The University of Connecticut’s School of Business recently received a $75,000 grant from the KeyBank Foundation to support its Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, a program that helps veterans start businesses.
“This 75k grant is a big first step in the relationship between UConn, KeyBank and the UConn EBV,” Michael Zacchea, EBV director and U.S. Marine veteran said.
EBV was founded in 2007 at Syracuse University and offers services and training to help veterans, as well as their spouses or caregivers, begin their own businesses. Experiential training and small business management classes, as well as online coursework and a year-long support and mentorship program, are offered at no cost to participants, Karen Crane, Senior Communications Manager at KeyBank said.
“The UConn EBV has a significant return on capital for donations,” Zacchea said. “We have created more than 175 businesses which have produced more than $150 million in gross revenues.”
James R. Barger, a U.S. Navy veteran and KeyBank’s Connecticut market president, presented the donation to Zacchea in front of EBV program graduates and board members on Thursday, Nov. 7.
“As a recognized Military Friendly company and also a top SBA 7(a) lender across the country, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans program aligns closely with what KeyBank stands for as a financial institution,” Barger said. “We are impressed with the caliber of UConn’s program and the results they’ve achieved, and we are proud to support it.”
In 2019, EBV’s graduating class included 19 veterans — several of whom were wounded in combat—and one caregiver. Over the course of its 10-year life span, EBV has graduated more than 200 veterans and caregivers, creating 430 jobs, according to Crane.
“Our mission in the next 10 years will be to help transition those retiring from the long-term military posts into civilian careers that can sustain them and their families going forward,” Zacchea said.
The UConn School of Business was founded in 1941 and offers academic programs in a variety of academic disciplines, according to the UConn School of Business website. It offers programs at the Storrs, Hartford, Stamford and Waterbury UConn campuses.
KeyBank National Association is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and is one of the nation’s largest financial services companies, providing deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to small businesses in 15 states, according to the KeyBank website.
“This is a winning partnership for all the stakeholders involved,” Zacchea said. “UConn, an engine of economic development in our state; the state of Connecticut, which is a great place for veterans to start a business and is among the top five states in post-service reintegration outcomes; the UConn EBV, a nationally recognized veteran entrepreneurship training program; and KeyBank, which offers robust full-service banking support for small businesses.”
The UConn School of Business EBV program is currently recruiting candidates for the 2020 program, which will begin classes in July 2020.
Amanda Kilyk is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.