Fourth class of Rider’s veteran entrepreneurial program receives certificates
Rider University’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program, or VET program, graduated its fourth class on July 26, 2017. Nine aspiring entrepreneurs gathered for a ceremony in the Art Gallery to receive certificates and share a meal while reflecting on their accomplishments and the work ahead.
The VET program is a free, nine-week program that allows veterans to develop a business plan to explore a venture idea or guide an existing business. Classes were held in the evening on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus and taught by professors from Rider’s College of Business Administration.
This year’s graduates developed business plans for a diverse range of ideas, from food trucks and motels to a distillery and day care center.
“This group of veteran graduates really delved into the process,” says Dr. Ronald Cook, director of Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “From turning in their homework assignments to asking questions of the instructors to helping fellow veterans during class, they took advantage of all the resources we provided for them.”
The program is run in two phases. In Phase I, veterans develop their business concept, which must be finalized before moving onto Phase II, the full business plan development. “Only veterans whose business concept is approved by the program can move into Phase II, as the pace of the program requires a solid concept to build a business plan around,” Cook says.
Upon completion of the program, veterans will receive one year of mentoring as they pursue making their plans a reality. Further, one of the sponsors of the program, The Uncommon Individual Foundation, will invite the veterans to work with them as they continue to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
This year’s cohort of students benefited from some constructive changes to the program. First, a greater emphasis was placed on helping the vets complete their homework assignments, by setting aside class time to work with the veterans one-on-one with their assignments. Second, the business research section, taught by Diane Campbell, one of Rider’s business librarians, was expanded so the veterans have a better understanding of the resources in our library.
This program was made possible and free to the veterans by the generous support of the New Jersey Bankers Charitable Foundation, Inc. and The Uncommon Individual Foundation.
About one in 10 veterans own their own business, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, and 5.8 million people are employed by veteran-owned firms.
For more information or questions about the program email Kyle Rubin at [email protected].