Schneider, Blum Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Veteran Entrepreneurship Program
Today, U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Rod Blum (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to statutorily authorize the Boots to Business (B2B) program that helps transitioning service members to start and grow businesses.
Administered through the Office of Veteran Business Development in the Small Business Administration (SBA), the B2B program offers transitioning service members, 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.
Since B2B launched in 2013, more than 50,000 service members and spouses have participated in the program. The Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act of 2018 would authorize this program to continue under law.
“Our veterans served our country with honor, and they deserve our support as they transition from military to civilian life,” said Schneider. “Many of the leadership, problem solving, and communications skills learned in the armed forces translate well to entrepreneurial and business success. The Boots to Business program does crucial work helping veterans start and grow businesses, and I’m proud to work with my colleague Congressman Rod Blum on the bipartisan effort to ensure this program can continue serving veterans in our communities.”
“Anything we can do to help our veterans to be successful after their service is a worthy cause,” said Blum. “As a small business owner myself, I understand the dedication it takes to start a business and I would love to see more of our veterans succeed in this rewarding pursuit. This bill will provide the resources for our veterans to transition into entrepreneurship and continue to be successful after the military.”
The most recent U.S. Census recorded 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employing 5.7 million individuals. Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than those with no military experience.
Fostering opportunities for veterans to succeed in civilian life is a priority for Schneider. The first bill he introduced was H.R. 758, the bipartisan GI Internship Program Act, which would help veterans gain on-the-job skills training by expanding GI Bill benefits to cover qualified internship opportunities.