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University of Maryland Awarded $2M SBA Grant for Veterans Business Outreach Center

Mid-Atlantic initiative will serve veteran entrepreneurs across Del., Md., Penn., and D.C.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md -- The University of Maryland has been awarded a 5-year, $2M grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to launch a new Mid-Atlantic Veterans Business Outreach Center in College Park, Md. The Center will provide resources and support to aspiring veteran entrepreneurs and veteran-owned small businesses, serving as a regional epicenter for training, consulting and technical assistance.

The new Center, led by Principal Investigator and Chief Innovation Officer Julie Lenzer, will collaborate with the SBA and existing resource partners including the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, and Women’s Business Center networks throughout the region, to deliver a comprehensive array of services that will enable and empower veterans to explore entrepreneurship.

Located just a few miles from the nation’s capital, the University of Maryland will bring together partners from the University System of Maryland (USM), institutional collaborators in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as a broad range of organizations throughout the economic development ecosystem, with a united mission to deliver programs, services and resources to veteran entrepreneurs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

“With our strong track record of success in administration of previous SBA resource programs, the University of Maryland is well-positioned, both geographically and organizationally, to successfully implement the new Center and deliver the highest quality services to veterans,” said Lenzer.

The Center will facilitate and support opportunities for members of the military community, including veterans, active-duty personnel, reservists, National Guard members and military spouses and survivors to open, grow, and run successful businesses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The University of Maryland anticipates that the Center will have significantly positive impacts on the local, state and regional economies, including an increased number of new veteran-owned small businesses, veteran clients served and total jobs supported.

According to a 2017 report published by the SBA, the Mid-Atlantic region has a substantial number of veteran-owned firms that would benefit from the opportunity to receive services from the new Center. With a combined market of 237,655 existing veteran-owned businesses and a total veteran population of 2,077,810 across the Mid-Atlantic, there is great potential for the Center to have a significant impact on veteran entrepreneurs across the region.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students,10,000 faculty and staff, and 300 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners and 59 members of the national academies. The institution has a $2.2 billion operating budget and secures more than $1 billion annually in research funding together with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu. .

About the U.S. Small Business Association

Established in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. The mission of the SBA is to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters. The Small Business Act provides support for entrepreneurial training, business development assistance, counseling, and management assistance to small businesses owned and controlled by eligible veterans, as well as the authority to make grants to, and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with education institutions, private businesses, veterans’ nonprofit community-based organizations, and federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies for the establishment and implementation of outreach programs for veterans and service-disabled veterans.

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