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Business bootcamp helps train U.S. veterans to be entrepreneurs

Intensive program teaches the steps of venture creation and management.

Sept. 11, 2020

Left to right: EBV participants Gary Wheeler (DeSoto, Missouri), Chriscilia Cox (Ludowici, Georgia) and Nickolas Lawson Jr. (Columbia, South Carolina) brainstorm with Greg Bier, executive director of entrepreneurship programs at MU.

Left to right: EBV participants Gary Wheeler (DeSoto, Missouri), Chriscilia Cox (Ludowici, Georgia) and Nickolas Lawson Jr. (Columbia, South Carolina) brainstorm with Greg Bier, executive director of entrepreneurship programs at MU.

In early August, veterans from across the country with a dream of owning their own businesses traveled to campus for an intensive eight-day residency courtesy of MU’s fifth annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV).

“We know that entrepreneurs and young companies drive new job creation in the U.S.,” said Bill Turpin, MU associate vice chancellor for economic development. “One of our priorities at MU is to help new entrepreneurs succeed through programs like EBV.”

Veterans accepted into the program – nearly all with service-connected disabilities – completed a 30-day online business fundamentals course before meeting face-to-face on campus. They learned the steps and stages of venture creation and management in a curriculum that also addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with being a veteran and business owner. An added bonus is building on the connection that veterans already have with each other.

“Just being around like-minded people from different backgrounds and different businesses is definitely something I’m enjoying,” said Chriscilia Cox, an EBV participant from Ludowici, Georgia, who founded sustainability firm SUMA Consulting LLC. “It’s been a real life, 101, personal, coaching, team-building activity for everybody.”

Read more from the Office of Research and Economic Development

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