Sept. 25, 2012
STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut football team welcomed participants from the “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities” (EBV) program to its practice on Tuesday and had dinner together following the practice.
The EBV is a novel and ‘one-of-a-kind’ initiative designed to leverage the skills, resources, and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to veterans with disabilities resulting from their military service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the veteran with a disability, often the traditional means through which to ‘climb the economic ladder’ are closed as a result of their disability, as well as policy and attitudinal barriers to their employment.
The program was started at UConn in 2009, with its first class of veteran entrepreneurs in 2010. Since its inception, the program has helped 25 veterans start 27 businesses, a rate of better than one per month.
The EBV is offered by a consortium of world-class business schools that include the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University and the colleges of business at Purdue University and the University of Connecticut.
The mission of the program is to open the door to entrepreneurial opportunity for our veterans, by leveraging cutting edge educational technology and principles of universal design and access to our program of instruction, in order to develop their competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.
The EBV has become an integral component of DoD’s efforts to transition military members with disabilities from military to civilian life. In 2009, the Department of the Army named the EBV as a national ‘best practice’ for programs serving soldiers and their families. In 2011, INC Magazine named the EBV as one of the “Ten Best” entrepreneurial programs in the country.