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Rider University offers program for entrepreneurial vets and military

Entrepreneurial veterans and active-duty military are encouraged to apply to Rider University’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Training program.

Returning for its eighth year, the free, seven-week program helps veterans and active-duty military develop a business concept or grow an existing business.

Led by faculty in Rider’s Norm Brodsky College of Business, the program guides participants through a range of business development skills and concepts, including conducting a feasibility study and market research, developing a business and market plan, and understanding their business’ operational and financial needs.

“Each year, I am incredibly proud of the veterans who participate in this program. Their personal and professional growth is phenomenal to witness,” Dr. Ron Cook, founder of Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate dean of graduate programs in the Norm Brodsky College of Business, said in the statement. “Because we keep the program small with only 20 participants, each veteran gets the individual attention needed to leave the course with a solid framework for starting or growing their business.”

After participating in the 2020 program, Dr. Olufemi Olatunji is ready to launch his business in the near future, according to the statement. With a background in nursing and more than a decade in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he developed a plan for an adult day care services center.

“The program is a must before anyone launches a business idea,” he said in the statement. “The important nuggets of turning ideas into potential businesses gleaned from the program cannot be overestimated.”

The program is offered through Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies with support from the New Jersey Bankers Charitable Foundation and the Uncommon Individual Foundation. Participants may also receive college credit for the course, with a separate registration and additional academic work, and a limited number of scholarships for the for-credit option are available. Upon completion of the program, all participants can apply for one year of mentoring as they pursue their business venture.

Rider has a long history of assisting veterans and service members, according to the statement. Since 1865, the university has opened its doors to veterans and military service members with most of the inaugural class comprised of Civil War veterans. Today, the university continues its proud tradition of helping current and former members of the Armed Forces transition from enlistment to enrollment.

Recently, Rider was ranked the ninth most military-friendly school in an annual ranking of 1,200 institutions, according to the statement.

In light of COVID-19, this year’s program will run virtually via Zoom on Wednesday evenings beginning May 19 and running through June 30.

Applications are due May 12 and are available at rider.edu/vetprogram.

For more information about Rider’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Training program, contact Assistant Professor Dr. Mayank Jaiswal at mjaiswal@rider.edu or visit rider.edu/vetprogram.

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