awardees are:

  • Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran & Military Families in partnership with the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University – $1.5  million

IVMF will provide Boots to Business instruction to service members and military spouses stationed overseas at 34 military installations in nine countries. Additionally, IVMF has partnered with Cornell University to provide Boots to Business follow-on instruction which will include orientation to entrepreneurship/ideation, market research and business fundamentals delivered globally via Cornell University’s eCornell platform. IVMF and Cornell University will also work with SBA to develop follow-on training specialty tracks such as franchising or agribusiness, based on participant demand and market opportunity.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the SBA and honored to serve our nation’s service member veterans and families through the Boots to Business program,” said Syracuse University Vice Chancellor and IVMF Executive Director Mike Haynie.

“The inclusion of the Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business into the partnership provides additional expertise and critical resources necessary to keep the focus on entrepreneurship as well as education, and is vital to ensuring the success of our service members around the world as they prepare to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.”

  • Mississippi State University – $824,100

MSU will partner with OVBD to deliver Boots to Business instruction through a new follow-on online training course, “B2B Revenue Readiness (RR)”. Based on curriculum that MSU developed as part of their 2016 SBA award in the “Lean for Main Street” challenge, participants in this program will learn how to develop a clear vision of their individual business model, and a multi-faceted business plan.

“Our training program is an accelerated platform designed to help entrepreneurial-minded veterans take their ideas from a concept to full operation in a relatively short timeframe, pushing them to create real, tangible results, as well as instilling in them a sense of self-motivated urgency,” said Mississippi State University College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald.  “Our ultimate goal is job creation and capital improvement.  Small businesses are the cornerstone of the U.S. economy and our experienced team is anxious to work with our military heroes.”

“Boots to Business is vital in connecting entrepreneurs with the vast ecosystem of SBA resources,” said Barb Carson, Office of Veterans Business Development Associate Administrator. “SBA is proud to administer this critical foundation for sustaining veteran entrepreneurship as a pillar of America’s small business economy.”

SBA’s Boots to Business program has served more than 60,000 transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses since its launch on January 1, 2013. The program is administered as a collaborative effort between SBA district offices, SBA resource partners (Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Association of Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, Small Business Development Centers), OVBD, and grant (cooperative agreement) partners.

To learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

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