By Debbie Gregory.
In August, the American Legion, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and Syracuse University held a free, two day course designed for female military Veterans and military spouses. The course was titled “For Her Entrepreneurship — Resources, Opportunities, Experiences and Support” and was held in Houston during the American Legion’s annual conference.
The two-day course was designed to give its participants the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan and launch their enterprises. The curriculum included an introduction to entrepreneurship. There was also skills training, plus detailed information on resources and support programs designed specifically to aid Veterans and Veteran Families who are working with the federal government. The course also included business conceptualization, business plan formulation, financial planning, start-up funding and marketing.
The program was designed to help the approximately 1 million military families that are estimated to be transitioning into the civilian sector within the next few years. The focus of the program was on women because the SBA believes that women are starting more new businesses than men. The SBA also believes that entrepreneurship is a viable alternative for many Vets who may find the civilian job market to be unfavorable.
“Transitioning veterans are natural entrepreneurs who possess unique training, experience and leadership that makes them adept at starting businesses that create jobs,” said SBA Mid Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urthecho. “Veteran-owned businesses represent nine percent of all U.S. firms — 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employing 5.793 million individuals.”
The course and their partnership with the American Legion is part of the SBA’s commitment to helping Veteran Women Entrepreneurs succeed. Participants who completed the course were also provided access to an eight-week online Foundations of Entrepreneurship course offered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). Completion of this subsequent course will require approximately 10 hours of study each week and will provide its participants with the fundamentals of developing a business plan.
Women veterans interested in enrolling in the free entrepreneurship training program can register at www.legion.org