(Ambrosio’s note: I would like to invite all veterans who are interested in a career in entrepreneurship, franchising, or sales to check out Veterans Business Edge, a 12-day business boot camp to be held at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL from January 9-21, 2012. This sounds like a very innovative and hands-on approach to helping veterans transition into the world of business. If you know anyone who might benefit from this program, please spread the word or share it with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
I would like to thank Ms. Cheryl Babcock, Director of Executive Education and founding director of the International Institute for Franchising Education at Nova Southeastern University, for sharing a lot of helpful information on this business boot camp with us.)
1. Can you share with us how the idea for a business boot camp for veterans interested in entrepreneurship, franchise and sales training first came about?
The idea actually came about during a meeting of the International Institute for Franchise Education Strategic Advisory Board meeting in January. Board members expressed interest in helping vets they knew that were exiting the military and were looking to enter the business world.
These board members expressed that there was a real need to help vets understand that they were ideally suited to this new world of business ownership, given their leadership and decision-making skills, problem-solving abilities, and discipline. Many vets were having difficulty in seeing that the skills they had acquired in the military were transferrable and highly valued in the business community.
2. What are the main objectives of the Veterans Business Edge?
The Veteran’s Business Edge boot camp really aims to help veterans leverage and apply leadership and decision-making skills they’ve gained during their military service in the business world.
Another aim is to help these veterans make the transition from the military to the civilian business world, which at times can be a challenging and daunting effort.
Also, The Veteran’s Business Edge provides veterans with training in entrepreneurship, franchising and sales and provides them with information on opportunities that exist for them in the business world – whether it is starting a business of their own, pursuing a franchise opportunity, or looking at opportunities elsewhere in business.
3. Why do you think there needs to be a special business boot camp specifically for veterans?
We actually see several factors that call for this program:
1. As noted previously, we see that many veterans have a hard time making the transition from the military to the civilian business world. It’s a new world, often with a language of its own and different demands on time and skills than those experienced in the military.
2. Veterans are facing a tight job market, much like the general public, which makes it all the more important that they are able to capitalize on their highly-valued skills and capabilities. Many veterans undervalue their skills, while others don’t realize that they have skills to offer. The Veteran’s Business Edge aims to help them view their skills and themselves as highly marketable.
3. Women veterans, in particular, are having a very tough time finding suitable opportunities, and they lag behind their male counterparts, and both sexes in the general population.
4. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that almost 56% of senior-level veterans, and 46% of all veterans, pursue an entrepreneurial path. This is much higher than the civilian population with no active-duty service. The Veteran’s Business Edge aims to help veterans realize the American dream of personal business ownership.
5. We find that many veterans already have a four-year degree but not a background or training in business, while others are not interested in making the long-term commitment to a degree program. The Veteran’s Business Edge has been designed specifically to give these veterans the training they want and need in a relatively short time by immersing them in an intensive 12-day boot camp.
The Veteran’s Business Edge is different than a business seminar in that it is 12 days of intensive training in entrepreneurship, franchising and sales training in a unique learning environment.
What makes The Veteran’s Business Edge truly unique is the core concept of ‘Vets training Vets”. Our faculty is comprised of NSU faculty and business leaders that are experts in their respective fields. All of them have real-world, hands-on experience, and importantly, many are veterans themselves. They’ve shared similar experiences, including making the transition from the military to the business world successfully.
Additionally, another unique feature of our program is the NSU Huizenga Sales Institute, which has its cutting-edge training facilities — 8,200 square feet of learning environment unlike any other around.
Participants will also get to visit several local franchise businesses to see how these companies oversee operations, training, franchise development, sales, etc. They will have the opportunity to meet with franchisees as well as owners of small businesses who will share their challenges and opportunities
5. Is there any special preparation needed prior to attending Veterans Business Edge?
6. What can participants of Veterans Business Edge expect to take away from the boot camp?
A new appreciation for the skills they have mastered in the military; new skills specifically in entrepreneurship, franchising, and sales training; an understanding on how to apply these skills; an understanding of how to market themselves and their skills; awareness of opportunities that exist for them – whether that be in business ownership, franchising, sales, etc.; insights in how to identify, research and evaluate these opportunities; and how to successfully transition from the familiarity of the military world to the new and different civilian business world.
Veterans that participate in the program will also receive training in finance and accounting, sales presentations, negotiations, interviewing, and corporate governance.
Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to interact and network with successful business leaders who will share valuable insights on their experiences and path to success.
7. Will the participants receive any special training materials or other resources that they can take
home with them?
Participants will each receive a best-selling leadership book , and a resource manual as part of program. These materials will benefit the vets participating in the program as they make their way to find their own path to success.
8. Do you think there are certain common traits among veterans that would make them good franchisees?
Veterans possess many common traits that make them ideally suited to business and entrepreneurship. Vets as a group are disciplined, systems-oriented, intelligent, educated, risk-takers, and have great leadership, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
9. Do you think there are specific franchise industries that are most compatible with the skills set of veterans?
Veterans are well-suited for a wide range of businesses, industries, and franchise organizations. Ultimately, the veteran’s personal interests, and to a large degree, the nature of opportunities available in their region, will determine the path taken by any veteran.
10. How many participants are you expecting? How many participants can you accommodate?
We are not limiting attendance, but there is a preference to keep the number to around 20 participants to ensure that participants get the most out of this experience. Our aim is to give participants a face-to-face, hands-on learning opportunity.
11. Is there anything else that you wish to share about the Veterans Business Edge?
America’s military veterans are the nation’s best and bravest. Many of these patriot warriors have served while enduring personal sacrifice and hardship. They deserve our respect, admiration, support and assistance with the sometimes difficult task of assimilating back into civilian society.
Nova Southeastern University is extremely proud to be launching a program that honors these veterans and assists them in their efforts to realize their dreams of business ownership and success.
For more information, a complete agenda or to register for the program, visit www.huizenga.nova.edu/Vets-Edge or contact David Harris at 800.672.7223 ext. 25079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.