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Soldiers interested in starting their own business have a new resource available to them. The Small Business Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Defenses Transition Assistance Program, is now offering the Boots to Business program, which provides participants an introduction to entrepreneurship.
The program consists of three parts an introductory online portion, a two-day intensive class and an eight-week online course.The two-day course was offered for the first time on Fort Benning Wednesday and Thursday.
What weve been doing is just giving the students a general overview of what it takes to get a business up and going, said Mark Lupo, area director for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. Weve discussed everything from basic considerations about starting a business to marketing to finance. Weve looked at some of the financial statements and the importance of projections in developing a business plan.
Then, we moved into some of the legal aspects of how somebody would develop a business and what legal structure they would use. Weve discussed accessing capital to fund the business and even getting to some of the introductory work on developing the business plan itself.
One of the Soldiers in attendance, Spc. Brett Kettler of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, said the class helped him to better understand how to obtain financing for a business venture.
The financial side of it has been very helpful, Kettler said.
I knew how to do business plans because Ive done business plans in the past, but I wanted to know what a bank looks for in a business plan and how a bank analyzes it. A lot of the people who have spoken to the class have been bankers before and have looked at business plans, so it was helpful to understand their side of it.
Kettler said he runs a web hosting business on the side and also makes electronic music and performs as a bar magician.
I have all these things that Im doing that I dont really have to advertise, but coming here, it helps me to learn how to mold everything together, Kettler said.
Before Boots to Business was instituted, Lupo said there was a two-hour class dealing with business as a second career. Now, however, Soldiers are exposed to two days of instruction rather than two hours.
The biggest issue we had with the other course was that we never had enough time, Lupo said. We were so pressed for time to try and get a lot of information in within two hours. Having two days really gives us the opportunity to be much more flexible in terms of the depth of content that we can provide.
Lupo said the additional time provided has led to more interaction between the students and the instructors. There have been some great questions and interactions, Lupo said. Some of the folks already have a business, some are in the process and some are still more in the idea stage. Its always a pleasure coming out and working with the Soldiers here.
The course will be offered quarterly, with the next course planned for January 2014. To register for the course, contact ACAP via phone at 706-545-2308, email email@example.com or stop by the ACAP office at Building 2652.
Each course is limited to 40 students, and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.