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ETSU launching free entrepreneurship program for veterans

Contributed • Oct 12, 2019 at 3:21 PM

Following World War II, the U.S. witnessed a surge in businesses started by veterans, and today, veteran entrepreneurship continues to impact the American economy. Veterans are uniquely positioned to excel in business ownership and encouraged to apply for a free entrepreneurship training program aimed at developing business ideas and refining early-stage businesses.

STRIVE: Startup Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship, is an eight-week cohort led by faculty members in the College of Business and Technology at East Tennessee State University. STRIVE is open to all veterans, Reserve and National Guard members and their spouses. Participants will engage in online learning, meet one evening per week and be connected with mentors. STRIVE students will receive personalized instruction and assistance relevant to the growth of each business concept.

“ETSU is well-positioned to connect veterans with existing programming, experienced faculty and a community of successful entrepreneurs. We will utilize available resources within the College of Business and Technology, including the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), to provide practical hands-on instruction. The STRIVE curriculum aims to help veterans build confidence in their business concepts,” said Dr. William Heise, professor of management and marketing and director of the MBA program at ETSU.

ETSU is the second institution in the country selected to host a STRIVE program through a partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which has trained more than 70,000 entrepreneurs. The IVMF’s entrepreneurship programs leverage the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management for veterans and transitioning service members.

“Veterans demonstrate so many of the qualities of successful entrepreneurs - ambition, dedication, innovation and team-first perspective,” says Misty Stutsman, director of entrepreneurship and small business programs at the IVMF. “STRIVE is a great first step for veterans as they prepare to live the American dream they fought to protect. We are honored to partner with ETSU in launching this program.”

ETSU’s STRIVE cohort will begin in February 2020. Applications are available now and spots are limited. There is no cost to attend and graduates of the program may qualify to apply for business funding from various agencies. Classes will meet one evening per week on the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Medical Center Campus, in the Interprofessional Education and Research Center (building 60), located at 178 Maple St., Mountain Home, Tennessee.

To learn more about STRIVE, including an outline of the course schedule, or to submit an application, visit https://www.etsu.edu/cbat/strive.php. For more information, contact STRIVE@etsu.edu or 423-439-5395. 

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