Over 150 lucky soldiers and Marines went to the White House earlier this month seeking advice on how to chase their entrepreneurial dreams. There was no shortage of public servants and experts in attendance to help get them started. They were all at the White House for the Inaugural Event for the Boots to Business Reboot. The event was organized by the SBA for Service Members trying to pursue small business opportunities. The Reboot is the latest version of a comprehensive two day seminar which exposes Veterans to the scope and intricacies of starting a small business. The Seminar has been tested over the past two years at dozens of military bases as part of their comprehensive program jointly implemented by DOD, DOL, VA and managed by SBA. As part a required Transitional Assistance Program Veterans can now select an entrepreneurial track for their future. Working with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families the SBA has implemented a system which allows service members to pre-plan, research and then build a business plan via an online entrepreneurial course available to Veterans. Business ideas ranged from patented concepts to franchise opportunities.
The inaugural REBOOT at the White House offered some real fire power when it comes to small business assistance. Not only did SBA Secretary Maria Contreras -Sweet show up to explain current SBA resources, there were also “pros” like Melissa Dent and Charles McCarthy from the DC metro area’s most effect Small Business Development Centers. They provided Information and discussions that ran the gamut; from financing to legal knowledge and interactive features which allowed participants to apply conceptual planning concepts to their actual individual business ideas
There was something new and exciting about the way the two day conference was organized and managed. The SBA’s Rhett Jeppson, SBA Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development, led an enthusiastic team which provided first rate materials and even a social media channel for expanding information and opportunities over time. There will be eight more REBOOT sessions in major cities during August. For more information go to http://boots2business.org/reboot.aspx