Veterans received mentoring in small business management and free training at UTC Friday afternoon. It's the third year the business college has offered the Entrepreneurship Program.
Courtney Lewis, Participant said, "I tell you we thought the original boot camp was tough, but this was very rewarding."
Rewarding for several veterans who have spent the last eight weeks preparing for a business career post military. Lewis said, "One thing about this program is that it brought a lot of veterans together and formed a unity. It formed a team and now it feels like my family has expanded. Right when you feel like you're alone you get around people that are like minded and share the same goals."
The program is designed to teach veterans how to start and run your own business. Glen Shackley, Participant said, "The marketing, the sales, how to pitch, how to sell what you are doing, what your products are, how to brand, how to market. Everything involved with doing the business and its for veterans." Lewis says that she is building on the skills that she already possesses from being in the military. Lewis said, "You are looking at a bunch of leaders. A bunch of people that has pulled together. That want to make a difference in everyone's life. Not just veterans lives, but we want to create job opportunities so that's why we came here and we took this program." Shackley is one participant who said the program has taught him everything he needs to know. Shackley said, "I came in thinking I knew a lot and I'm dealing with professionals in every industry that know, and do what they are doing. So its not just an academic thing. These are people that know what they are doing."
More than thirty graduates have helped launch 14 businesses in the Chattanooga area since the program began in 2012.