Business Advisor Chris Thiesing and Patrick Curran Business Advisor Chris Thiesing with the 2014 Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year, Patrick Curran, of American Business Strategies

Previous winners:
2013: Peter DelCotto, The Woodshed
2012: John Quinn, Quinn Essential Fitness
2011: John Rainey, ERRA Surgical Supplies
2010: Jerel Welch, A-Plus Moving

Veterans Business Programs

Serving the Veterans of New York State

The New York SBDC Veterans’ Business Outreach Program and the Veterans Services and Assistance Program work in coordination to provide targeted training, consulting, and mentoring to help veterans start and grow a small business. SBDC Business Advisors help veteran small business owners improve profitability, expand market share, explore export opportunities, and provide valuable assistance in terms of establishing businesses on stronger organizational and financial footing.

The Veterans Business Advisors provide:

  • One-to-one advisement sessions
  • Pre-business plan workshops/training
  • Business concept assessment
  • Business plan development assistance
  • Comprehensive feasibility analyses
  • Business-to-business commerce
  • Assistance with funding sources

The NYS program has Veterans’ Business Outreach Centers in Buffalo, Albany, and Farmingdale (Long Island) staffed by Business Advisors who are veterans dedicated to helping fellow veterans. In nine years, the award-winning program has provided advisement to more than 10,000 veterans and located more than $160 million in investment funding for veterans. The U.S. Small Business Administration has called the New York SBDC program a national model for providing business assistance and targeted outreach to veterans.

The Veterans Services and Assistance Program is staffed by a dedicated business advisor who is responsible for providing veterans business services within the five boroughs of New York City.

EntreSkills for Veterans

Another innovative development within VBOP is the creation of a web-based interactive educational program that teaches veterans to be successful entrepreneurs. EntreSkills for Veterans™ is based on the successful EntreSkills™ program developed by the SBDC Office of Entrepreneurial Education (OE2). VBOP Business Advisors assisted in an upgraded and targeted version of these materials based on a simple premise: military training and experience can be an excellent preparation for starting your own business. The self-paced program helps veterans refine and develop a concept, address legal and marketing issues, prepare financial statements, and ultimately, manage and run a business. Each chapter of Entre Skills for Veterans™ includes business-related websites and veteran entrepreneur case studies that enable the veteran to study each subject area in depth. The information provided in each chapter builds cumulatively toward the preparation of a finished business plan. After completing the program, participants will have developed a business plan draft through the use of our interactive Business Plan Builder. EntreSkills for Veterans™ operates in tandem with one-on-one business consulting by VBOP Business Advisors. The SBDC is working with the New York State Office of Veterans Affairs to qualify EntreSkills for Veterans™ for veterans’ educational credit.

Learn more about EntreSkills for Veterans in this online demostration.

Operation Boots to Business

Boots to Business is a three-step training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. Boots to Business helps ensure that every transitioning service member has access to a standardized entrepreneurship training track and small business resources in their local communities. Boots to Business is offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) and operated by SU’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with SBA resource partners, including the NY SBDC.

OORAH! Opening Opportunities, Resources and Access for Heroes

OORAH! Opening Opportunities, Resources and Access for Heroes is a comprehensive, data driven bill designed to provide veterans and veteran-owned businesses with the same access to economic programs and incentives, including increased opportunities in state contracting, that are now offered to minorities and women for their business enterprises.


If you and/or your business is outside New York, look to these other Veterans Business Outreach Centers.