Louisiana Economic Development, along with several partners, has created a business startup program for military veterans.

LED Secretary Don Pierson says many soldiers have a desire to start a small business once returning home.

He says the idea for the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program came after hearing LSU’s Baton Rouge campus was helping disabled veterans in a similar way.

“Hey, what we could really do is work with the National Guard and put together a program that demonstrates and instructs veterans on how they can proceed with establishing a small business.”

The Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program is an intensive boot camp at the outset and includes ongoing counseling by small business partners. Pierson says the program will feel like an LSU course, as classes take place on the school’s campus.

“We’ll have over the year’s timeframe enough room to take on 108 veterans in our first year and we’re hoping that somewhere around 30% of them well step forward and start their own business.”

After the first year, there are plans to expand the program to other regions of the state. Pierson says they hope this free program for veterans will raise at least 5 million dollars in startup capital and create 100 new jobs. He says this is a great way to return the thanks back to those who fight for our freedom.

“Our veterans have served our country, so the opportunity for our state to serve our veterans in this way and make their life meaningful after the service and contribution they’ve made.”

For more information on the Veteran Entrepreneurship Program call (225) 578-7555.