Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup to Help Them Start Businesses



Contact:  Cecelia Taylor (202) 401-3059

Release Number: 12-32

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SBA Launches Program to Help Transitioning Service Members and Veterans Become

Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup to Help Them Start Businesses
and Create Jobs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has joined with the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to launch a
training program for transitioning service members and veterans to help them become
entrepreneurs and create jobs.  Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup
is a national initiative that will be piloted with the U.S. Marine Corps.  The
announcement was made today by U.S. Small Business Administrator Karen Mills and
U.S. Marine Corps representatives at Quantico, VA.

“Our service men and women have made incalculable contributions and sacrifices for
our country, and supporting them as they pursue their dreams to start or grow their
own business is one of our highest priorities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said.
“Through this partnership, we stand ready with support, entrepreneurial training,
and resources that are critical tools to help them start businesses, drive economic
growth and create jobs for themselves and their communities.”

Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are valuable opportunities for
transitioning service members and veterans.  Each year, more than 250,000 service
members transition out of the military.  Transitioning veterans are natural
entrepreneurs who possess the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses
and create jobs.
While Operation Boot to Business ramps up, the Los Angeles District Office has
initiated a Veteran Business Webinar – Summer Speaker Series every Wednesday from
July 11 through August 29 from 10am to 11am (PST).  Connect to weekly webinars at:
Veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners.  Nine percent
of small businesses are veteran-owned.  These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses
employ more than 5 million individuals.  In the private sector workforce, veterans
are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be

Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup will help support veterans as
they grow businesses and create jobs by building on SBA’s role as a leader in
entrepreneurship training.
SBA will help connect veterans with its resource partner network – Small Business
Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, and Veterans
Business Opportunity Centers (VBOCs) – for support throughout the life-cycle of
their new businesses.

Through its ongoing collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans
and Military Families (IVMF), SBA also will provide comprehensive training materials
specifically geared toward transitioning service members.

SBA partners will coordinate training and services at military bases around the
country, delivering a face-to-face introductory entrepreneurship course.  In
addition, an intensive eight-week online business planning training will be provided
by Syracuse University and its affiliated university partners for those service
members who choose to continue to pursue entrepreneurship after the face-to-face
introductory course.  Following, service members and veterans will be referred to
SBDCs, WBCs, SCORE chapters and VBOCs for counseling and training throughout the
lifetime of their business.

The program will pilot in four locations: Quantico, Va., Cherry Point, N.C., Camp
Pendleton, Calif., and Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif.  It will be expanded across the
nation during fiscal year 2013 with the goal of providing entrepreneurial training
and awareness to transitioning service members from all branches of the military.

For more information on Boots to Business training program, and on how to take part
as a transitioning service member, please visit http://www.sba.gov/bootstobusiness.

SBA currently engages veterans through its 68 local SBA district offices, 16
Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide, and its partnership with 1,000 Small
Business Development Centers and some 12,000 SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small
Businesses volunteers.  Each year SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans,
service-disabled veterans and reservists.

To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA,
please visit the website at www.sba.gov/vets<http://www.sba.gov/vets>.

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