Soldiers, while they are still serving or after their tour of duty, make great entrepreneurs. In order to make their transition to civilian life more seamless, Boots to Business|Reboot (B2BR) Classes will teach vets the knowledge they need to start a business of their own.
Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers it as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The goal of B2B is to give its participants an overview of business ownership and transitioning service members (including the National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses to civilian life.
Since 99.9% of the businesses veterans own are classified as small, the resources they receive are critically important for the long term survival of their enterprise. The reboot of B2B looks to give veterans a solid primer into entrepreneurship.
A one or two-day in-person course will offer vets an overview of business fundamentals. At the same time, it introduces them to techniques for evaluating the feasibility of business concepts.
When you attend the B2B Reboot, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from a curriculum that provides assistance to veterans. If you are interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities, this is the place for you.
The curriculum will lead you through the key steps for evaluating business concepts. Furthermore, it will provide the foundational knowledge you need to develop a business plan. Specifically, you will learn how to access start-up capital, technical assistance, contracting opportunities, and more.
The curriculum is divided into two segments, Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Follow-on Support.
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
As a foundation piece of B2B, the “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course begins with lessons that are essential for new entrepreneurs.
The introduction of these lessons will teach you the skills, knowledge, and resources you need to launch a business. This includes steps for developing business concepts, a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to you for help.
The two-day in-person program is taught with experts in their field from the SBA and its extensive network of business advisors. The information offers real-world applications with the latest concepts to ensure vets will have the most accurate toolsets.
Once you complete the “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course, you can choose to continue your study with the B2B Revenue Readiness online course.
This particular course is part of a partnership with Mississippi State University (MSU). Best of all, it is available for free to service members, veterans and military spouses.
The six-week virtual classroom program will prepare you to take your business idea from concept to an executable business model. You can take the interactive virtual course given by experienced professionals live twice-per-week. And if you can’t make the live class, the session is recorded. In this way, you can take it when it is convenient.
You can find the schedule for the classes here.
SBA Resource Network
The SBA Resource Network is an invaluable tool not only for veterans but for anyone who is looking for some valuable information for all stages of their business life cycle.
These are some of the resources the network provides.
Veterans Business Outreach Centers
The centers provide vets with business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to develop entrepreneurial skills for starting or growing a small business. Find a center nearby here.
SCORE has the largest network of volunteer business mentors in the country. Made up of business executives, these mentors share real-world knowledge at no cost. You can find SCORE mentors here.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The goal of the SBDC is to make your dream of business ownership a reality. They do this by providing access to free or low-cost one-on-one counseling and training. You will learn marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade. Find the SBDC location near you here.
Womens Business Centers
Women who serve are now making up a larger number of veterans. The Womens Business Centers gives women essential business training from this national network of community-based centers. The centers specifically address the challenges women often face when starting or growing their business. Here is where you can find the center near you.
The SBA Learning Center
At no cost, the SBA Learning Center provides online courses to help you research, plan, and turn your ideas into a business. And if you happen to have a business, the resources it provides teach you how to master day-to-day operations. You can apply for the SBA courses here.
Registration for B2B Reboot
If you want to participate in the next B2B Reboot class, you need to create an account on the B2B Community Portal. All you need is your first and last name, an active email address and the status of your military service.
After you log in, you can choose which of the B2BR class/location you want to take on the upcoming B2BR course calendar. Once you make the choice, you’ll receive class notifications, and download class curriculum materials.
This is a static page, but you can go to the SBAvets site and get more information on each calendar date across all 50 states.