News: Boots to Business helps entrepreneurs
Story by Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham
SUMTER, S.C. - According to U.S. census data, there are around 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses. If you are a transitioning service member, veteran or spouse interested in starting your own business, then the free Boots to Business workshop may be the right place to start.
"Three percent of all federal government contracts must go to small businesses owned by service disabled veterans, so there is a need for new veteran-owned businesses," said Anna Lisa Richardson, community readiness specialist at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
The Small Business Association has partnered with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to provide this training to more than 100,000 service members each year.
"Our sole goal is to teach people how to make a profitable business," said James Giffin, a veteran business specialist from the Sumter area small business development center.
The free two day workshop is made up of eight modules including:
- Introduction to the entrepreneurial process.
- Opportunity recognition and understanding what makes a business sustainable.
- Markets and how to conduct research.
- Economics and understanding profit potential.
- Legal issues associated with business.
- Financing and how to afford new ventures.
- Business planning for constructing a viable plan.
- Resources available to new businesses.
"After completing the workshop, participants will have the right tools and the knowledge needed to successfully identify good business opportunities, draft a business plan and launch their business," said Giffin.
"The class was really helpful," said Milya Rivera, a military spouse. "More people should know that this is offered to military spouses too."
"At the end of the day, the program is free and it's a great opportunity," said Floyd Bryant, veterans' representative of the Small Business Administration.
For more information or to sign up for the next Boots to Business workshop call the A&FRC at (803) 895-1252.