Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on July 20, 2010
Disabled veterans are participating in free business school programs designed to help them launch businesses. At six b-schools, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), which is financed by sponsors, trains post-9/11 veterans, who have been injured in the line of duty, in entrepreneurship and small business management. The program features a brief on-campus portion supplemented by online components.
The EBV program was created by former U.S. Air Force Major Mike Haynie at Syracuse’s Whitman School of Management (Whitman Full-Time MBA profile), as a way for disabled veterans to create new jobs and career paths for themselves. “Providing opportunities to a group so deserving is consistent with the mission of higher education,” says Haynie, in a press release from the Whitman School.
While on campus, veterans are given guidance on writing business plans, raising capital, attracting customers, and developing marketing strategies. Afterward, professors and administrators provide mentoring and support for 12 months while participants begin working on their initiatives away from campus.
At UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, the residential portion of the EBV took place from July 10 to 18, and participants included a 33-year old Purple Heart recipient who was severely injured in a May 2009 suicide bombing in Iraq. Additionally, Amy Sufak, a 2009 participant at Anderson who launched Red Energy Public Relations and was named Colorado’s Public Relations Person of the Year for her efforts, taught a 2010 session at EBV.
Other business schools that offer the Bootcamp include Texas A&M’s Mays Business School (Mays Full-Time MBA profile), Florida State’s College of Business (Florida State Full-Time MBA profile), Purdue’s Krannert School of Management (Krannert Full-Time MBA profile), and University of Connecticut’s College of Business (Connecticut Full-Time MBA profile). In the four years that EBV has been offered, more than 300 veterans have taken part in the program across the six schools, and participants have launched more than 100 businesses as a result of their training, according to the Syracuse press release.
The business schools say they benefit from the programs as much as the veterans. “It’s a privilege to work with disabled American veterans for the third year,” says Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson, according to a press release from the Anderson School. “UCLA Anderson’s expertise in entrepreneurship is a way for us to provide resources to veterans who have sacrificed so much on behalf of the nation and who want to realize their own business dreams and desires to support their families and communities.”
-By Francesca Di Meglio