The Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with Veterans Florida, welcomed the first class of participants in the new Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, a statewide initiative offering qualified veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost. The pilot program, which began the first of three phases March 15, received over 600 applications and accepted 400 participants.
Delivered through five participating institutions of higher education, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program is an educational training program in entrepreneurship offered to military veterans that meet the following requirements:
- Have been honorably discharged, are National Guardsmen or Reservists, or are active duty within one year of separation
- Reside in Florida
- Demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship.
The first phase of the program, an accelerated online training, seeks to equip participating veterans with the essential information to build their venture on a strong business foundation. The course entails developing business concepts, exploring feasibility, researching target customers, and gaining an understanding of Lean Startup and the Canvas Business Model, programs utilized in the phase two in-class training. Over a period of eight weeks, participants will receive exercises, readings, videos, and guidance from instructors from one of five institutions of higher education – the University of West Florida (UWF), University of North Florida (UNF), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and Hillsborough Community College (HCC).
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