The Senate Appropriations Committee praised the Small Business Administration’s “Boots to Business” program for helping transitioning service members start businesses, according to its draft report accompanying the FY 2015 Financial Services spending bill, which funds the SBA.
The report noted that the entrepreneurial curriculum is offered to service members as an option within the revised transition assistance program. The committee pointed out that many of SBA’s programs for veterans provide counseling and training after service members separate from DOD, even though “pre-deployment training and counseling could potentially be more effective” and save money for veterans and taxpayers.
The panel directs the agency to assess the efficacy of providing counseling and training before deployment, describe the counseling services provided to veteran small business owners in advance of deployment and include recommendations to improve the counseling.
The Appropriations Committee released the report Thursday even though it doesn’t plan to mark up the spending measure.
The panel also said it was concerned about the disparity between the percentage of military personnel that are women, 14 percent, and the portion of veteran-owned small business that are owned by women, 4 percent. The latter figure is “far less than 30 percent of small businesses owned by non-veteran women.”
The committee directs the SBA to assess the current level of outreach for women veterans provided by Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Small Business Development Centers, “including recommendations for improving outreach to this demographic group.”
The Appropriations Committee report can be found on its website.