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Island University Innovation Center Helps Veteran’s ‘Reboot’ Outlook on Career Opportunities and Small Business

November 11, 2016

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In an effort to assist those who have bravely served our country in building the foundation for a better future, the Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Innovation Center (CBBIC) launched its first ever “Veteran’s Small Business Week.” Teaming up with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), the event was held Monday, Oct. 31 through Thursday, Nov. 4 and provided resources for veterans who are considering business ownership as a long-term career vocation.

“As a veteran, former business owner, and scholar of entrepreneurship I believe veterans are decision makers and risk-takers,” explained Dr. Kent Byus, Chair of the Management and Marketing Department and Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. “Regardless of service-branch or the particular job held within the service, each veteran has been trained to make decisions based on an analysis of the situation, the resources that are available, and the mission to be accomplished. Business owners make decisions every day using the same criteria.”

Educating participants in the essential business techniques and investment tools needed to develop and manage a small business, the CBBIC encouraged veterans to learn first-hand what opportunities are available by hosting several informative sessions including, “Funding for Veterans” and a free “Boots to Business Reboot” workshop available to veterans and their families. These programs provided valuable information on understanding markets, economics for small business start-up, legal entity for one’s business and business planning.

“Veterans really have that business owner mindset,” said Russell Franques, Associate Director of Client Relations at the CBBIC. “They are dedicated and disciplined which are important traits for a business owner to have.”

Participants were also able to attend a “Funding for Veterans” panel which gave them access to several funding agencies that explained financial assistance opportunities, how to understand subsequent growth and its expected challenges. “Boots to Business Reboot,” which was hosted by the SBA, provided a two-day day course-load that overviewed an array of business topics. Workshop sessions included basics of business ownership, outline and knowledge of a professional business plan, opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources. Participants received a certificate upon program completion.

“The ability for the CBBIC and the College of Business to participate in this Boots to Business Reboot program is the most logical alignment of purpose, method, and value,” said Byus. “Ultimately, the greater community benefits from this partnership.”

Other events during the week included an open house which allowed veterans, their families and community members to learn about resources offered through the CBBIC and the SBA, as well as provide networking opportunities with business who are currently using incubation resources. For more information on the CCBIC, visit http://cbbic.tamucc.edu/.