- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Boots to Business

by Janet Farley, Contributing Writer

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Article Sponsored by: Tim Hortons, Dryer Vent Wizard

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Veterans Are Highly Successful EntrepreneursNot everyone is cut out to work for someone else. Some of us would prefer to work for ourselves. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), although veterans represent only six percent of the population, they actually own 13.5 percent of small businesses in the United States.

This statistic is likely to rise given the state of the U.S. job market as many in uniform (and many married to one) find themselves unceremoniously out of a paycheck in the coming months or as service members simply find themselves at that transition point in their careers.


If self-employment is something that you or your transitioning spouse is contemplating, you should be aware of a relatively new program offered by the SBA that can help you do it more effectively.


Boots to Business ( is an entrepreneurial education initiative that helps transitioning service members fully evaluate the feasibility and next steps involved in self-employment.


You first learn about the program within the framework of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) where you watch a short introductory video. Afterward, you can participate in a two-day elective course called Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Finally, you can opt to enroll in an eight-week, instructor-led online class called Foundations of Entrepreneurship, often dubbed the “mini MBA.”


The program is available free of charge to transitioning and retiring service members and their family members.


Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the two-day elective course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship. In this presentation conducted by two incredibly knowledgeable professors from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), I learned quite a bit about the entrepreneurial process itself, including the basic steps of the process:


-Identify the opportunity

-Develop the concept

-Determine the required resources

-Acquire the necessary resources

-Implement and manage

-Harvest the venture


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