15:54 PM

HCC & UST Join Forces Again, This Time to Help Veterans Become Entrepreneurs

Calling all veterans who yearn to own their own companies but lack valuable know-how. Houston Community College (HCC) and the University of St. Thomas McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise are collaborating to offer a new program to support veterans in starting small businesses.

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) is free to any vet and military family member, thanks to Microsoft, Wells Fargo and The McNair Foundation’s generous support.

The intense, immersive, interactive program includes experiential workshop presentations from business coaches and faculty. After this transfer of crucial knowledge, veteran students will understand key elements like how to determine whether an idea is lucrative, how to market it, how to run the venture, and how to reduce risk.

Patrick Woock, Ph.D, and director of the McNair Center, said, “There is a process to business ownership, and VEP will speed up that process. Step-by-step, we’re going to guide interested veterans to entrepreneurship, giving them the digital and practical small business skills they need to be successful.”

No previous educational experience is required to enroll in VEP, which is designed in three stages. Stage One, accepting applications now, begins on January 23. It is an eight-week course to take place on Saturdays. Enrollment opens in late February for Stage Two, a five-week class happening on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Veteran students who choose to sign up for Stage Three will submit a business idea and create a solid pitch for it using what they learned earlier in the program.

The Director of UST’s Veteran Success Center, Trisha Ruiz, said, “I’m excited. Programs like this allow veterans to invest in themselves and provide them with ongoing resources to refer to upon completion. What’s more, VEP offers ongoing assistance to help ensure success.”

For questions about this program, go here.