Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand and Maffei Announce Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families to Receive $9 Million Contract from Small Business Administration to Help Veterans Start and Create Businesses

Apr 9, 2014

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Dan Maffei today announced that Syracuse University is receiving a $9 million contract from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to continue the great work of its Boots to Business (B2B) program, which provides top-notch entrepreneurship training and education for veterans. The B2B program has been run by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) for the past year, and this contract will allow them to ensure that every transitioning service member who wants access to entrepreneurship training is able to receive it. The contract will provide $3 million this year and for two more additional “option” years.

“Veterans are leaders, innovators and doers, and the ‘Boots-to-Business’ program provides the guidance to tap into those attributes. Syracuse University is a great home for ‘Boots to Business,’ and I am glad the SBA recognized the Institute for Veteran & Military Families’ tremendous work in developing and growing this program,” said Schumer. “When veterans return home, after serving our country, it is important that we do everything we can to provide them the tools they need to find a job or start their own business. Supporting programs like those at the Institute for Veteran & Military Families is exactly the kind of federal investment we should be making.”

“I am thrilled with this strong investment for Syracuse University’s Boots to Business program to help more of our veterans become local business owners,” said Senator Gillibrand, who has fought hard to support the IVMF. “Our veterans who bravely served our country deserve every opportunity to succeed in our economy here at home. The skills they have honed are highly valuable assets for our economy. When we invest in smart initiatives like Boots to Business, we can help more veterans become entrepreneurs, get their businesses off the ground so they can thrive here at home, and strengthen our economy.”

“This is great news for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and veterans in Central New York and across the country,” said U.S. Representative Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse). “Boots to Business plays a critical role in providing transitioning service members with the tools necessary to launch their own small business. This grant will bolster the outstanding work that IVMF is already doing to provide new veterans with entrepreneurship training so they can create jobs and grow the economy.”

Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsored, worldwide program offered as a component of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP) renamed Transition GPS. Boots to Business is offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) and operated by SU’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with SBA resource partners. Boots to Business is a three-step training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. Boots to Business helps ensure that every transitioning service member has access to a standardized entrepreneurship training track and small business resources in their local communities. After completing Boots to Business participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local small business resources, and launch their small business.

Syracuse University’s IVMF is uniquely positioned to deliver on the goals and objectives of the B2B program.  The B2B program, curriculum, teaching materials and student tools were developed by Syracuse University’s Dr. Michael Haynie.  The educational approaches, materials and lessons were developed and delivered by Syracuse University Whitman’s School and IVMF’s other entrepreneurial programs. Syracuse University is ranked #2 in Entrepreneurship education in the nation, and the faculty at Syracuse University has helped to developed six other innovative and world class entrepreneurship programs working with the Department of Defense and the military service branches.  IVMF has been running the B2B program for the past year, so a change in service providers could have resulted in significant and enduring dysfunction in the program.