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Boots to Business

“It doesn’t matter what your business idea is, Boots to Business is a great resource for all of us. My advice to anyone, even if they have an inclination that starting a business might be something down the road, I would pursue it. Start early. Take advantage of Boots to Business.”– Dr. Tony T., Owner Mt. Hood Eyecare

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Boots to Business is the two step entrepreneurial training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a training track within the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The SBA partners with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University on program curriculum development, course materials and instruction.

About Boots to Business

The curriculum provides assistance to those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. In addition, participants are introduced to SBA resources available to access start-up capital, technical assistance and contracting opportunities.


What You Will Experience

  • Assistance in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities
  • Instruction on business basics and techniques for evaluating the feasibility of participant’s business concepts and foundational knowledge required to develop an actionable business plan
  • Introduction to SBA resources available to access start-up capital, technical assistance and contracting opportunities
  • Connection to resources in participant’s local communities

Eligibility

Boots to Business is open to service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserves) and their spouses. It caters to all pay grades, enlisted and officer.


Length

  • Step 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship, 2-Day Course
  • Step 2: Foundations of Entrepreneurship, 8-Week Online Course

Cost

There is no cost to Boots to Business participants. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the government sponsor of the Boots to Business program.

The Boots to Business program is currently delivered at over 180 military installations worldwide.

Boots to Business has executed over 2,000 Two-Day Introduction to Entrepreneurship courses.

Boots to Business has reached over 46,000 participants.

What Boots to Business Grads Have to Say About the Program

Chris S.

U.S. Air Force

“No matter what you want to do with your life, taking the two-day Boots to Business course is the best decision you will make. You’re going to know whether you want to be an entrepreneur or not. Boots to Business taught me how to be an entrepreneur. It opened up new horizons for me.”

Carlina Williams

U.S. Navy

“I’ve always know that I needed to develop a business plan for any type of business, but going to the Boots to Business workshop, it got into the nitty-gritty of what the business plan entailed. I made great connections. I even learned the government aspects of acquiring contracts as well as learning how to promote myself as a veteran.”

Watch Carlina’s Story here

Dr. Tony T.

U.S. Army

“I looked at my classmates… and we ranged anywhere from me being a doctor of optometry to someone wanting to start a childcare business. It doesn’t matter what your business idea is, Boots to Business is a great resource for all of us. My advice to anyone, even if they have an inclination that starting a business might be something down the road, I would pursue it. Start early. Take advantage of Boots to Business. It’s a great opportunity.”

 

About the Coursework

Introduction to Entrepreneurship Two-Day Course

A two-day course offered as a TAP training track for those interested in learning more about the opportunities and challenges of business ownership. Subject matter experts and practitioners from SBA and its network of partners teach the course at over 180 military installations worldwide. Participants learn business fundamentals and techniques for evaluating the feasibility of their business concepts.

 

Foundations of Entrepreneurship Eight-Week Online Course

After completing the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class, transitioning Service members and their spouses can elect to further their study through an instructor guided high-touch eight-week online course taught by professors from a consortium of accredited universities led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)at Syracuse University. By dedicating a minimum of 10 hours per week to connected and independent study, participants work through the fundamentals of developing an actionable business plan.

Innovation Delivery & Partnership

To deliver Boots to Business and support service members and military spouses, SBA collaborates with its resource partners (Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE), the Department of Defense and other federal agencies and local military installations. SBA also partners with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University on program curriculum development, course materials and instruction. Beyond Boots to Business, SBA’s network of partners offers continued training and technical assistance with an emphasis on access to capital and federal contracting opportunities.

SBA and its partners ensure that every service member and military spouse has the resources they need in their local communities to start and operate small businesses, achieve post-service career success, and strengthen the Nation’s economy.