The program will guide veterans who want to start or expand a business
Kristine A. Brown

Participants will develop a business plan to explore a venture idea or guide an existing business.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Rider University is offering a free Veteran Entrepreneurial Program beginning in the summer of 2014 that will guide veterans who want to start or expand a business. Participants will develop a business plan to explore a venture idea or guide an existing business. 

The program is comprised of two half-day workshops, followed by six weeks of classroom training taught by professors from Rider’s entrepreneurship department. Each participant will also receive one year of mentoring as they pursue their venture dreams, explains Dr. Ronald Cook, director of Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. 

“There will be very tangible outcomes from this program,” says Dr. Steven Lorenzet, dean of the College of Business Administration. “From business strategy to accounting advice, participants will learn the essential information they need whether they want to create a start-up, buy a franchise or expand their current company.” 

Class size is limited to 15 students to allow for instructor feedback and individualized attention. 

The Veteran Entrepreneurial Program is made possible by a $50,000 grant from Grand Bank, N.A. of Hamilton, N.J. “Grand Bank shares our vision of helping foster veterans’ personal and professional growth through entrepreneurial training,” Cook says. “We are very fortunate to have them as our partner for this unique program.” 

Mark Wolters, president and CEO of Grand Bank, says, “When we proposed this idea to Rider University, they were immediately on board with our concept of the program and how it would benefit our returning service men and women. Our banking and financial experts will be able to provide information and mentorship to the veterans who participate in the program and work with them individually to help each participant find ways to achieve their business goals.” 

Applications for the Veteran Entrepreneurial Program must be submitted online. There is a $300 registration fee for the program, which demonstrates a commitment to full participation in this entrepreneurial opportunity. The registration fee will be fully refunded to participants who successfully complete the program by attending all instructional sessions and completing homework assignments. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, veterans own nearly one in 10 small businesses nationwide. These 2.4 million small businesses employ almost six million people and generate over one trillion dollars in revenue. 

“The management and leadership experience the veterans of our armed forces have accumulated over the course of their military careers is invaluable, and dovetails perfectly with the traits needed to run a small business,” Russel Melville, coordinator of Veterans Affairs, says. “This is an outstanding opportunity for veterans to gain a deeper level of education about starting, running or expanding a business.”