Newswise — Florida State University is launching an academic “boot camp” designed to help the families of America’s wounded warriors.

The new Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families (EBV-F) was created to teach small-business ownership skills to family members who now serve as caregivers of military veterans with service-related disabilities, as well as spouses of those killed in action.

The new program, to be based at Florida State’s Panama City campus, will be only the second of its kind in the nation. FSU plans to launch the boot camp in February 2012.

The original EBV-F program was founded in 2010 at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.

“It is an honor for Florida State to expand our veterans’ programs to include the EBV-F program,” said Randy Blass, executive director of the Center for Veteran Outreach in FSU’s College of Business. “This program gives caregivers of the men and women who served our country an opportunity to secure their financial future.”

EBV-F was established with the idea of leveraging the flexibility inherent in small-business ownership in order to provide a vocational and economic path forward for military family members who are now caregivers to a wounded veteran, or for the surviving spouse of a military member who gave his or her life in military service. The program is part of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) portfolio, founded in 2007 at Whitman. FSU launched its EBV program in 2008.

“The expansion of EBV-F to Florida State University is a wonderful example of higher education’s ongoing commitment to serve and honor our nation’s veterans and their families,” said Mike Haynie, the founder and national executive director of EBV Programs. Haynie also serves as the Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management and is the founding director of Syracuse and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s newly created Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

“As an existing member of the EBV consortium, Florida State is strongly committed to helping veterans’ families realize their entrepreneurial dreams,” Haynie said. “We are thrilled to add the EBV-F program to their campus.”

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities opens the door to business ownership to America’s veterans by providing cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small-business management to servicemen and women who have suffered disabilities as a result of their service in post-Sept. 11 military conflicts. More than 300 veterans from throughout the United States have graduated from the program since its inception, and the training continues to be offered without any cost to participants.

This week, FSU’s own annual boot camp for veterans concluded with the announcement of the new program for family members. Read more about the veterans’ program at FSU here.

As part of the Walmart Foundation’s five-year, $10 million commitment to support military and veteran employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, announced on Veteran’s Day in 2010, the EBV Foundation was granted $1 million to support the boot-camp program for veterans at its seven major university partners. The grant also facilitates the expansion of the program to additional schools and supports the new boot camp for family members.

“We are proud that our contributions are helping to expand the EBV-F program. This important program will help meet the needs of the families and caregivers of our wounded veterans who are seeking this critical support,” said Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart.

The EBV program is offered through a network of seven world-class business schools that, in addition to Florida State and Syracuse, includes the Anderson School of Management at the University of California Los Angeles, the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, the Krannert School at Purdue University, the School of Business at the University of Connecticut and the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. In 2009, the program was recognized as a “National Best Practice” by the Department of the Army for serving soldiers and their families, and in 2011 it was selected by the editors of Inc. magazine as one of the 10 best entrepreneurship programs in the nation.

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