WASHINGTON - Transitioning service members and veterans will be able to learn how to become entrepreneurs through a U.S. Small Business Administration-sponsored pilot program, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills told reporters here yesterday.
Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a pilot program designed to provide the training, tools and resources that transitioning service members and veterans will need to establish businesses, Mills said.
Joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), the SBA wants veterans to have the capital, advice and counseling, and access to federal contracting opportunities to start, build and grow successful businesses.
The pilot program will begin at four Marine Corps bases: Quantico, Va., Cherry Point, N.C., and the Camp Pendleton and Twenty-nine Palms installations in California. The network of resources will train 20,000 returning Marines. By fiscal year 2013, she said, the program will be offered across the board to transitioning service members.
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 Americas Small Businesses volunteers.