Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program

Entrepreneurship Program Benefits

Grads Tell Their Stories

Get Help Starting Your Veteran-Owned Business

Nearly one in four active duty service members and veterans want to open and operate their own business. Opportunity, freedom, and solving problems attract them to the challenge of owning a business. Are you one of them?

The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program offers you tuition-free, online and on-campus instruction in the nationally recognized Lean Startup method. Designed to work around your busy schedule, the program provides you instruction at one of network our partners’ campus, access to local resources such as business leaders and mentors, and much more.

Our Network Partners:

Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Network Partners 2016
  • Central: University of Central Florida
  • Northwest: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Northwest: University of West Florida
  • Northeast: University of North Florida
  • West: Hillsborough Community College
  • Southwest: Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Southeast: Florida Atlantic University

Veterans Florida, and each network partner, dedicates existing small business development and military and veteran resources to deliver the program tuition-free to you.

Entrepreneurship Program Eligibility

The program is designed for those who:

  • Are one of the following:
    • Honorably discharged veteran*
    • Active duty US Armed Forces(with 1 year left before discharge)
    • Current or former member of the National Guard or Reserves
  • Reside in Florida
  • Demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship

* if you do not have your DD214, you may obtain it at this link:


The program is provided tuition-free to qualified veterans.

Questions? Contact Jimmy Smith, Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program Manager

2016-17 Registration is Closed.  Next year’s program will start in January 2018 . Thank you!

Signup for 2017-18 Wait List

Watch our Informational Video

Get a quick overview of the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program from this video.

Phases of the Entrepreneurship Program

Phase 1: Educational Phase

During this initial fifteen-week period, selected participants will attend in-class training to be held every two weeks on Saturdays at one of seven participating institutions of higher education. This phase will prepare participants for all elements of entrepreneurship. The face-to-face instruction will provide an opportunity for hands-on learning and application of fundamental principles facilitated by business experts. The curriculum will include concepts ranging from crafting a business plan to accessing capital for new business ventures. Participants will need to complete online coursework in between the Saturday sessions.

Phase 2: Ongoing Business Mentoring

Following successful completion of the educational phase, participants will receive ongoing mentorship from Florida SBDC business consultants and business leaders from their local area. This phase of the program will enable participants to receive hands-on guidance to navigate common entrepreneurial challenges and to receive specific feedback regarding their business to drive success.

Proposed Program Curriculum and Schedule

"A lot of what veterans learn in the military can help them transition. You just have to shift your focus from a physical mission to a mental mission." – Kyle Lee