What is Wichita Falls doing to attract and aid veterans and military spouses to start small businesses and become entrepreneurs?
Boots to Business | Reboot
At the most recent military roundtable, the discussion to continue support for our military families that are interested in starting /growing a business was continued.
Reaching veterans, active duty and their dependents with the entrepreneurial spark is imperative to community development! Defense communities like Wichita Falls have a unique opportunity due to their proximity to a military installation to attract this particular demographic through programs like Boots to Business.
Boots to Business is a 2-day entrepreneurial and small business development course that is offered free to anyone with a military affiliation. It’s a program that is well known for being offered to transitioning military members.
Not all that are eligible have been aware of the program or some may no longer have base access, which is why there is also a program held off base called, Boots to Business Reboot.
The Boots to Business Reboot must be supported and asked for by the community. Wichita Falls saw the need to make this available and has held their first Reboot program. The Reboot brought together community subject matter experts, veterans, active duty and their spouses. It was held at Vernon Community College that also understood the importance of supporting this program.
Why the focus on veteran-owned businesses?
- 2.52 million | Businesses in the U.S. that are majority-owned by veterans
- 442,485 | Veteran-owned businesses with employees
- 2.08 million | Self-employed veteran businesses (no employees)
- 9.1% | Percentage of all U.S. businesses that are majority-owned by veterans
- $1.14 trillion | Total annual revenues of veteran-owned businesses
- 5.03 million | Total number of employees of veteran-owned businesses
- $195 billion | Annual payroll of veteran-owned businesses
What comes next?
With the first reboot completed, the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and the Wichita Falls Chamber are working on planning another event in the early spring. In the meantime the resources gathered will be shared throughout the military community.