VetTo help translate the skills learned in the military to entrepreneurship, Veterans Florida and the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with five institutions of higher education, have joined forces to offer the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program— a new program that provides veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

Veterans and entrepreneurship are a perfect match. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, veterans are 45 percent more likely to start a business than those with no prior active duty experience.

For many returning veterans, their military experience, discipline, and work ethic provide a competitive edge for starting or growing a business.

Though military service is excellent preparation for entrepreneurship, business ownership often still proves challenging for many returning veterans.

Among the top obstacles veterans face are lack of business experience and access to capital.

Combating Entrepreneurial Challenges

To help translate the skills learned in the military to entrepreneurship, Veterans Florida and the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with five institutions of higher education, have joined forces to offer the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program — a new program that provides veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost.

The program consists of three phases: an accelerated, eight-week online course; six days of face-to-face instruction at one of five participating institutions of higher education, followed by six-months of ongoing mentorship from Florida SBDC business consultants.

CLICK HERE FOR TO OBTAIN AN APPLICATION

The program is available to veterans who meet the following requirements: have been honorably discharged, are National Guardsmen or Reservists, or are active duty within one year of separation; reside in Florida, and demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship.

In December, Veterans Florida, a non-profit created by the Florida Legislature to attract and retain veterans, selected the University of West Florida, through its Florida SBDC Network and Military Veterans Resource Center, to administer the program.

The University of West Florida, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Hillsborough Community College will serve as network partners of the program.

The University of West Florida, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Hillsborough Community College will serve as network partners of the program.

In this role, each institution will dedicate existing small business development resources to deliver the program.

Program expenses for all participants will be covered through funding provided by the Florida Legislature and Veterans Florida.

Space is limited and the deadline to apply is March 15, 2016.