True Made condiments founder Abe Karmack with partners Ed Mitchell and son, both pitmasters. Photo credit: True Made

SBA awards outreach center at the University of Maryland, College Park to lead project for veteran small business owners

Veteran entrepreneurs get boost from SBA with support center to help them start and expand ventures.

Continuing to push efforts to resuscitate America’s small businesses, The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the awarding of $400,000 in funding to the University of Maryland, Division of Research to provide training and counseling as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) serving veteran small business owners in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, has an initial project year of 11 months with up to four additional one-year option periods, subject to the availability of funds. The project period is effective starting June 1, 2021 and ends on April 30, 2026. 

“The military small business community – which includes entrepreneurs from active duty military, reserves, National Guard, veterans and military spouses – are a driving force in our nation’s economy,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman

“The can-do spirit of our servicemen and women is the entrepreneurial spirit – the grit, determination and resilience it takes to start, grow and sustain a small business. At the SBA, we want our military entrepreneurs to know that we’re here to help them harness that spirit and use the skills and expertise they gained in the military to start, grow and sustain successful small businesses.”

Each VBOC provides training to service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program, which is part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. VBOCs also provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to veterans, transitioning and active-duty service members, Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses interested in small business ownership.

As the state of Maryland’s flagship university and a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, the University of Maryland is positioned to serve as a Veterans Business Outreach Center. The university’s experience providing Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot instruction as well as their existing regional partnerships with the SBA’s resource and community partners make UMD an asset to the agency’s veteran small business network.

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