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Boots to Business

“Truly appreciate the information. This course tells you what goes on behind the scene in the startup process and helps you determine if you would really want to move forward with the idea. I feel more confident about moving forward and hearing more about starting my own business.” - Boots to Business 2017 graduate

Boots to Business is 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 (IVMF) at Syracuse University and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell 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 for Boots to Business Introduction to Entrepreneurship – 2-day course: Open to service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses.

Eligibility for Follow On courses: Completion of the Introduction to Entrepreneurship 2-day course, whether Boots to Business or Reboot.


  • Step 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship, 2-Day Course
  • Step 2: Two 3-week courses with a 2-week rest period


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.

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. Click here to establish a profile and choose your 2-day course.

Follow on Courses Offered by the IVMF

The next step is an interconnected system of learning that allows flexibility and encompasses many paths to education. It gives the participants the tools to determine the right path for themselves through assessment and comfort level. If you are not yet ready to start your business and want to build your entrepreneurial skills, see our Business Fundamental classes below.

Market Research

Designed for individuals who are ready to launch their business immediately.

  • Primary Market Research: this course teaches students how to use the tools for the creation of the value proposition and market validation.
  • Defining and Redefining Product Market Fit: further discussion of how to apply the tools for the value proposition and market validation.

See Curriculum Apply to Follow On Courses

Business Fundamentals

Explore skills that will ensure your success beyond the startup phase. For those who are still exploring entrepreneurship and are looking to build more entrepreneurial skills, this section is composed of thirteen, 2–3 hour modular classes in asynchronous one-week online course.

List of Courses

Specialty Tracks Coming February 2018

More information coming soon.

List of Courses

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.”


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 IVMF and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell 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.