Veterans Florida Selects Host Partner University, Network Partners to Deliver New Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

$1 Million State Appropriation to Empower Veterans through Entrepreneurship

FSBDCN State Office: Veterans Florida, a non-profit created by the Florida Legislature to attract and retain veterans, has selected five institutions of higher education to administer and deliver the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, a new entrepreneurial training initiative for veterans in the state seeking to start their own businesses. The funding for the program is made available through a $1 million appropriation by the Florida Legislature.

Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship ProgramThe University of West Florida, in conjunction with the Florida SBDC Network and Military Veterans Resource Center, was selected to administer the program. The University of West Florida, University of North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, and Hillsborough Community College will serve as network partners of the program. In this role, each institution will dedicate existing small business development resources to deliver the program, which is comprised of three phases:

  • Phase 1: An online entrepreneurial development training covering the basics of entrepreneurship
  • Phase 2: In-class training at one of the five participating institutions of higher education during which veterans will receive face-to-face instruction from business experts and refine their business concepts and plans
  • Phase 3: Ongoing mentorship and follow-up support from Florida SBDC business consultants to help veterans launch and run their business

“We are thrilled to be selected as the host partner for the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “The Florida SBDC Network and UWF are committed to serving the men and women who serve our country and are privileged to offer entrepreneurial training in their support. Our goal is to ensure our state’s servicemen and women have the necessary training and resources for their businesses to succeed.”

“The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program offers veterans in the state access to high value, entrepreneurship education through our world-class state universities and colleges,” said Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director of Veterans Florida. “This education will empower the next generation of great veteran entrepreneurs to make lasting contributions to the state’s economy.”

The program is available to veterans who are active duty or have been honorably discharged; reside in Florida, or plan to locate to Florida; and demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship. The program is provided at no cost. Travel expenses, including lodging and meals, for the on-site training will be covered for all participants.

Space is limited. The expected launch of the program website ( is early February 2016, at which time the application will be available.

For more information, please contact Gerry Goldstein with the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program at (850) 898-3489 or or Megan Gonzalez with the University of West Florida at (850) 982-8836 or