New HCC program helps veterans become entrepreneurs
Jan 13, 2021
Houston Community College and the University of St. Thomas are beginning a new Veterans Entrepreneurship Program designed to help veterans start and grow small businesses. The program will be held online beginning Jan. 23 for veterans, military members and their family members 18 years old and older. The program is being held no cost to participants.
HCC’s Director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ravi Brahmbhatt said the program integrates key elements of learning, resources and support structure needed to successfully launch and grow businesses.
“It is designed to accelerate the process for veterans to own a business and help it flourish. Instruction will include direct access to digital skills, practical business training, programs and local resources necessary to guide participants in every step of entrepreneurship.”
The program is divided into three stages. In the first, participants will receive critical virtual skills training for use in the increasingly digital business landscape. Experts in Microsoft technologies will provide training on tools many entrepreneurs need to communicate with customers, build databases, and market business products and services.
The second stage begins in April with weekly practical business-skills training. It will include practical sessions in HCC’s Small Business Success Series, instruction that provides hands-on learning and interaction with faculty, guest entrepreneurs, business experts and peers. Experts in small business will deliver applicable, interactive training and facilitate peer-to-peer exercises in small groups.
In the third stage, veterans will learn of resources and funding sources from HCC entrepreneurial programs and local organizations that serve veterans. Among special events will be panels on veteran higher education and veteran entrepreneurship with resource partners for veterans interested in small business entrepreneurship. It culminates with a veteran business plan pitch competition, where a panel of judges will award seed capital and/or scholarships.
Dr. Steven Hall, City of Houston’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs director, congratulated HCC and UST for undertaking the program, noting that Houston is home to a large veteran population.
“It's great to see Houston Community College and the University of St. Thomas collaborating to provide entrepreneurial educational training for those who have served our nation,” Hall said. “I highly encourage any veteran or any member of the larger military-affiliated community to leverage this phenomenal opportunity. It’s a great way to take the first step toward an investment in their educational and entrepreneurial journeys."
McNair Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at UST and HCC Foundation donors are sponsoring the program.
For more information visit www.hccs.edu/vep or contact Brahmbhatt, director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship at (713) 718-5269.