Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
Boot Camp Comes to the White House
There won’t be any drill sergeants, but 100 veterans have started a two-day boot camp at the White House. Boots to Business: Reboot is an expansion of the training program developed by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), which is currently offered to transitioning service members, to veterans of all eras and their spouses. Instructors from the U.S. Small Business Administration and Syracuse University will teach veterans and transitioning service members the basics of pursuing self-employment and small business ownership.
“I can’t think of a better way to show support for veterans’ career and business goals than by hosting them at the White House,” says Ray Toenniessen, managing director of development and external relations for the IVMF. “We know veterans make the best entrepreneurs and we know veterans hire veterans; that’s why IVMF and the SBA are so committed to training and educating veterans about entrepreneurship and small business ownership.”
After launching at the White House, Boots to Business: Reboot will travel to 11 more cities across the country to empower veterans and veterans’ spouses to create and contribute to their local economies as successful business owners. Today, there are nearly 2.5 million small businesses owned by veterans employing more than 5.7 million people and contributing close to $1.7 trillion to the nation’s GDP.
“Veterans are a natural fit for entrepreneurship,” says Rhett Jeppson, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Veteran Business Development. “The SBA is committed to ensuring veterans have every opportunity to build the foundations of a successful small business. IVMF is an essential partner in delivering this program to service members, veterans and spouses.”
The training is free for participants, and veterans and spouses from all eras of service are eligible for the classes. There is still space available in several classes around the country so interested individuals should apply for the program as soon as possible at http://boots2business.org/reboot-apply.aspx.