IVMF’s Boots to Business Awarded Federal Contract to Expand Transition Training & Assistance to Military Service Members

Operation Boots to Business Extended by U.S. Small Business Association to provide overseas and continuing business training for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

The D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) has been awarded a $1 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to extend and expand Operation Boots to Business, a self-employment training program available to U.S. military personnel designed to support business ownership as a post-service vocation. The IVMF has been granted funding since the inception of the program in 2013 and will continue their commitment with this award for an initial 12-month project period plus four option years.

“Through our partnership with the SBA, the IVMF has expanded its Boots to Business program to over 30 military installations across 7 different countries, providing entrepreneurship training to those who aspire to launch and grow a business after their time in the military comes to an end,” says Dr. J. Michael Haynie, IVMF executive director and Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship. “The extension of this essential funding, and our longstanding partnership with the SBA, ensures that the IVMF can continue the important work of supporting the vocational aspirations of those navigating the transition from military service to civilian life.”

Operation Boots to Business leverages both the Whitman School’s highly ranked entrepreneurship faculty and education programs, and IVMF’s national leadership in entrepreneurship training for veterans and family members, to deliver a world-class educational experience to our service members. Whitman faculty and IVMF staff have trained Transition Assistance Program (TAP) facilitators to deliver the two-day training on military installations across the U.S. and SBA’s Boots to Business program has served more than 156,000 transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses since its launch on January 1, 2013

“Boots to Business is a vital training program to connect our transitioning service members, veterans, and their families with the necessary tools, tactics, and resources to launch a small business successfully,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator at the Office of Veterans Business Development. “SBA is committed to providing this critical foundation and follow-on opportunities for the military community as a pillar to our nation’s small business landscape.”

“Our programming has made an impact on tens of thousands of veterans across the United States and around the globe,” IVMF’s Boots to Business program manager, Kim Street, says “The support granted to the IVMF by the SBA, their partners, and other advocates guarantee transitioning service members and their families with access to critical resources as they look to start or expand their businesses. The continuation of this partnership will engage even more military-connected entrepreneurs as they look to build their visions.”



Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsored, worldwide program offered as a component of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP) renamed Transition GPS. Boots to Business is offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) and operated by SU’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with SBA resource partners, such as the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). SBA’s expert Resource Partner network provides entrepreneurship training to more than 100,000 veterans every year, many of whom are service members transitioning out of the military.

Boots to Business is a training program that ensures every transitioning service member has access to a standardized entrepreneurship training track and small business resources in their local communities. Faculty provide the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local small business resources, and launch their small business. Active-duty military members (and their partners/spouses) separating from service may elect to participate in the entrepreneurship training track of Boots to Business. The Introduction to Entrepreneurship intensive 2-day course is taught at military installations covering business fundamentals, and a guided initial feasibility analysis of their business concept.

Learn more: https://ivmf.syracuse.edu/programs/entrepreneurship/ideation/boots-to-business/