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Source : Boots2Business
June 10, 2021
Author : Patty Rodriguez
The funding is being given out from the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Office of Veteran Business Development towards the University of Maryland’s Division of Research. It will be used to help provide “training and counseling” as part of a Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC).
“Maryland is home to nearly 400,000 veterans and 15 military bases, including the U.S. Naval Academy, the Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Detrick,” says a press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
“Empowering more of our veterans with the tools they need to become successful small business owners will provide a boost to the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem across Maryland,” committee chair Senator Cardin (D-MD) said. “I thank SBA for this critical, timely investment that will increase Maryland’s capacity to service the region’s veterans and transitioning service members. Support for our service men and women must stay strong when they are uniform and when they transition to civilian life.”
The funding is meant to last the Maryland-based VBOC 11 months “with up to four additional one-year option periods, subject to the availability of funds. The project period is effective starting June 1, 2021 and ends on April 30, 2026.”
The military small business community – which includes entrepreneurs from active duty military, reserves, National Guard, veterans and military spouses – are a driving force in our nation’s economy. The SBA’s 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers work hard to support these entrepreneurs, and give them the tools and support they need to live their American dream, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s important for our continued economic recovery and growth,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a separate press release.
“The can-do spirit of our servicemen and women is the entrepreneurial spirit - the grit, determination and resilience it takes to start, grow and sustain a small business,” she added. “At the SBA, we want our military entrepreneurs to know that we’re here to help them harness that spirit and use the skills and expertise they gained in the military to start, grow and sustain successful small businesses. We’re doing that work with this award to the University of Maryland. Our message to our nation’s military entrepreneurs is this: You invested in our country. Now, it’s our turn to invest in you.”
VBOCs give training to service members and their spouses through what’s called the Boots to Business program, an offshoot of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. VBOCs also give counseling, technical and financial skill development as well as comprehensive business assessment and mentoring programs.
“As the state of Maryland’s flagship university and a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, the University of Maryland is uniquely qualified to serve as a Veterans Business Outreach Center based on its demonstrated history and commitment to working with transitioning service members, veterans and military spouse entrepreneurs,” the press release states, noting the university’s previous history with the Boots to Business program, the Boots to Business Reboot instruction, and other existing partnerships with the SBA.