The innovative Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) today announced a fifth partner in its national consortium. The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University officially joins the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University <> , the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Mays Business School at Texas A&M and Florida State University's College of Business as the fifth higher education institution to offer this important program designed to serve and support American men and women who have acquired a disability as a result of the military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Krannert School is honored to be part of the EBV consortium," says Krannert School Dean and Leeds Professor of Management Rick Cosier. "Helping the veterans with disabilities of this millennium understand how to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs is a noble calling for any business school. The faculty and staff at the Krannert School eagerly look forward to our first EBV class."

Since 2001, more than 30,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have been wounded as a result of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, the number of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other psychological challenges resulting from their service suggests the number of Americans who have acquired disabilities supporting military operations since 9/11 has exceeded 200,000. For many of these Americans, traditional employment may represent a lifelong challenge.

Throughout American history, entrepreneurship has been a means for veterans to make a way for themselves and their families, and also to re-engage the economic engine of their communities and ultimately the nation. Business ownership offers veterans the opportunity to "own their futures" while also offering the flexibility to accommodate the unique challenges associated with a service-connected disability.

Born at the Whitman School in 2007 <> , the EBV expanded to include Florida State Texas A&M and UCLA in 2008. The program represents one of the first significant partnerships since World War II among some of the country's most prestigious business schools, focused specifically on opening the doors of America's colleges and universities to veterans motivated by business ownership. The consortium led four programs in summer 2008, helping to launch the businesses and the futures of nearly 80 veterans.

"With the addition of Purdue University, we will again increase the opportunities for small business ownership for the men and women who gave so much for our country," says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School and a former U.S. Army captain. "We are thrilled that the EBV consortium is growing and able to reach out to more veterans. The need for this type of program is validated by the many successes of our EBV graduates and by the many supporters who have rallied around the EBV since its inception in 2007. What started as a small program at one university is now a nationwide initiative, which is a wonderful outcome of what we started here at Whitman."

At all five universities, the EBV curriculum is standardized, ensuring that all participants receive a consistent, high-quality experience. The EBV integrates world- class faculty, entrepreneurs, disability experts and business professionals in an educational program focused on training veterans in the competencies associated with small business ownership. The program is conducted in three phases: a self- study session in which the veterans complete courses through online discussions moderated by university faculty, a nine-day residency where veterans learn to develop their own business concepts and understand the basic elements of small business management, and a 12-month mentorship with faculty experts at the EBV universities.

"By offering veterans with disabilities the tools to create and grow their own businesses, we are helping them fight yet another battle-the battle for their own economic freedom," says Mike Haynie, assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Whitman School, creator of the EBV and a former U.S. Air Force major. "There is, perhaps, no better way to thank them for their extraordinary service than to demonstrate our confidence in their bright futures."

Applications for the EBV are accepted on a rolling basis, which means application for the program is always open. Admissions are on a first-come, first-served basis. EBV is offered in collaboration with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, which seeks to advances the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16