$50k Entrepeneurship Program to aid veterans’ start-ups
By Maheen Ahmed
The Grand Bank of Hamilton has presented a $50,000 grant to Rider for the formation of an Entrepreneurship Program designed for veterans interested in starting or expanding their own business.
The academic program will begin this summer on the university’s campus and will last for a period of seven weeks. It will be completely free of charge for any veterans who are eligible.
“Grand Bank and the College of Business Administration (CBA) have a longstanding relationship,” said Dr. Steven Lorenzet, Dean of CBA at Rider. “When Mark Walters, president of Grand Bank, and a Rider alumnus contacted us with an interest in providing a training program for veterans, we thought it was a great idea.”
Lorenzet explained that the program would give veterans the opportunity to learn how to launch a new business, grow an existing business, or apply for bank funding.
“They will gain an understanding of business strategy, general accounting principles, and market research,” he said. “The teaching will primarily be conducted by entrepreneurial studies faculty members, but will also include teaching conducted by an accounting faculty member and a business librarian.”
Others agree that this program is something that is needed.
“There’s a very strong need and desire for this type of program because not all veterans want to go in and work for a company after the end of their time and service,” said Russel Melville, director of Veterans Affairs at Rider. “The opportunity to do a program that offers you the ability to start your own business is very much in demand by veterans.”
Jonathan Bowker, a veteran at Rider, however, believes that more effort should be made in bringing veterans to colleges and universities to attain degrees.
“Programs like this are good, but schools, not necessarily Rider per se, could be doing more to provide veterans with opportunities for a real education and degree, not a certificate,” he said. “Honestly, if the money that goes to this program went to providing scholarships for veterans, or something along those lines to bring more people to campus, I would be a little happier.”
The Veteran Entrepreneurship Program registration will begin in mid-February and further information will be available soon on Rider’s website.