Louisiana Stands Up New Virtual Bootcamp For Veteran-Owned Startup Businesses

Kristen Mosbrucker The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Kristen Mosbrucker reports, "State leaders have developed a new online Bootcamp for U.S. military veterans designed to encourage more entrepreneurship among those transitioning out of the armed services."

Baton Rouge

The program, known as Pathway to Assist Veteran Entrepreneurs, is a collaboration among the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, Louisiana Economic Development department, the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network.

Interested veterans must complete three online self-taught courses before registering for the virtual interactive day-long bootcamp, which costs $15.

The online courses include how to start a business, secure financing and develop a sales strategy. Each business owner is then matched with a counselor inside the small business development center network to grow the company from an idea to a plan.

The counselor helps the entrepreneur, including active duty service men and women, explore financial feasibility of the business plan and market demand for the product or service.

"This comprehensive, hands-on platform will greatly assist our aspiring veteran entrepreneurs in a way we have not experienced before," said retired U.S. Army Col. Joey Strickland, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

LED started an online tool to connect buyers with veteran-owned businesses selling goods and services in recent years. LED Secretary Don Pierson is a military veteran, who served as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

East Baton Rouge Parish expects to begin its first Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification Program on Dec. 1 which will enable qualifying businesses to bid for contracts with the city-parish and affiliated entities, which includes veteran-owned companies. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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