Newswise — The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management has received funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the expansion of services for veterans through its newly established Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). The funding, which is approximately $330,000 for the first year, will enable Whitman’s VBOC to provide counseling, training, assistance, comprehensive business assessment and mentoring to veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. It also will help Reserve Component, National Guard and transitioning service members who are interested in starting or expanding a small business. “This is a tremendous opportunity to expand Syracuse University’s service to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us,” said Terry Brown, executive director of Whitman’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. “A key responsibility of Whitman’s VBOC is to support transitioning service members as they embark on post military service careers that often include small business ownership and other forms of self-employment. We’re proud to be able to offer the valuable support our veterans need to be successful.” A portion of the funding will be used to cover costs associated with coordinating, delivering and conducting outreach to increase participation in the entrepreneurship track of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Transition Assistance Program (TAP), known as Boots to Business, on military installations in the continental United States and its territories. VBOCs are directed by the Small Business Act to participate in the DOD’s Transition Assistance Program. Initiated as a pilot in 2012 and expanded nationally in 2013, Boots to Business leverages SBA resource partners including VBOCs, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), SCORE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to deliver entrepreneurship education and training to transitioning service members, Reservists and National Guard members as well as their spouses or caregivers who are exploring or pursuing small business ownership. “In 2014, Boots to Business and Boots to Business: Reboot were delivered to more than 18,000 veterans and family members by SBA resource partners, including VBOCs, SBDCs, Women Business Outreach Centers, SCORE, and others, as well as IVMF instructors,” said James Schmeling, IVMF managing director for programming. “The Whitman School has provided instructors from its world-class entrepreneurship faculty, both in the two-day courses, and the eight-week online courses, and we’re thrilled to extend our work with Whitman to include the new VBOC. “We were able to deliver the SBA program for TAP in 175 locations in the continental U.S. with our partners at 431 trainings, and overseas at 65 trainings in eight countries. Our Whitman colleagues were instrumental in reaching this number of people and locations, and designing the curricula delivered worldwide.” “VBOCs play a significant role in the veteran community,” said Barbara Carson, acting associate administrator, SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development (OVBD). “We look forward to working closely with these centers to provide resources to enhance entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans as they continue to serve our country by contributing to the local economy and creating jobs in their communities. “The brave men and women who served our country deserve access to every available resource when they return home,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I fought to get the Veterans Business Outreach Center this federal funding so that Central New York veteran entrepreneurs can get the assistance and guidance they need to start successful businesses, create new jobs and grow our economy.” The nationwide VBOC competition was open to all eligible institutions of higher learning, private organizations or businesses, veterans’ nonprofit community-based organizations, state, local or tribal governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. Each award is made for a base project period of 12 months, with up to two renewal option periods of 12 months each. “I’m proud to support funding to help Syracuse University remain a critical leader in veterans’ higher education and post-service outreach,” said Rep. John Katko (NY-24). “We owe it to our veterans to provide quality education opportunities – and with our rich history of service to veterans and burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, Central New York is the ideal location for this program. The Veterans Business Outreach Center will deliver small business mentorship and entrepreneurship training for our veterans while boosting our regional economic development.” About the Whitman School’s Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises ProgramThe Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) program is a flagship program at the Whitman School at Syracuse University. Consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the nation, Whitman’s entrepreneurship program helps undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students discover their innate entrepreneurial potential, giving them a set of tools and perspective to capitalize on that potential and help launch their careers. The Whitman School heavily emphasizes experiential learning, and the entrepreneurship department is committed to providing a myriad of opportunities for students to gain and apply real-world perspective and skills. The Falcone Center of Entrepreneurship at Whitman makes connections with the community and supports the entrepreneurship program’s outreach efforts. Through outreach programs at Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Symposium, WISE Women's Business Center and South Side Innovation Center, Whitman’s Falcone Center serves more than 2,000 clients annually who have grossed over $10 million in revenue. The EEE program is also the originator of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), which is now offered at seven other institutions around the United States. The EBV program, and its partner programs, provides the skills, resources and infrastructure for entrepreneurship and small business management for service-connected disabilities and military family members who serve in a caregiver role to a veteran with a service-connected disability. More than 700 veterans have graduated from EBV universities since 2007. The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University was established as the College of Business Administration in 1919. In 1920, it was only the 16th collegiate business school in the nation to be accredited by the AACSB. Today, the Whitman School of Management includes programs in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, real estate, retail management and supply chain management. In any given year, the Whitman School is home to nearly 2,000 doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students. About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. About Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military AffairsThe Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) serves as Syracuse University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military related programs and initiatives. It collaborates and coordinates with all stakeholders to best serve veterans, military connected students, and military family members who are students or employees at Syracuse University.