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Syracuse University Leads National Partnership to Support Veterans with Disabilities

The consortium is an extension of Syracuse’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, first developed and offered by the Whitman School’s department of entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises. The EBV integrates world-class faculty, entrepreneurs, disability experts, and business professionals to train veterans to be small business owners. The inaugural EBV program in summer 2007 enrolled 20 veterans with disabilities.

The four-university EBV partnership will dramatically expand the scope of the program. The EBV curriculum will be standardized among the institutions, ensuring that all participants receive a consistent, high-quality experience.

“This consortium is an important and meaningful extension of the EBV program offered at the Whitman School and is the only academic partnership of its kind aimed at this unique group of American citizens,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School of Management and a former U.S. Army captain. “On behalf of all of the four participating national universities, we are proud that institutes of higher education are stepping in to fill what is clearly a void for these veterans.”

The EBV program is offered in three stages. Phase I is a self-study session in which veterans complete courses through online discussions moderated by university faculty. Phase II requires those taking part to travel to their participating EBV university for a nine-day residency where they learn to develop business concepts and the basic elements of small-business management. Phase III involves 12 months of ongoing support and mentorship from the faculty experts at the EBV universities. In hands-on workshops, students in the EBV program will study how to write business plans, raise capital, attract customers, and develop marketing strategies. The program is free for participants.

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