Wednesday June 27, 2012

Boot Camp With a Twist

This boot camp comes without the push-ups. The University of Dayton is offering a free "Entrepreneurship Boot Camp" for veterans.

The University of Dayton is offering an "Entrepreneurship Boot Camp" for veterans who are considering owning and operating small businesses.

The four-day program is free for veterans who've served after 9-11 and may be benefits-eligible for other veterans. The first boot camp is slated for July 26-29 in the 1700 South Patterson Building on River Campus.  Other sessions are slated Aug. 23-26 and Oct. 4-7.

"The job market is tough, particularly for returning GIs who are competing with other unemployed citizens for jobs," said Fred D. Burkhardt, president and CEO of Geneva Analytics, which developed the curriculum. "In many cases, veterans have training and skills that can be applied to a number of small businesses. It simply becomes a matter of learning business basics, shifting what they've learned in the field and applying it to their own businesses."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans reached 12.7 percent in May, compared to a national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate for veterans of all generations stood at 7.8 percent.

Boot camp students will learn skills in finance, taxes, leadership and management. On the final day, participants will have the opportunity to present their business concept for critique in a competition for prizes and services. Following the boot camp, veterans will have access to 10 hours of online coaching support.

"We are very excited about adding entrepreneurship training for veterans to our adult learner educational portfolio," said Paul Vanderburgh, associate provost and dean of graduate, professional and continuing education. "It matches the skill sets of veterans with the individual and societal needs for more small business entrepreneurs. The program also builds on the University of Dayton's strong reputation of innovation and the many small business start-ups of its graduates."

The registration fee is $2,495; registration is capped at 25 students. Those who complete the 30-hour curriculum will receive a "Certificate of Entrepreneurship" and continuing education credits through the University of Dayton.

Besides the University of Dayton, the boot camps will be offered in cities around the country, including San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle, Orlando, Fayetteville, N.C., and Norfolk, Va., according to Burkhardt.

"We're bringing home people with high levels of technological capacity. Why don't we train them to be entrepreneurs?" asked Burkhardt, noting that startup companies are key to reducing unemployment in today's economy. "Veterans have all the attributes to be successful entrepreneurs."

To register, call 937-229-2605 or click on the related link above. Veterans with questions about their eligibility to attend the boot camp for free may contact Bonnie Ramon at 937-229-4120 or bramon1@udayton.edu.

For assistance in scheduling media interviews, contact the media relations staff at 937-229-3241.