The Small Business Administration can help veterans transition from military service to business ownership

Photo by Niyazz/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

FEATURE — Recently, President Trump highlighted the importance of our nation’s veteran entrepreneurs and provided the U.S. Small Business Administration with the donation of his second-quarter salary that will go toward helping our nation’s veterans transition from military service to small business ownership. Specifically, the funds will assist the SBA with creating a seven-month intensive entrepreneur training program for veterans.

Veteran entrepreneurs continue to be a driving force in our economy. Nearly 10 percent of all American businesses today are owned by a veteran, collectively employing 5 million workers and generating $1.1 trillion in receipts. Each year, the SBA is proud to assist thousands of veterans, reservists, members of the National Guard and service-disabled veterans to start, grow and expand their small businesses.

President Trump understands the needs of our nation’s small businesses, and he is committed to strong policies that promote meaningful and innovative economic growth. Working in collaboration with our government and community partners, the SBA plays an important role in supporting service members as they exit the military and become entrepreneurs.

Whether you are a transitioning service member, National Guard and Reserve member, or a military spouse, the SBA is here to assist you with business training and education, access to capital and federal contracting opportunities.

Over the years, I have had the privilege to talk with numerous veterans about ways they can translate their military careers to the private sector. Utah is home to more than 140,000 veterans, and many of them see entrepreneurship as a way to make a good living and support their families.

Historically, veterans have been more likely to start a small business than nonveterans. Nearly 19,000 Utah veterans have made the jump to small-business ownership. In many cases, the SBA worked in partnership with the veteran to help them find the financing and training they needed to make their dream of entrepreneurship a reality.

The key to business success is knowing what to do and how to do it. The SBA’s resource partners train and assist thousands of Utahns each year. Our training and counseling services include a Veterans Business Outreach Center, 15 small business development centers, a Women’s Business Center in Salt Lake City and St. George, as well as a statewide volunteer network of executive mentors known as SCORE.

The SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development also has a comprehensive website with online business plans and other critical information for starting a business.

One of the most successful initiatives the SBA has developed to assist transitioning military personnel is the Boots to Business program. Boots to Business is a two-step entrepreneurial training program offered by the SBA as a training track within the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

This program has become a tremendous success at multiple military installations across Utah. Boots to Business was so successful that we opened up a new training opportunity to veterans already in the workforce called Boots to Business Reboot. Boots to Business Reboot brings the Boots to Business curriculum off installations and into communities for veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserve and military spouses.

Written by DAN NORDBERG, U.S. Small Business Administration Region VIII administrator. Region VIII includes Utah, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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