Schneider Bill Promoting Veteran Entrepreneurship Passes House

November 13, 2019
Press Release
Bill would codify successful Boots to Business program for five-years to help veterans and transitioning servicemembers start and grow their own small businesses

Today, legislation introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) to help veteran start their own small businesses overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 424-1

Schneider introduced H.R. 3537, the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act, with Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) in June 2019. The bipartisan legislation would statutorily authorize for five years the successful Boots to Business (B2B) program that helps transitioning servicemembers start and grow businesses.

Administered through the Office of Veteran Business Development in the Small Business Administration (SBA), the B2B program offers transitioning servicemembers and military spouses a foundational two-day, in-person course for an introduction to business ownership which can be followed by optional online courses on topics including market research, business fundamentals, and revenue readiness.

“Our nation has a moral obligation to the veterans who served our country with honor to ensure they have every opportunity for success after their military service ends,” said Schneider. “The skills many veterans learn in the armed forces make them distinctly qualified to succeed as entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Boots to Business program has already provided entrepreneurship training to more than 100,000 veterans, service-members, and military spouses. I appreciate the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for my legislation to enhance this vital program and ensure it continues serving our veterans into the future.”

Since B2B launched in 2013 under the Obama Administration, more than 100,000 service members and spouses have participated in the program.

The most recent U.S. Census recorded 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employing 5.7 million individuals. Their military service makes veterans uniquely well-equipped for the challenges of starting their own small business, and veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than those with no military experience.

The legislation was previously included as an amendment in the House-passed H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.