Carlsbad CA— MiraCosta College has secured a $250,000 federal grant to establish Southern California’s only Veterans Business Outreach Center, a center charged with supporting veterans and service members from San Diego to Santa Barbara who have already left or are leaving the military and embarking on self-employment or entrepreneurship.
The grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development was one of only six awarded May 17 to higher education systems from Hawaii to Georgia.
“We at MiraCosta College feel a deep sense of gratitude for the service of our veterans and have long been committed to providing veterans and active-duty military with the services they need and deserve in transitioning back to civilian life,” said Dr. Sunny Cooke, MiraCosta College superintendent/president. “And we are grateful for the opportunity to build on that success through the new Veterans Business Outreach Center.”
The Veterans Business Outreach Center will be based at the college’s Technology Career Institute, at 2075 Las Palmas Drive in Carlsbad. Veterans Business Outreach Centers conduct entrepreneurial development workshops dealing specifically with self-employment, provide entrepreneurial training and counseling, and assist clients in developing business plans. Across the nation, Veterans Business Outreach Centers counsel and mentor approximately 60,000 veterans each year.
A key component of the MiraCosta College effort includes outreach to increase participation in the Boots to Business training programs at Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base at Twenty-Nine Palms, Marine Corps Reserve Depot – San Diego, Naval Base San Diego, Naval Base Ventura County, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Edwards Air Force Base, and Fort Irwin National Training Center.
Boots to Business is a Small Business Administration endeavor that includes a two-day, Introduction to Entrepreneurship course for military members interested in starting a business, and an eight-week, online course with in-depth instruction on the elements of a business plan and techniques for starting a new business. Since 2013, the Boots to Business program has trained more than 40,000 transitioning service members, reservists, National Guard members and military spouses.
“Veterans Business Outreach Centers are out front synergizing the veteran small business ecosystem,” said Barbara Carson, an associate administrator with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development. “We look forward to continuing to work with centers to empower U.S. service members, military spouses and all eras of veterans in starting and growing small businesses.”
San Diego County is home to more than 240,000 veterans, in addition to nearly 90,000 Navy personnel, 35,000 Marine Corps personnel, and 22,500 Department of Defense civilian personnel. Approximately 1,500 active-duty military, military dependents and military veterans are enrolled at MiraCosta, representing about 10 percent of the college’s enrollment.
The other nearest Veterans Business Outreach Center is in Sacramento.