FLORIDA – The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, a new statewide initiative that offers qualified veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost, is now accepting applications. The pilot program will begin its first phase in March.
The program is available to veterans who meet the following requirements.
-Have been honorably discharged, are National Guardsmen or Reservists, or are active duty within one year of separation.
-Reside in Florida.
-Demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship.
The program will be delivered over three phases. The first phase consists of an eight-week online class to help participants build their venture on a strong business foundation. The second phase consists of six days of on-site training at one of the five participating institutions of higher education. This phase will be held on three consecutive weekends and all travel expenses will be covered for participants. The final phase of the program consists of six-months of ongoing mentorship with Florida SBDC Network business consultants.
“The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program provides veterans an opportunity to gain a high-quality entrepreneurship education at no cost,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “Our goal is to help our state’s veterans navigate the path towards entrepreneurship to fulfill their passions and create jobs and wealth for Florida’s economy.”
The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is funded through a $1 million appropriation by the Florida Legislature. In December, Veterans Florida, a non-profit created by the Florida Legislature to attract and retain veterans, selected the University of West Florida, through its Florida SBDC Network and Military Veterans Resource Center, to administer the program. The University of West Florida, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Hillsborough Community College will serve as network partners of the program. In this role, each institution will dedicate existing small business development resources to deliver the program.
“Veterans possess many of the skills necessary to be successful entrepreneurs,” said Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director of Veterans Florida. “The technical and financial skills provided from this program, along with the motivation, confidence, attention to detail, and problem solving skills they bring, will ensure veterans achieve their vision of the American Dream, owning their own business.”
Space is limited. See FloridaVetBiz.org.