Wisconsin veterans offered free entrepreneurship training

SBDC and Bunker Labs partner on program

Veterans seeking entrepreneurship training can now get up to $500 to fund the costs for the Wisconsin SBDC Network’s Entrepreneurship Training Program.

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The funding is being provided through a $238,000 entrepreneurship grant Bunker Labs received this week from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. SBDC will partner with Bunker Labs to offer the training at its 14 centers statewide.

The 8- to 10-week Entrepreneurial Training Program uses the Lean Startup model to help entrepreneurs formulate a business plan and determine whether their idea will work. In Milwaukee, it is offered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SBDC.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. already covers 75 percent of the $1,000 tuition for those who complete the course, so participants only pay the $250 registration fee. Now, veterans will also have the registration fee covered, and will get an additional $250 for completing the course and a business plan.

SBDC will accept 36 veterans or their spouses or children into the program. They must have a Form DD214. More information is available at www.wisconsinsbdc.org/etp.

“Last year, SBDCs across Wisconsin provided business consulting to 210 veterans,” said Neil Lerner, state SBDC associate director. “We are excited about this additional incentive available to help veterans start or expand their business.”

“We are ecstatic to have this opportunity to expand and accelerate our mission to inspire, educate and connect veteran entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses throughout Wisconsin,” said Michael Ertmer, executive director of Bunker Labs Wisconsin.

The Department of Veterans affairs also this week awarded grants to other southeastern Wisconsin veterans organizations. Legal Action of Wisconsin in Milwaukee received $90,000, to provide business, technical and employment legal services for veteran entrepreneurs in southern Wisconsin; $4,999 went to Project Echelon in Waukesha to help veterans apply their skills and leadership qualities in the workplace, pursue entrepreneurship or participate in the healing process; and $25,000 was granted to UW-Milwaukee Veterans Upward Bound, to create a pilot Veteran Entrepreneurship Readiness and Support program to offer business skills assessment, educational workshops, instructional support services, field experience and business mentoring.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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