When It Comes to Veterans, DCTC Walks the Talk
Military training develops organizational skills and risk management, which makes veterans prime candidates for entrepreneurship. Veterans own 9 percent of businesses nationwide, generating $1.2 trillion each year and employing nearly 5.8 million people (U.S. Census Bureau). Veterans are more than fit for duty, and the private sector, government agencies and Dakota County Technical College are recognizing their success.
The Yellow Ribbon Entrepreneur Initiative at DCTC kicks off fall semester 2012 as a fully online program specific to the needs of veterans who want to reach their full potential in entrepreneurship. Because the YRE Initiative is geared to reach out to business-minded veterans across the United States, the YRE team hit the open road.
Associate Dean Lisa Bah and Entrepreneurship/Small Business Instructor Christine Pigsley are “wheels up” in an effort to provide veteran-owned companies and prospective veteran entrepreneurs with resources and educational opportunities critical to business start-up and growth. “We are bringing our veterans every available resource that can help them start or grow their business,” said Pigsley.
This past June, Bah and Pigsley headed to Reno, Nev., for VETS2012, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Symposium sponsored by the National Veterans Small Business Coalition. The symposium is on its second year and had one thing in mind: Success for veterans. The event brought veteran entrepreneurs together with industry leaders as well as government agencies such as Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the State Department. Also in attendance at VETS2012, prime government contractors are working on a 3 percent goal to award procurement contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.
Bah and Pigsley not only shared ideas with other participants, they also learned about new resources that are available for veteran entrepreneurs. Affordable health insurance, new financing programs, and grant opportunities such as Small Business Innovative Research are all at a veteran’s fingertips.
“We are innovating how and what veteran entrepreneurs learn in the quest to build their own self-employment success story,” said Pigsley, referring to DCTC’s participation in VETS2012.
The YRE Initiative will reach more than 3,000 Minnesota veterans, who are currently in the reintegration process after recent deployments. Bah and Pigsley regularly attend National Guard Beyond the Yellow Ribbon events and veterans job fairs throughout the state. They aspire to help veterans meet their entrepreneurship goals through the YRE Initiative.
“Veterans can choose self-employment as their career goal, use their military benefits, and make college work for them on their terms,” said Pigsley. “DCTC walks the talk when it comes to our commitment to the veteran community.”
About DCTC’s Yellow Ribbon Entrepreneur Initiative
The Yellow Ribbon Entrepreneur Initiative is an online program focused on small business operation and entrepreneurship. The program is designed exclusively for individuals who have served in the U.S. military. Students participating in the program will work with a small and consistent cohort of students throughout their entire education experience. Course material is designed to integrate one’s military experience into an entrepreneurial opportunity.
For more information about the Yellow Ribbon Entrepreneur Initiative at DCTC, contact:
- Christine Pigsley
Entrepreneurship/Small Business Instructor