‘Boots to Business’ class provides knowledge to future entrepreneurs

Lori Hiramatsu, senior business advisor, Hawaii Small Business Development Center, instructs military members during the ‘Boots to Business’ class.

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz

Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam Public Affairs

Nearly 25 Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen throughout Oahu recently completed the ‘Boots to Business’ class at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Military & Family Support Center, June 22-23.

The Boots to Business class is a two-step entrepreneurial training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a training track within the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

However, prospective persons who are interested in taking and completing the course can take it at any time, not just when they are making the transition from service member to civilian.

The class is broken into two specific segments:

Introduction to Entrepreneurship two-day course

A two-day classroom course offered as one of the three Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) elective tracks

Foundations of Entrepreneurship

An eight-week, instructor-led online course that offers in depth instruction on the elements of a business plan and tips and techniques for starting a business.

Jerry Hirata, Hawaii Lead Lender Relations Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said they (the SBA) holds multiple ‘Boots to Business’ classes throughout the year, and would love to see more service members attend.

“We see a lot of Sailors and Soldiers come to our classes,” he said. “We want to extend an invitation to our Marines and Airmen as well, because we know these free classes can be very beneficial to those interested in starting their own business.”

Hirata said there are plans to host several more classes this year, with some taking place on Schofield Barracks, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and back here on JBPHH.

“We bring in specialists and experts in various fields of business,” Hirata said. “Depending on the day, students could be learning from an industry expert, or successful business owners who have decades of experience to share.”

One sailor who decided to take advantage of the free ‘Boots to Business’ class was Chief Fire Controlman William Chadwell, assigned to Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific Operations Department.

“I chose to attend the ‘Boots to Business’ class because I am interested in starting a business once I retire from the Navy,” Chadwell said. “I want to take the time to prepare for my future outside of the military — and I would recommend junior and senior military members do the same.”

Chadwell mentioned the best part of the class was learning about all of the free resources available to military members, and said it would be foolish to leave these options unused and unexplored.

“If you don’t carve time out of your schedule to make time for your professional development, for your future — you are doing yourself a disservice,” he said.

To learn more information about Boots to Business, call 202-205-VET1 or visit www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ovbd/resources/160511.

For more information about classes at JBPHH MFSC, call 474-1999 or visit www.greatlifehawaii.com/family-support/military-family-support-center.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News