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EBV program adds Louisiana State University

November 10, 2010

Ray Toenniessen
(315) 443-0256

The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the national headquarters for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, has announced the expansion of the EBV to E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University (LSU).

The EBV program offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines disabled as a result of their service supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  The program was founded at SU in 2007, and over the past four years has expanded to a network of world-class business schools that includes the UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, the Krannert School at Purdue University, and the College of Business at the University of Connecticut.  More than 300 wounded warriors have graduated from the program since its inception, and the training continues to be offered without any cost to participants.

“The expansion of the EBV Consortium of Schools to include LSU represents a great example of the ongoing commitment of higher education to serve and honor our veterans,” says Mike Haynie, entrepreneurship professor at the Whitman School and the founder of the EBV program.  “LSU, just like the other EBV universities, is strongly committed to helping our veterans realize their entrepreneurial dreams and we are thrilled to have them join the EBV family.”

Further, in recognition of ground-breaking work being done by the Whitman School and Syracuse University in the area of veterans’ entrepreneurship, the University has entered into a $2.6 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the design and delivery of two new programs positioned to advance business ownership for America’s veteran community and their families.

The first new program is called Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE). Modeled after two existing and successful outreach programs offered by the Whitman School, V-WISE focuses on the training, networking and mentorship of women veterans in pursuit of successful entrepreneurship and self-employment, post military service. The V-WISE initiative will be structured as a three-day training program, combined with online training and network support.  Each program offering will accommodate up to 200 veterans and will be delivered seven times in seven cities over a 36-month period.

The second program, Operation Endure and Grow, is a training program in entrepreneurship offered to the family members of guard and reserve personnel.  The National Guard and Reserve play a major role in U.S. defense and security, yet for many of these citizen-soldiers, lengthy and unanticipated deployments have caused severe family strain and economic hardship. The Operation Endure and Grow training will leverage the Whitman School’s top-ranked online MBA program (iMBA) to deliver an eight-week educational experience focused on the fundamentals of launching and/or growing a small business.

“With tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel returning home disabled from conflict, our Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans is more critical than ever,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We’re proud SU is leading the way in integrating this type of support for veterans and their families into a national university’s mission. SU’s legacy has always been one of access and inclusion and this new SBA grant will allow this groundbreaking program to expand its efforts to serve those who have so honorably served our nation.”

“We are pleased that our partnership with the SBA gives us the support we need to successfully launch such a comprehensive, national and innovative program,” says Haynie. “Under the leadership of our dean, Melvin T. Stith, a U.S. Army veteran, we are able to continue a strong Whitman legacy of serving the veteran community and providing them with valuable entrepreneurial skills.”

“In partnership with the SBA, the Whitman School is well positioned to leverage both its top-ranked entrepreneurship program, and also our ongoing commitment to veterans and their families, to design and deliver an impactful program that will pay lasting dividends to our veterans and this nation,” says Stith.

Nationally recognized as an innovator and leader in entrepreneurship education, the Whitman School is in a unique position among America’s institutions of higher learning to serve both the SBA and the veteran community through implementing entrepreneurship practices.  SU has a long-standing tradition of educating military veterans and active duty personnel, demonstrated by several important military- and veteran-related programs administered around the University. The $2.6 million award from the SBA will help the Whitman School leverage its long history of serving veterans, its national ranking in entrepreneurship, and its history of developing and executing world-class entrepreneurship training programs, in order to make both new programs successful.

The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, it delivers its services to people throughout the United States. SBA programs include financial and federal contract procurement assistance, management assistance, and specialized outreach to women, minorities and armed forces veterans.

Media queries can be directed to Ray Toenniessen at the Whitman School, at (315) 443-0256 or

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