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Training course offers veterans information about starting a business

Veterans in the Victoria area will soon have access to a training course specifically intended to help them start their own small businesses.

The University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center will host a two-day training course called Boots to Business: Reboot from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 4 and 5 in the University Center Multi-Purpose Room. The free course is a presentation of information about starting and running a veteran-owned business. The original Boots to Business course has been offered for the past three years in the military’s Transition Assistance Program, which helps a member of the military prepare to transition to civilian life.

Joe Humphreys

“This is a first for the UHV SBDC and the San Antonio Small Business Administration office,” UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “This event will open up this training to those who left the service before the Boots to Business course was available and give area veterans the encouragement and knowledge they need to start their own businesses.”

The original Boots to Business course offered on bases saw a lot of success, said Lionel Davila, Boots to Business coordinator and SBA veterans business development officer. The Reboot program has been offered in civilian, off-base locations for a few months, and it has received positive feedback.

The two-day course will look at eight main topics: marketing, legal structure of a business, how to find opportunities, how to recognize and address issues, economics of running a business, financing and how to create a business plan. The last module will be about moving forward and what to do next.

“This is a basic course about entrepreneurship that is tooled specifically for veterans,” Davila said. “When they leave, we want to be sure that they’re excited, and they know about the SBA and other networks of resource partners. This is just the beginning for them.”

Everything in the course will have a hands-on component in which attendees will look at their own plans and desires using what they’ve learned. That information will contribute to eventually writing a business plan.

Jean Smith

“For us, it’s a prime opportunity to make sure that we bring awareness of local resources available to veterans,” said Jean Smith, UHV SBDC training coordinator. “There are a lot of businesses in town that assist veterans that people don’t know about. It’s yet another opportunity to bring in that local flavor and show that there are resources for them if they know where to look.”

Once attendees complete the two-day course, they have the option to take an eight-week, in-depth online course offered through Syracuse University.

Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent is partnering with the UHV SBDC to offer the training. Smith is looking for a lunch sponsor for the event.

Those interested in attending should register by July 30. Seating is limited to 20. Community members may register by contacting 361-485-4485, 877-895-7232 or sbdc@uhv.edu. The seminar may be canceled if minimum registration is not met.

The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program that serves the small business community in partnership with federal, state and local governments. The center offers business advising, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area. For more information about the UHV SDBC, call 361-485-4485 or email sbdc@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.