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20 Jul 2012 | LCpl. D.J. Wu

The U. S. Small Business Administration has numerous programs designed to support military veterans, like loans and classes to help them make the transition back into civilian life.


The SBA announced the activation of Operation Boots to Business July 12. The program gives veterans access to valuable resources to help them accomplish their dreams of starting and operating small businesses.

“We created Operation Boots to Business to reach out to service members and give them nuts and bolts of how to do business and grow a business,” said Rhett Jeppson, SBA official, in an SBA statement.

Operation Boots to Business builds on Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and provides training materials specifically geared towards transitioning service members. Syracuse has three veteran business programs through their partnership with SBA. Boots to Business expands on these existing programs by exposing transitioning service members to entrepreneurship training.

The program takes veterans step by step to becoming entrepreneurs. Once signed up, the program includes in-person classes and an in-depth online entrepreneurship course that leads to the creation of a business plan.

“With this initiative, we will work with our entire team of resource partners to deliver an effective introduction to entrepreneurship to returning service members so they can learn about the opportunities of owning a small business,” Jeppson said.

The Combat Center, along with, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., MCB Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC., are participating in the pilot program that is scheduled to go nationwide for all service members  in 2013.

SBA recognizes the impact that veterans make by owning a small business. Veterans account for 9 percent of all U.S. firms according to the most recent U. S. Census data. The 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employ over 5.8 million people.

“Veterans are natural entrepreneurs,” Jeppson said. “They already possess the experience and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs.”

For more information on Operation Boots to Business, visit

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms