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SBA awards SU $3M grant to fund entrepreneurship training for veterans

By Eric Reinhardt


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced that it has awarded a $3 million grant to Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).

The SBA grant funds one year of entrepreneurship education and training to transitioning service members.

The funding is part of the SBA’s “Boots to Business” program, the agency said in a news release.

The agreement with IVMF enables a consortium of 14 universities across the U.S. to provide instructors for the Boots to Business entrepreneurship-training program. 

IVMF will work closely with the SBA and SBA-resource partners, including the Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, who provide essential instruction, mentorship, and access to capital counseling to program participants, the agency said.

Boots to Business is a three-step program developed to introduce transitioning military-service members to business ownership and connect them to support resources in their local communities, according to the SBA. 

The curriculum provides assistance for exploring self-employment opportunities, the SBA said. It leads participants through the “key” steps for evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan.

Funding will support instruction, curriculum development, and materials production for the program.

The program includes two-day courses on military installations and an instructor-led, eight-week online course to introduce and prepare transitioning service members for business ownership and connect them to local SBA resources for continued support.

Boots to Business is a training track within the U.S. Department of Defense’s “Transition, Goals, Plans, Success” (Transition GPS) program that is designed to support service members as they transition to civilian life. 

Boots to Business began as a pilot in 2012. It expanded nationally in 2013, and the federal government appropriated $7 million for the program in the fiscal year 2014 budget for “sustainment and expansion,” the SBA said. 

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