The EBV (Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities) has emerged as the premier program to train disabled veterans to become successful business owners. The program is privately funded and includes five weeks of military style intensive training followed by one year of on-line support and mentorship. The first four weeks are spent developing their own business concepts with the assistance of entrepreneurship faculty and graduate students from one of the partner EBV Universities.
This is followed by an intense nine days spent “in residency” at one of eight world-class institutions where the vets attend a rigorous schedule of speakers, meetings and workshops all designed to prepare them for the real world of entrepreneurship.
Does it work? You bet! Last month we were honored to be keynote speakers at the third annual EBV Alumni National Conference in Frisco, Texas. In attendance were over 100 grads of the EBV program from all over the country. Most had already developed successful businesses ranging from Women Veterans Business Center to Cool Clock Shop, with many more products and services in between. The program is also available to the families of the disabled vets (EBVF), who also attended this annual conference.
While we were there, we participated in a workshop where we were able to spend one-on-one time with the vets to discuss their business ideas and offer our advice. They asked us questions about the best way to position, grow, and monetize their brand value. Twenty-seven other tables provided real world business advice from recognized experts in the field of entrepreneurship.
We were proud to be part of this incredible program and took the opportunity to thank them for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the folks they serve – us! We went to inspire them, but they inspired us! We couldn’t help but feel the excitement and “Can-Do” attitude of these men and women as they took on the new challenge of becoming business owners in the civilian world.
As outsiders who have participated as speakers at the ground level at EBV programs at Syracuse University and Purdue University, and now to experience this ongoing support for the EBV and EBVF grads, we couldn’t help but be impressed with the feelings of comradely and family that this program offers. Grads are not suddenly turned loose on the world, but instead have a support network that goes on indefinitely.
The new businesses created by these veterans with disabilities and their families are creating jobs, commerce, and wealth that will benefit us all. The EBV is creating the catalyst to ignite creativity and success with a unique program to educate, encourage, and support the entrepreneurial aspirations of our disabled vets. Although it is now in its relative infancy, this unique program is already making a difference. The future of our economy will be charged with a new brand of entrepreneur, the EBV Brand!
As we celebrate Veterans’ Day this Monday, November 11, let’s recognize and thank our entrepreneurial veterans by trading with the over 17,000 veteran owned businesses across the country. If you have a choice, why not choose a veteran business? They’ve served us twice, once in the field, and now with goods and services! So, don’t just take the day off this Veterans’ Day; show your support by making a purchase from a veteran-owned business.
Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular business site at www.thebarefootspirit.com.
To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.