CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Legion hosted a free two-day “Boots to Business: Reboot” workshop, Aug. 29-30, during its 98th National Convention in Cincinnati. Skilled business advisors with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) shared their knowledge with the veterans, transitioning servicemembers and spouses in attendance.
SBA revamped their Operation Boots to Business training program launched back in 2012. The new program provides additional pathways to entrepreneurship and platforms to create more jobs for veterans of all eras.
Event participants received an overview of business ownership as a career path and instructions on how to develop a business plan, and gained access to public and private resources.
“This program gives participants a foothold on how to proceed with their businesses – even if they are already in business,” said Michael Golwitzer, assistant director for Vet Biz Central. “This helps them visualize and put together a successful plan.”
Army veteran Mathew Johnson first heard about the workshop when he went through a transition assistance program back in 2012. Although Johnson currently owns several businesses, he thought it would be a good idea to attend the event to gain resources that may help him while he embarks on a journey to create another business venture. “It is always good to absorb new information and learn about other opportunities that may be out there,” he said. “Even if people only pick up one thing while they were here, that is one thing they did not have before.”
Starting a new business can be tough, Johnson admitted. “There are always barriers to starting something new.” The connections he made throughout the event will come in hand as an invaluable resource, he said.
“We are all in the same boat, so we can use each other as resources,” Johnson said. “We can lean on each other, share experiences and ask questions that we may not know the answers to. Down the road I hope that I might even be able to do business with some of the same people I sat here with.”
Attendees also interacted with small business subject matter experts during seminars and discussion panels regarding the economics of small business start-ups, competing in various markets and financing business enterprises.
Event participants are now eligible to register for “Foundations of Entrepreneurship,” an online, eight-week course offered by SBA. The in-depth course teaches the elements of a successful business plan and proven techniques for starting a business.
“Now that I have completed the workshop I am looking forward to gaining a new range of experience and expertise during the online training course,” Johnson said.
The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in nearly 14,000 posts in communities across in America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.