Are You a Veteran Business Owner?

Veteran Business Owner?

Whether you are or aren’t, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University has you covered. They have established a tremendous series of programs to support those who want to become a veteran business owner or already have their own business.

As you may have read in our earlier posts, IVMF has four major programs that focus on supporting veterans in their post military pursuits (Entrepreneurship, Career Training, Community Services, and Higher Education). Today’s post will be focusing on the one that helps aspiring veteran business owners achieve their business dream – the Entrepreneurship program. 

The Entrepreneurship Program

IVMF Entrepreneurship - Veteran Business Owners

The Entrepreneurship program helps veterans by providing support in three areas: Ideation, Start Up, as well as Growth and Resources. Each category affects a business in a significant way and IVMF has specified programs to assist veteran entrepreneurs with each.


Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business begins with the idea, hence, Ideation. This part of the program addresses the realization and creation of a business concept. IVMF supports veterans by evaluating these business concepts as well as helping to supply the basic knowledge of how to construct an appropriate business plan. This is achieved through a variety of courses. 

The first one of these courses is Boots to Business. B to B is a no cost, 2-day long course that is available to service members and their spouses. This course reviews the fundamentals of business in general, but most importantly helps its participants evaluate the viability of their ideas and helps them tweak them in a way that will help its overall effectiveness.

The second course is called Ignite. Ignite focuses on the support of female veterans and military spouses to specifically support women in their entrepreneurial efforts. Much like Boots to Business, this course helps honorably discharged women as well as active duty female service members and their partners, to discover what the life of an entrepreneur is like. This one-day course assists women by helping them evaluate their ideas and model how those ideas can be put into practice.  The program features nationally recognized speakers, business experts, as well as community and national resources to support their efforts.

Getting Started

The second element of the Entrepreneurship program is Getting Started.  This step highlights the following three programs: Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV), Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Families (EBV-F), and Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE).

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) is a no cost program that is available to post 9/11 veterans who have received an honorable discharge. This program consists of a series of separate courses: 

  • Phase I (a 90 day online fundamentals course)
  • Phase II (a 9 day residency experience course)
  • Phase III (a 12 month business creation course). 

Throughout these courses, participants will experience exceptional entrepreneurial training and will become part of a vast network of veteran professionals and community entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans and their Families (EBV-F) program is an extension of the EBV program that opens up access and resources to veterans’ as well as their families. The programs focus is on using specific skills to promote education and small business management. This program helps position a participant to be able to start their business in a way that supports and/or works well with their everyday life with family.

The Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) is similar to Ignite in that it is focused on supporting women veterans and their partners. V-WISE helps women to find their passion, learn real world applicable entrepreneurial skills, and become a part of the community of women veteran entrepreneurs both local and abroad.

Growth and Resources

The final category of Entrepreneurship program is Growth and Resources. This category is meant to support and further the businesses created by participants from the above categories. This particular program targets veteran business owner that are looking to take their business to the next level. EBV Accelerate, Veteran EDGE, and VetSOURCE are programs that support veterans in business.

EBV Accelerate is a program that is open to veteran business owners and focuses on teaching sustainable growth and success. This program had three phases: phase I (two week online course) focusing on overall analysis, phase II (3 day residency) focusing on creating a viable action plan that can be immediately implemented, phase III focuses on get entrepreneurs access to resources and understanding how those resources may impact their business.

VeteranEDGE is a 4-day experience where entrepreneurs and alumni gather to network and create business relationships that will mutually benefit veteran businesses for years to come. During this time business owners learn about new opportunities and resources as well as what industry best practice consists of.

Finally, VetSOURCE is a single day event that is used to network as well. This course brings together the elite in business to create a panel that is focused on business discussion and, of course, offers a unique opportunity to network with other veteran professionals.

It’s clear that IVMF and Syracuse University have put an incredible amount of thought and effort into supporting our veterans and their families. These programs have been created to take veterans and their families all the way through the process of becoming an entrepreneur. They have carefully created programs that address the challenges veteran entrepreneurs face when building a business and they help to provide pathways that can help these businesses survive the times and positively affect the communities around them. Please continue to support the IVMF and its efforts to assist our veterans and their families.