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IVMF, SBA, Marine Corps announce pilot program to assist military, vets to become business owners

July 12, 2012

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-0177

Mike Haynie, executive director and founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills and U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General R.F. Hedelund have announced the creation of Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, a program for transitioning service members and veterans that teaches fundamentals of entrepreneurship and makes available SBA tools and resources for business startup. is director of Marine and family programs division headquarters for the USMC in Quantico, Va. Haynie, who founded the national Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program at SU’s Whitman School of Management in 2007, played a key role in the development and roll out of Operation Boots to Business. The program will be piloted on four USMC bases: Quantico; Cherry Point, N.C.; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif. It launches nationwide in 2013.

According to the SBA, entrepreneurship and small business ownership are key opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans. Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military. Returning veterans are natural entrepreneurs, possessing skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs.

“Opening the door to small business ownership, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for our nation’s retuning servicemen and women is at the core of the IVMF mission,” says Haynie. “The Boots to Business pilot program is a next step in providing a viable economic path forward through entrepreneurship for those who have worn the uniform and defended our country as they transition to the post-service life course. Syracuse University and the IVMF are extremely proud to collaborate on this very important endeavor.”

For more information on the Operation Boots to Business pilot program, email, visit, contact IVMF director of education programs Tina Kapral at 315.443.0141 or view the introductory video here.

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