The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has entered into a cooperative agreement with America’s Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) to provide a combined $1.12 million of funding to sustain and expand the resource partners’ participation in SBA’s Boots to Business program. The program provides training to transitioning service members and their spouses pursuing business ownership as a post-military service career.
Funding for the agreement will reimburse SBA resource partners for the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” courses delivered on military installations worldwide as part of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The course helps prepare transitioning service members for business ownership and connects them to SBA resources in their local communities.
“Veterans make some of our country’s best entrepreneurs, and we are investing in them by ensuring our partners are funded to maximize the training and support they provide to service members embarking on their post-service careers,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We owe so much to those who have served in our Armed Forces and sacrificed so much. Our veterans deserve opportunities, and the SBA and our network of small business experts are ready to help them start their next chapter.”
Boots to Business is the entrepreneurship training track within the DoD’s TAP program designed to support service members as they transition to civilian life. Boots to Business began as a pilot in 2012, expanded nationally in 2013, and was appropriated $7 million in the fiscal year 2014 federal budget for expansion and sustainment. Since January 2013, over 16,000 transitioning service members have participated in the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class on 165 military installations worldwide.
Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military. These veterans are natural entrepreneurs who possess the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs.
Veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners. Nine percent of small businesses are veteran-owned. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than five million individuals and generate more than one trillion dollars of receipts each year. In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
Each year, SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists start and grow their small businesses. To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.