Meriden Veteran Goes from Military Service to Entrepreneurship

Record-Journal- When Gulaid and Davina Ismail’s second child Issaq was born three years ago, the child suffered from acid reflux so badly he threw up often. The couple was going through plenty of infant clothes.

“We were constantly changing clothes and throwing them out when they get stained,” Davina said. “So we asked ourselves ‘why don’t we start making clothes ourselves?'”

Gulaid Ismail, a U.S. Marine who served seven months in Fallujah, Iraq, was able to get some assistance from Veterans Administration programs and the couple soon started Dribblebabies, a baby and toddler web-based store for parents five years after his honorable discharge.

How Veterans Can Sign Up for Entrepreneurial Training Through College Initiatives

New York Post- Last year, Army Reserves veteran Dr. Stephannie L. Addo-Zuniga was knee-deep in the trenches on a daily basis from 8 a.m. to midnight, relying on her tenacity and perseverance to pull her through.

This wasn’t army bootcamp, but an intense learning initiative offered through Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at the University of Connecticut.

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‘Bootcamp’ Helps Meriden Veteran to Put His Life Back Together

Record-Journal- Since returning from a two-year tour of duty in Iraq a decade ago, Rafael Castro has been trying to piece his life back together. Not long after his return, Castro, of Meriden, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. In April, he was laid off from his job at a car dealership.

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5 Resources for Turning Veterans into Entrepreneurs

Milwaukee Community Journal – Is the solution to joblessness among veterans, entrepreneurship? Career experts think so. According to the Small Business Administration, military veterans are almost twice as likely as non-veterans to start their own business, but their unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent as of February, and has been consistently higher than the national average.

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A Fix for Jobless Vets? Make Them Entrepreneurs

CNBC – For a variety of reasons, the solution to joblessness among veterans may be to prod more of them toward entrepreneurship. “This gap is a nut that’s hard to crack, but I actually truly believe that veteran-owned businesses are going to be the thing that heals our country in the next 15 years,” said Michael Zacchea, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and director of the University of Connecticut’s Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.

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Disabled R.I. Veteran Launches ‘Broken Gear’ Clothing Line

Providence Journal – “It was amazing,” says Steven D’Amico, referring to UConn’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV).

“You’re there for nine days, 18 hours a day, on your business. At the end of the time, you have to do a pitch.” D’Amico was one of 25 disabled veterans who attended the UConn EBV program (one of 8 nationwide) last October. He plans to use his business to help other injured veterans.

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4 Live Broadcasts at UConn Business Pitch Competition for Veterans with Disabilities – On Friday, October 10th, the University of Connecticut (Uconn) Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans made history during their annual business pitch competition. Over 20 startup companies led by military veteran leaders pitched their businesses LIVE on air in 4 separate classrooms to determine which startup would win the cash prize!

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