Participate in some of the programs made especially for veteran entrepreneurs.
While the unemployment rate among our younger veterans continues to decline and a number of measures have been proposed to ease their transition to civilian life, there is no doubt that a lot of men and women from the U.S. Military prefer to enter the business world rather than join the civilian workforce. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), about 25% of our veterans are looking forward to starting their own businesses from the ground up or to buying an existing one. To address this growing interest, several programs have been conceptualized and institutionalized to help them get started. Here are some of them:
Some Important Programs for Veteran Entrepreneurs
Veterans Fast Launch Initiative. Under this program, veterans can access the necessary training to help them succeed in their chosen business endeavor. In addition, participating veterans can access free software, services and mentoring programs to ensure their success as small business owners. This particular program was launched by the SCORE Foundation in partnership with major corporations and is also available for active-duty personnel and their families.
Veterans as Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE). This program aims to help female veterans and female spouses of veteran business owners launch or grow existing businesses. Launched by the SBA in coordination with the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, this program requires participants to undergo a 15-day online training program focused on building their entrepreneurial skills. After the training, they are asked to attend a three-day conference to take courses on the different aspects of business management.
Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). This program was conceptualized and implemented by the SBA along with Syracuse University to equip post-9/11 service-disabled veterans with the necessary management and financing skills needed to run their own businesses.
TechStar's Rising Star Program. This particular program is perfect for those who are interested in establishing a potentially game-changing technology-oriented start-up. Under this program, interested participants are paired with a highly qualified mentor to help them bring their vision to reality. A total of 40 promising entrepreneurs will be selected every year to undergo this program.
American Corporate Partners (ACP). ACP is a 12-month mentorship program that aims to connect veteran protégées with corporate mentors. During the course of the program, the mentor would teach the aspiring entrepreneur a lot of valuable business lessons that cannot be found in books. In addition, the mentor may also connect his protégé with other advisors, potential investors and customers to further ensure the success of his or her business.
With these programs, our veterans can get all the help they need in bringing their dreams to reality.