National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

Benito Olson in class as Michael Morris teaches
Entrepreneurship program jumpstarts ventures of veterans with disabilities
Apply by February 1, 2023

The National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) provides a rigorous entrepreneurial learning and development opportunity for veterans with service-connected disabilities and those who have uniquely distinguished themselves in the military. VEP is designed for veterans interested in starting a new venture as a means to financial independence and for veterans who have an existing business for which they would like to increase profits.

Application deadline: February 1, 2023

Program Overview

The VEP is comprised of two phases: a five-week online self-study component and an intense in-person five-day training program. This two phase program offers an innovative and effective combination of focused, practical training in venture creation and growth.

  • Phase I: Concept Development and Self Study
    Over the initial five-week period, delegates will participate in a self-study curriculum developed for the VEP, facilitated by an online discussion and assessment module, which will be moderated by entrepreneurship faculty. This phase enables delegates to work on development of business concepts and prepare for Bootcamp in May. Those with existing businesses will work on understanding and shaping relevant business issues.
  • Phase II: VEP Bootcamp
    Like a military boot camp, this five-day in-person program is intense, rigorous and demanding. It is an opportunity for learning and interaction with faculty, guest entrepreneurs, business experts and peer delegates. The bootcamp exposes VEP participants to the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership through experiential workshops and lessons from world-class faculty.

Schedule

DateEvent
February 1, 2023Application Deadline (apply as early as possible)
Rolling AdmissionsAcceptance Decisions
March 27 – April 28, 2023Phase I: Online Self Study and Business Concept / Issues Development
May 14 – 20, 2023Phase II: VEP Entrepreneurs In-Person Bootcamp

Cost

The VEP is free to veterans who are selected for the program. The costs of the VEP are underwritten by sponsors and private donors, with operations and program development provided by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center at the University of Florida.

Eligibility

VEP serves veterans who meet the following three requirements:

  • Have separated from active duty service (or are in the process of separating) with an honorable discharge
  • Are identified as disabled by the Veteran’s Administration or DOD based on a “service-connected” disability (or) Are “service distinguished” based on exemplary military conduct
  • Demonstrate an intense motivation to start or grow a business

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration