From the front lines to the boardroom, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is helping heroes become entrepreneurs with a free program called Boots to Business.
“We’re here to educate them and to help them get started,” says Frank Anderson, a Boots to Business instructor and army veteran, “Veterans are survivors and learn how to overcome obstacles. Those things help veterans to be more successful in business.”
I was able to sit in on a day-long seminar at the Jud Hub in Greenville. Next to me was veteran Tim Belt, who is trying to turn his passion for woodworking into something more profitable. Tim is a retired warzone photographer and videographer for the US Army. He recently started Pine City Enterprises and sells artisan cabinetry, decorations and boardgames.
“I’m hoping to get as much knowledge as I can,” Belt told me, “Financial knowledge, how to apply for operating loans, how to hire people, manage the business, the whole gambit.”
Veterans face challenges as they transition from the front lines to civilian life, including overcoming physical and/or mental trauma, securing employment and finding purpose outside the strict organization our armed forces provide. Resources are available at SBA.gov/vets.
After the class, Belt says he learned an incredible amount, including a specific calculation so he knows what he can charge for his creations. If you are interested in handmade artwork, decorations, or even big pieces of furniture from a local veteran, check out Belt’s incredible craftsmanship at pinecityenterprises.com.