Non-Profit's Partnership with 'Pathway to Business Success Foundation' to Award $400,000 in Grants for Small Business Start-Ups
BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The South Palm Beach chapter of SCORE, -www.score.org- America's premier source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs, recently launched a new business grant and training program designed to ease the transition for the large population of veterans returning home from service abroad, a number expected to increase by 40,000 following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans who left military service in the past decade have an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent and those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan face an especially high rate of 15.2 percent, both well above the overall U.S. jobless rate of 9.1 percent. The "Pathway to Business Success Foundation" grant and training program seeks to close this gap by offering expert business counseling and assistance in business plan development to recently returned service members starting or growing an entrepreneurial venture.
"The men and women who have served so valiantly in our country's recent conflicts deserve a chance to achieve the American dream for which they risked their lives – owning your own business," said Hal Finkelstein, chairman of the South Palm Beach SCORE. "The tragedy is that many of them return from fighting for our country, and have a tough time finding work. We cannot sit by and allow that to happen."
"Our country's veterans have incredible skills and expertise to share with our communities through small business ventures," remarked SCORE CEO, Ken Yancey. "We want to help them to achieve their goals and support their families by giving them the business tools and advice they need to succeed."
South Palm Beach SCORE is now seeking eligible participants, who successfully demonstrate both a need and a viable business plan, for the program's scheduled kick off in January 2012. The grants can be used to buy business equipment, marketing and other services that will contribute to the success of the business. To be eligible, participants must be a Florida resident veteran of the post-Sept. 11 Iraq and Afghanistan wars with an honorable discharge, an active-duty service member eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program or reservists or a National Guard member that served in theater and received an honorable discharge. The program is available to veterans who served more than 90 days of active duty during the conflicts. In addition, the spouses or widowed spouses of qualifying veterans are also eligible for the program.
For information about SCORE's national programs tailored to veterans and their families, visit http://www.score.org/topics/veteran_guards_reservists.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 9 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. More than 13,000+ business experts volunteer as mentors in 370 chapters serving local communities with entrepreneur education to help grow 1 million small businesses.
For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Connect with SCORE at www.facebook.com/SCOREFans and www.twitter.com/SCOREMentors.