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Boots to Business


Workshop turns Airmen into entrepreneurs

Story by Senior Airman Kristin High, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — The 2nd Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center has revamped the Small Business Workshop to what is now Boots to Business.

Boots to Business is a two-day workshop facilitated by the Small Business Administration. It provides an introduction to entrepreneurship for transitioning service members.

“The purpose of the workshop is to provide information, educate, assist and support veterans who wish to start a small business,” said James Snyder, A&FRC community readiness consultant.

The workshop provides those who are transitioning out of the military with information on business laws and financing, how to create a business plan, choose a business structure and how to register your business and obtain business licenses.

“Often times, people want to start their own business but don’t know where to get the information from,” said Snyder. “The workshop helps to attain the knowledge that is often overlooked.”

Rande Kessler, Louisiana Small Business Development Center director, introduced the course.

“Each module I teach goes over different components of starting a small business,” said Kessler. “I feel that after this course, Airmen will have the ability to understand what it takes to move forward with their business venture, should they choose to start one.”

According to the Small Business Association, veterans account for 13.5 percent of small businesses in the U.S.

Kessler, a Navy veteran, helps small businesses throughout Louisiana to look at pre-ventures, start, grow or possibly sell their business if they need to.

The Boots to Business workshop is eight-modules that cover marketing, finance, business plans and understanding the customer.

“I came to the workshop to help get tools for starting a small business,” said Senior Airman Dustin Ramsey, 2nd Munitions Squadron support technician. “My father owns a carwash and my mother owns an antique business. I wanted to get more tips on establishing my own.”

Other attendees agreed.

“I’m going to be getting out of the military soon, and I wanted to get some information on possibly opening my own restaurant down the road,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Zarate, 2nd Force Support Squadron fitness specialist.

Although Boots to Business is intended for transitioning service members, anyone who has a military or dependent ID card can attend the workshop.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.


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