Entrepreneurial Course Helps Separating Service Members Launch Startups

“Boots to Business,” an optional supplement to DOD’s newly revised Transition GPS program developed by the Small Business Administration, is providing transitioning service personnel a variety of tools to start their own small businesses.

After a two-day introduction, soon-to-be veterans in this track enroll in an eight-week online course through Syracuse University aimed at helping service members prepare a business plan.

“I chose the entrepreneurship track because I really needed a career that would offer me flexibility, as well as portability to juggle the roles of spouse, mom and entrepreneur,” Sandra Gonzales, a former Army Nurse told American Forces Press Service. Gonzales is starting up an educational consulting firm that creates interactive learning programs for children, the private sector and health care organizations.

Students in Boots to Business begin the eight-week class with a concept for a small business and build their business plan while learning about demographics, legal issues, retail, hiring employees and insurance.

“I went into it thinking I had a good established business plan and ideas about how I wanted to market my business, and the seven weeks has really helped guide and refine it,” said Army Capt. Tony Turin, who is in week seven of the program.

Boots to Business is one of three optional tracks that the DOD offers to supplement the week-long Transition GPS program, its replacement for the Transition Assistance Program.

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