The U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Boots to Business” program has trained 25,000 transitioning service members over the past two years, in collaboration with the Department of Defense, the SBA announced Tuesday.
Through the DOD’s Transition Assistance Program, members of the armed forces who are transitioning to civilian life receive entrepreneurship and business planning training, obtaining the tools to start their own companies.
“Boots to Business” is available free of charge on more than 165 military installations worldwide. The training program provides military service members and their spouses the opportunity to explore business ownership and self-employment, helps them evaluate the feasibility of their business concepts and connects the aspiring business owners to SBA’s network of resource partners.
“In Puerto Rico, we have trained [more than] 50 transitioning service members since the program’s inception on the island in early 2014,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“We are committed as ever to providing members of the military and their spouses with the training and resources they need to achieve their dreams of small business ownership, and continue fostering our economic development,” she said.
Initiated as a pilot in 2012 and expanded nationally in 2013, “Boots to Business” uses SBA resource partners including the Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University to deliver entrepreneurship education and training.
“‘Boots to Business’ helps our service members and their spouses explore careers in entrepreneurship by showing them how to apply their military skills to start and grow their business,” said SBA Administrator María Contreras-Sweet. “Our veterans deserve every chance at success, and our economic future requires that we help them acquire the skills necessary to start the next generation of great American businesses.”