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Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities expands reach to assist more veterans
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) has undertaken three major initiatives that will significantly expand the reach and impact of the EBV to assist in rebuilding the lives and economic potentials of U.S. veterans with disabilities.
The initiatives are:
- the addition of the University of Connecticut School of Business to the EBV Consortium, which also includes the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the Mays Business School at Texas A&M, the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business and the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University;
- a three-year, $450,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development to help grow the EBV nationwide and maximize the availability, applicability and usability of small business programs for veterans, service-disabled veterans, reserve component members, and their dependents or survivors; and
- the launch of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families, a pilot program that will offer training in small business creation and management for select caregivers of veterans with disabilities.
“Since 2001, wounded U.S. soldiers have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with fewer opportunities in the workplace. This unfortunate reality has been compounded in the last year by the recession,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School of Management and a former Vietnam War-era Army captain. “The Whitman School launched the EBV in 2007 as a step towards providing these veterans with the skills and knowledge to create their own opportunities, support their families, and to re-engage the economic engines of their communities. The three initiatives announced today greatly enhance the abilities of the EBV Consortium to give back to veterans and military families who have given so much in service to our country.”
“With tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel returning home disabled from conflict, our Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans is more critical than ever,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We’re proud SU is leading the way in integrating this type of support for veterans and their families into a national university’s mission. SU’s legacy has always been one of access and inclusion and this new SBA grant will allow this groundbreaking program to expand its efforts to serve those who have so honorably served our nation.”
The six schools that comprise the EBV Consortium each annually host up to 25 veterans with disabilities for cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship and small business management, with the ultimate goal of small business creation and growth by the veteran. The veterans, who have all served post-9/11 in Afghanistan or Iraq, learn a range of business skills, including accounting, human resources, supply chain, operations, strategy and more from world-class faculty, entrepreneurs, disability experts and business professionals. The program is entirely free, including travel and accommodations.
The EBV program is offered in three phases:
Throughout the EBV experience, students engage in experimental workshops to write business plans, raise capital, attract customers, and develop a marketing strategy that is most effective for their business model.
To create disability-related curriculum and assist participants in understanding and leveraging programs at the intersection of disability and entrepreneurship, the EBV is offered in collaboration with SU’s Burton Blatt Institute, which seeks to advances the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities.