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Boots To Business provides entrepreneurial education, resources to transitioning service members

By David DeKunder | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 11, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Transitioning service members who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs can sign up for the Boots to Business workshop Jan. 17-18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

The free two-day workshop will be conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, in building 2263, classroom B-101, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The workshop is open to transitioning service members, including Reservists and military spouses.

Boots to Business is an SBA program focusing on entrepreneurial education and training offered as an optional training track through the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program, or TAP. TAP provides counseling and job assistance to service members who are preparing to leave the military.

The workshop is taught by several instructors who have experience running a small business or are small business advisers or counselors.

Lionel Davila, SBA veterans business development officer for the San Antonio District Office, said the Boots To Business workshop covers business concepts, processes and resources transitioning service members and military spouses will need to know about to start a business.

“The workshop opens the door to a lot of possibilities out there,” Davila said. “We provide all the information and tools for them to start making decisions and grow their business. We want to provide them those tools so they can make an educated and well-informed decision.”

The workshop will start with an introduction into entrepreneurship, an overview of the process for starting a business and the opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs.

Other entrepreneurial-related topics include how to take advantage of an opportunity or idea to start a business, how to conduct market research, the legal structure for setting up various types of businesses, financial options for businesses, how to set up a business plan and SBA and other resources entrepreneurs can use to start and grow their businesses, including information on different types of SBA loans.

Davila said a business plan is a road map entrepreneurs need to have to guide their business as it develops and grows. He said SBA representatives can provide assistance and advice to transitioning service members and military spouses on developing a business plan.

“We want them to not only start a business, but eventually to grow, prosper and create jobs,” Davila said.

Davila said after transitioning service members complete the workshop they can continue to take advantage of SBA resources such as counseling and training.

Since the creation of the Boots to Business in 2013, more than 20,000 transitioning service members, including military spouses, have attended the workshop at 165 military installations around the world. At JBSA, more than 1,000 transitioning members and military spouses have utilized Boots to Business since April 2013.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.45 million veterans own businesses employing 5.7 million individuals, which is 9 percent of all U.S. businesses. In addition, veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed with no military experience.

To register for the Boots to Business workshop, visit the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston TAP office, building 2264, suite 102, at 2450 Connell Road, or call 210-221-1213.

For more information about Boots to Business, call 210-403-5917.