VAMBOA EntrepreneurWith the struggling job market and the confidence gained by their experiences in the military, more and more Veterans are choosing to start their own businesses. Many colleges and universities have committed to helping these Veteran entrepreneurs succeed.

Many Veteran-friendly schools have created independent programs for Veteran Entrepreneurs. These programs are designed to help current and potential Veteran business owners with the basics of how to start, fund and maintain their small businesses.

The University of Florida is in the middle of launching its own Veterans Entrepreneurship Program. UF’s program was created by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at their Warrington College of Business Administration. The program will be made available to 30 disabled Veterans at no cost. To qualify for the free program, Veterans must be

  • Separated from active duty
  • Identified as disabled by the VA or DOD due to a service–related disability
  • Demonstrate a passionate interest in entrepreneurship.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 20.

The University of Florida’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program will provide its participants with an area of study that will be conducted in three phases.

Phase 1 Mar. 24- Apr. 26: This phase will cover Concept Development- Online discussions and self-study will be used to help Veteran entrepreneurs explore and develop business concepts that will shape their companies.

Phase 2 May 3-10: This phase has more of a boot camp feel to it. Veteran entrepreneurs will participate in a rigorous workshop on campus in Gainesville. Faculty and guest entrepreneurial experts will provide hands on teaching that gets down to the nitty-gritty of owning and running your own small business.

Phase 3 May 19 – Jan 2015: During this phase Veteran entrepreneurs are mentored for eight months by business experts. During this mentoring period, Veteran business owners can utilize the knowledge and experience of their mentors during the crucial, first few months of business ownership.

For more information about UF’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, email Michael Morris  or call him at (352) 273-0329. Visit UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration website portal for its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.