HARTFORD, Conn. – On Thursday, November 7, the KeyBank Foundation gave a $75,000 grant to support a University of Connecticut program that helps U.S. veterans become small business owners.
The grant will support the UConn School of Business’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV). The free program combines online coursework; an intense 10-day, on-campus experience; and 12 months of ongoing support and mentorship to veterans for creating and sustaining entrepreneurial ventures.
KeyBank’s Connecticut market president and U.S. Navy veteran James R. Barger presented the donation Thursday to EBV program director and U.S. Marine veteran Michael Zacchea ’12 MBA at a meeting in the UConn Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford with board members and program graduates.
In the past 10 years, UConn’s EBV program has graduated more than 200 veterans and caregivers, who have launched over 175 businesses, producing more than $150 million in gross revenues and creating 430 jobs.
Recent graduates include U.S. Navy veteran Jorge Rodriguez and his wife and caregiver Jessica Rodriguez, who have used what they learned in the program to launch Bees with Purpose in Griswold, Conn. Jorge’s military career was cut short when he sustained a brain injury during his deployment to Iraq. He has found a new sense of purpose and a new career path in beekeeping.
For more information, visit https://veterans.uconn.edu/eb/