Business class helps vets become entrepreneurs

After the free two-day course, those interested in business ownership can enroll in another free eight-week online class

Leigh Black Irvin
  • Attendees will learn about business economics and financing and how to develop a business plan
  • The training will help veterans decide whether business ownership is right for them
  • Family members of veterans and military personnel are also encouraged to attend

FARMINGTON – Registration is now open for an intensive two-day business development training program that will be held at the San Juan College School of Energy next week.

According to a Department of Veterans Services press release, "Boots to Business: Reboot" is geared toward entrepreneurial-minded military veterans and national guard reserve or active-duty personnel who are or will be transitioning to veteran status.

Ivan Corrales, veteran business specialist with the New Mexico Small Business Administration, which is one of the program sponsors, said Boots to Business: Reboot provides an excellent overview for veterans mulling the possibility of becoming entrepreneurs.

"I'm a vet myself, having spent 22 years in the military," said Corrales. "I never thought about owning a business, but just by chance I ended up going into business on my own. This training is good because it shows vets that anyone could end up owning a business."

Corrales said this message is particularly important for veterans, as they are used to working for the government and often don't think that becoming their own boss is an option.

"What's nice is that (the training) gives an overview and helps them answer that question about whether they should go into business," he said. "We have one former student who just got into a multi-million dollar contract selling cars to military bases like White Sands Missile Range. The bases use the cars to blow up during target practice. Boots to Business: Reboot can show veterans that there are options like this, other than just working for someone else."

Carmen Martinez, director of the San Juan College Small Business Development Center, said the training, which is normally offered on military bases, is also open to family members of military personnel.

"Even if the military person is serving overseas now and the spouse wanted to find out about opening a business, they can come take the training," said Martinez.

The free two-step program, held on April 19 and 20, also is sponsored by the Small Business Development Center, the New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center, SCORE (a non-profit that helps businesses get launched), and the Association of Women Business Centers.

"Boots to Business: Reboot adapts the curriculum from the SBA's Boots to Business: From Service to Startup program – a training track within the Department of Defense's three-step 'Transition, Goals, Plans, Success' program developed to introduce transitioning military service members to small business ownership," according to the release. "It has since been expanded to include veterans who would like to start a business or expand an existing operation."

The two-day Introduction to Entrepreneurship course will be taught by SBA business advisers. Among other skills, attendees will learn how to evaluate business concepts, understand their market, about business economics and financing, how to select a legal entity, and how to develop a business plan.

Equally important to the business skills learned, attendees will hear about business resources available in the area and around the state, and will have a chance to take advantage of SBA's counseling and training.

After the two-day course, those who wish to continue with training will have the opportunity to enroll in a free eight-week Foundations of Entrepreneurship online course taught by SBA professors and instructors.

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621. 


What: Boots to Business: Reboot

When: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 19 and 20

Where: Merrion Room, San Juan College School of Energy, 5301 College Boulevard, Farmington

Info: Pre-registration is required, visit to register. Call 505-248-8227 or e-mail for more information.