IVMF is excited to announce the addition of a new program: EBV-Spark. Spark resides in the Ideation phase of Arsenal and is derived from our Entrepreneurship for Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program to meet the needs of our veterans and military spouses looking for a 100% virtual entrepreneurship training program. The purpose of this 7-week virtual program is to test the practicality of an early business idea and establish the varying areas of marketing, sales, personal branding, finance, value creation, and value delivery.
Our IVMF Arsenal team ran a pilot program for Spark at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many participants were out of jobs and/or looking for new opportunities during these challenging times. Army veteran Tianna Waite said Spark was a great transition into the entrepreneurship world after being laid off at the beginning of March – helping her keep a schedule to abide by each week. “The weekly Zoom check-ins provided motivation to keep going, and I really enjoyed learning about how other entrepreneurs had laid the groundwork in their own businesses,” Waite said. “Truthfully, without Spark, I don’t think I would’ve pursued my business to the degree I did.” Waite is looking to pursue a business in consulting and professional services.
“Zoom fatigue” has become problematic to many who are constantly online for work and school, but to Army veteran Lamarr Couser, the IVMF Spark team seemed to help ease that fatigue. “I love the people! Everyone I’ve came in contact with that works for EBV-Spark were some of the most caring and passionate people I have ever met in my life. I really like the patience they showed to me and they will meet everyone where they are at with their business and help them go the next step.”
Couser said this program was crucial for his business idea, especially
during the current pandemic. He originally wanted to launch a travel company, but after COVID-19 happened he shifted to the food and beverage industry. “I was seriously about to enter the food service industry where retail and brick and mortar buildings are suffering and businesses are closing at an alarming rate,” Couser said. “This class has given me the ability to think smaller and grow my business gradually so that it can be adjusted to support the times we are now living in.”
Waite added how she learned if one can find the solution to a problem, and one can make things easier, cheaper, or faster, then you will be successful in creating a thriving business. Pivoting how your business works and making sure you find a need being unmet, especially during this pandemic, will help shape you into a successful entrepreneur. “Everything else about creating a business can be learned,” Waite said.
Couser and Waite – who both plan to attend EBV in 2021 to fine-tune their businesses – recommend starting with IVMF’s virtual Spark training for veterans and military spouses looking to pursue business ownership. Prior to Spark, Waite participated in IVMF’s Onward to Opportunity program for her PMP certification because she said learning the ins and outs of project management would make her that much more efficient as a business owner.
“Any veteran or military spouse that is going into business for themselves should take this course because it provides valuable hands-on training and the ability to connect with many people in business you will need to know to be successful. I really enjoyed the class on marketing and financing that alone made it worth it but there was so much more. I have new mentors that have given me excellent advice and recommendations without this program this advice and mentorship would have easily cost me thousands of dollars.” – Couser
“Starting a business is intimidating. There are a million questions that pop into your mind that ultimately come down to an assessment of whether you can handle being a business owner or not. Spark puts you in the space to open that door confidently and start getting the answers to your most problematic questions. You’ll walk away from the program feeling confident that you can actually do it!” — Waite
So, what are you waiting for?! Apply Today.