UConnâs Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) fills an important need both for the veteran population in that it provides access to entrepreneurial education and resources, and to the state in that it helps create economic vitality and businesses that create jobs.
A May 2011 study from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy revealed that 45 percent of veterans are more likely to take the plunge into entrepreneurship than people with no active-duty military experience. âI think there are several reasons why veterans tend to be more entrepreneurial, says Michael Zacchea â12 MBA, EBV program manager, in a 2012 Hartford Business Journal interview. âFirst, in the military, they developed a bias for action, and a commitment to mission accomplishment. Veterans tend to network with other veterans, and tend to understand things like logistics and supply chains. Veterans have learned management and planning skills that lend themselves to entrepreneurial success.â
On Veterans Day in 2004, Zacchea nearly died while fighting with his unit in the streets of Fallujah, one of Iraqâs deadliest combat zones. Nine years later and retired from the Marine Corps, he has led more than 60 disabled veterans through the EBV program curriculum. âWe believe that veteran entrepreneurship is part of the solution both for the current generation of 2.5 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and for our economy both nationally and for our state. In Connecticut, there are more than 40,000 veteran-owned businesses, which account for 8% of the stateâs GDP,â says Zacchea. âVeteran business owners create both economic and social value disproportionate to their size of the population.â
Learn more about UConnâs EBV program and hear feedback from participants in this video: