If you are transitioning out of the military, keep your eyes and ears open for the Boots to Business portion of the Department of Defense's new Transition GPS program (formerly Transition Assistance Program.) Boots to Business is a free training program designed to train transitioning service members who have an interest in post-service business ownership.
EligibilityActive duty military members, and their spouses, who are separating from military service will be shown a 10 minute Boots to Business video during the Transition GPS course. They can then elect to continue on to the full program.
The ProgramAfter the introductory video, there are two parts to the Boots to Business program. The first is a two-day, intensive course taught by a Small Business Administration (SBA) Representative or Resource Partner at a local military installation. This course will cram in an amazing amount of entrepreneurship education, including business fundamentals and an initial feasibility analysis of the service member's business concept.
Once the two-day class is over, participants will continue on to an 8 week, 80 hour online class offered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. This will further explore the various aspects of business ownership and the writing of a business plan.
After completing the entire Boots to Business program, participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to 1. identify a business opportunity, 2. write a business plan, 3. connect with local resources, and 4. start their business.
How To Participate
In theory, this should be handled through the Transition GPS coordinator at each military installation. If you don't hear about the Boots to Business program in your Transition GPS class, ask your coordinator. You can also reach out to a SBA district office for help.
I have been blessed to participate in two programs run by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and they were both outstanding. I strongly recommend the Boots to Business to any service member or spouse who thinks that they might ever consider starting a business, or even working within a small business. The knowledge and skills I learned were priceless!