The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced a three-year agreement to expand and deliver entrepreneurship training for service-disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The agreement with SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development will support the expansion of the year-long Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). The expansion of this innovative management training and mentorship program will maximize small business programs for veterans, service-disabled veterans, reserve-component members, and their dependents or survivors.
Additionally, this week SBA launched a new online contracting tutorial on the SBA Website, as part of its ongoing efforts to expand services to veterans and service-disabled veterans. Veterans and military spouses who own small businesses can utilize this free online course to learn how to identify and take advantage of federal contracting opportunities.
“At this important time, with veterans returning from foreign soil in increasing numbers, we at the SBA are working to ensure they have the resources to successfully start and run their small businesses. As a result of the leadership skills they develop during their service, veterans over-index in entrepreneurial activities,” SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said today. “Our commitment is to honor that service by helping our nation’s veterans – especially those who return home with disabilities – fulfill the American Dream. Initiatives like the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and our online training courses give veteran business owners the tools they need to grow, be competitive, and create jobs.”
Working with Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, the University of Connecticut School of Business, Mays Business School at Texas A&M, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, and the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, SBA’s grant and other assistance will significantly expand the reach and impact of the EBV initiative and help maximize economic opportunities for U.S. veterans with disabilities.
The expansion of SBA’s entrepreneurship training initiatives builds on SBA’s support for veterans through its Patriot Express loan program. In less than two-and-a -half year’s time, this pilot loan initiative has supported nearly $400 million in loans to more than 4,700 veterans and spouses looking to establish or expand their small businesses. As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which raised loan guarantees to 90 percent and temporarily eliminated fees, the number of Patriot Express loans increased by more than 20 percent this year over 2008. Local SBA district offices have a listing of Patriot Express lenders in their areas. Details on the initiative can be found at the SBA Website.
With Veteran’s Day being celebrated on Wednesday, November 11, I hope each of my readers will take a few minutes to honor our many veterans and show their support by posting our flag at work and/or at home.
To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, please visit their Website.
Posted by: Mike Clough