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SU’s vets institute part of national training initiative

Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) will play a role in a new program announced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today that aims to help service members and veterans become business owners.

The program, called Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, is being piloted with the U.S. Marine Corps. It is starting in Quantico, Va., Cherry Point, N.C., Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Twentynine Palms, Calif. Plans call for expanding it nationwide in the 2013 fiscal year.

Syracuse University’s IVMF and affiliated universities will provide eight weeks of online training in business planning as part of the program. That online training will be for service members and veterans who have decided to pursue entrepreneurship after taking a face-to-face introductory course at a military base.


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Once they have finished the eight weeks of online training, service members and veterans will be referred to Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, and Veterans Business Opportunity Centers — organizations that will offer counseling and training for the durations of their businesses.

“Our service men and women have made incalculable contributions and sacrifices for our country, and supporting them as they pursue their dreams to start or grow their own business is one of our highest priorities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a news release. “Through this partnership, we stand ready with support, entrepreneurial training, and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive economic growth, and create jobs for themselves and their communities.”

The SBA’s partners in the initiative also include the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

Veterans own 9 percent of small businesses nationwide, or 2.45 million businesses, according to the SBA. The administration said it helps more than 200,000 veterans and reservists every year.

The SBA has 68 district offices nationwide, including one at 224 Harrison St. in Syracuse. It also has 16 Veterans Business Outreach Centers.


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