For all our veteran entrepreneurs out there, we understand the first step in finding small business resources can be overwhelming. There are multiple business and training programs designed specifically for veteran owned small businesses. In this article, we will highlight a few of them to get you started.
1. Boots to Business Program
Boots to Business is a two-step entrepreneurial training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Step 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship is a two day classroom course for those interested in learning more about the opportunities and challenges of business ownership. Participants learn business fundamentals and techniques for evaluating the feasibility of their business concepts.
Step 2: Foundations of Entrepreneurship Eight Week Course: After completing the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class, service members and their spouses can elect to further their studies through an instructor guided high-touch eight-week online course taught by professors from accredited universities led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Participants dedicate a minimum of 10 hours per week to independent study and developing an actionable business plan.
More information can be found in their program brochure.
2. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans With Disabilities Program
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a one-of-a-kind initiative designed to leverage the skills, resources, and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post 9/11 veterans and their families. EBV offers a three-phased approachto participants:
Phase 1 is a 30-day instructor led, online course focused on basic entrepreneurship skills and understanding the language of business.
Phase 2 is a nine-day residency at an EBV university where students are exposed to over 30 accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the U.S. The residency includes more than 80 hours of instruction in great details on how to fully manage your small business.
Phase 3 offers 12 months of support and mentorship delivered through the EBV Technical Assistance Program (EBV-TAP), a robust, comprehensive network of mentors, resources and national partnerships. Excelsior Growth Fund is proud to be one of the mentor partners for this program and would be more than happy to assist you in your small business needs.
The EBV program originates from Syracuse University and is the local hub for New York Veteran Entrepreneurs. The program application is available on their website.
3. V-WISE: Women Veterans Igniting The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Program
V-Wise is a program open to all female veterans, active duty female service members, and female partners/spouses of active duty service members and veterans who share the goal starting or growing a sustainable business. Participants come from all branches of the military. V-Wise is a three phase program:
Phase 1 is a 15-day online learning experience designed to teach students the “language of business,” how to understand opportunities in the market to create a thriving business, and present real solutions to help create your small business.
Phase 2 is a three-day training offered to cohorts of 200 women at locations across the country. The conference includes more than 20 distinct modules of training, designed for both new business owners and to support the needs of existing ventures. Attendees are exposed to successful entrepreneurs, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and leaders in government.
Phase 3 offersongoing support and community-building opportunities focused on small business creation and growth. This resource network includes both SBA-provided supportive services like SBDC, SCORE, WBC, and access to other great local resource partners.
The application for the V-Wise Program is available on their website.
If you are a veteran who is looking to start or grow your business, we encourage you to look into the great resources that are available to you. The programs highlighted in this article are just a few. For additional resources, contact:
Get verified as a veteran owned small business or service disabled veteran owned small business through the VA’s Veterans First Verification Program. Through verification, small businesses are able to access one of the largest procurement organizations in the federal government.
To all veterans, we thank you for your service and look forward to the possibility of serving as a business resource to you!
About Excelsior Growth Fund
At Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), our mission is to help New York businesses grow by providing small business loans and advisory services. As a nonprofit organization and a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we’re a responsible lender you can trust.
We understand that many small businesses can have difficulty getting traditional bank financing and EGF can help. Our products are affordable and flexible, and our advisory services can help you reach your business goals. Our signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 through a streamlined online platform.