Legal Meets Practical: Accessible Solutions

SBA OIG: Boots to Business Program Needs Polish

The Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Boots to Business (“B2B”) program, established in 2014, is an entrepreneurial training program offered by the SBA as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. It provides transitioning service members interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities with the information to develop business plans, and it also connects service members to SBA resources partners and start-up capital.

Just yesterday (July 19), the SBA’s Office of Inspector General released an audit report that examined: 1) the efficiency of the program; 2) its achievement of goals and objectives; and 3) recipients’ compliance with agreement requirements.

To complete the audit, the SBA selected three cooperative agreement recipients with awards totaling $6.7 million, then interviewed SBA program officials and recipients (referring to resource centers, not individual veterans), as well as conducted site visits and phone interviews (of both program resources and participants) and attended day courses run by the program.

In a nutshell, while the SBA noted improvements, it also found several areas where the B2B program could be improved: the SBA did not meet established performance goals for the number of participants or the graduation rate from the 8-week course; the SBA did not ensure that recipients measured and reported performance outcomes; and the SBA was unable to determine what one recipient spent on the B2B program or to assess the validity of reimbursement requests (resulting in the OIG finding $419,912 in unsupported questioned costs).

To correct these issues, the OIG made seven recommendations. While SBA management concurred with six of seven of them, its planned actions resolved only three out of the seven. For additional detail, access the report here. Further details and planned actions are sure to follow, which is exciting given the important purpose of this program. We need more resources like this for our veteran entrepreneurs!

For those of you who are small business owners (or prospective small business owners), consider attending a two-day B2B program on your military installation. These are open to all transitioning service members and their spouses. Although this is a fairly new program that still needs to have the kinks worked out, that doesn’t mean that YOU as a veteran business owner can’t take advantage of the resources it has to offer. Access more information and the schedule of courses here. You can also email the program at boots-to-business@sba.gov or call 202-205-VET1 (202-205-8381).

Did you find this article informative? If so, sign up for Sarah Schauerte’s blog on veteran small business issues at http://www.legalmeetspractical.com. Remember to click the link sent to your email to activate your subscription!

One Response to “SBA OIG: Boots to Business Program Needs Polish”

  1. Thanks for another great post, we appreciate your dedication to the cause!

Leave a Reply

Mission Statement

My mission is to provide accessible, high-quality legal services to small business owners and to veterans. I will strive to clearly communicate, understand objectives, and formulate and execute effective legal solutions.

Disclaimer

No Attorney-Client Relationship

This website is maintained exclusively for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide legal or other professional advice and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the lawyer or her clients. Viewing this site, using information from it, or communicating with Sarah Schauerte through this site by email does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Non-Reliance

Online readers should not act nor decline to act, based on content from this site, without first consulting an attorney or other appropriate professional. Because the law changes frequently, this website's content may not indicate the current state of the law. Nothing on this site is meant to predict or guarantee future results. I am not liable for the use or interpretation of information contained on this website, and expressly disclaim all liability for any actions you take or fail to take, based on this website's content.

Links

I do not necessarily endorse and am not responsible for content accessed through this website's links to other Internet resources. Correctness and adequacy of information on those sites is not guaranteed, and unless otherwise stated, I am not associated with such linked sites.

Contacting Me

You may email me through the email address provided by this site, but information you send through email or this website is not secure and may not be confidential. Communications will not be treated as privileged unless I already represent you. Do not send confidential information until you have established a formal attorney-client relationship with me. Even if I represent you, please understand that email security is still uncertain and that you accept all risks of such uncertainty and potential lack of confidentiality when you send us unencrypted, sensitive, or confidential email. Email from me never constitutes an electronic signature, unless it expressly says so.