It goes without saying that being a member of the armed forces provides you with valuable experience and skills. And as it turns out, it gives you a bit of the entrepreneurial bug, too.
The men and women returning to the U.S. from military service are 45 percent more likely to start a business than those with no military service, according to a Small Business Administration report.
Here, three of the best organizations, according to Task & Purpose, that have mobilized in recent years to assist veterans in the transition from active service to civilians with promising entrepreneurial endeavors.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)
Post-9/11 veterans who have sustained service-connected disabilities can apply to this program to enroll in a hybrid online/in-person entrepreneurship bootcamp — for free. Participants first complete a self-study curriculum online, and from there, they move to a nine-day residency at one of the eight universities that host the EBV program. After the residency, enrolled veterans continue to receive mentorship and advice from EBV’s network of experts.
EBV got its start at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2007, and after a successful first year, seven more schools signed on to host the program on their campuses. Over the life of the program, EBV has seen more than 700 matriculating veterans, whose new business ventures have collectively created 670 new jobs, according to the EBV website.
Techstars Patriot Boot Camp (PBC)
The Patriot Boot Camp is an offshoot of Techstars, a tech-startup accelerator with locations in six U.S. cities and London. Active military, veterans, and their spouses are the groups PBC was designed for.
PBC’s annual three-day workshop calls upon experts from the Techstars network to offer education and mentoring to would-be entrepreneurs at no cost, and on the final day, the program allows attendees to practice their business pitches. PBC received much of its funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
VetCap from VetsInTech
VetCap (short for “capital for veterans”) seeks to provide its members with just that: Connections to investors with the capital necessary to nurture fledgling businesses. The first VetCap event was held this May in San Francisco, with over 70 vets in attendance, according to the program’s website.
The nonprofit’s plan going forward is to roll out workshops across the U.S., not all of which will focus on tech, reports a Forbes article on the new project.
If you or someone you know is a veteran or an active service member with entrepreneurial ambitions, take note. These organizations are devoted to seeing those dreams realized.