Group to launch ‘Combat Boots to Business Suits’

Connecticut is looking to support its veterans not just in their service, but also in their future business goals.

There’s a new group launching this month that seeks to provide financial help for Connecticut veterans and aspiring entrepreneurs embarking on new business ventures. The Connecticut Business Development for Veterans will hold its Fairfield County launch event Feb. 27, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the C. Parker Gallery.

Emcee Bill Evans will kick off the event which includes cocktails, silent auction and music by The Head Rattlers. At the event, BDV officials will discuss their fundraising and resource distribution goals.

BDV is a national organization that raises private donations and awards financial grants to entrepreneurs who have served their country in uniform. By wedding capital with experience, BDV provides these veterans with the basic needs of building a new opportunity. The organization aims to support businesses that hire unemployed veterans and others who have been seeking employment.

The Connecticut chapter of BDV was created by Roberta Bryant, a daughter of a U.S. Marine, who saw the need for practical hands on guidance for veterans eager to pursue new careers as entrepreneurs.

State Rep. Fred Camillo (D-151), of Greenwich, will serve as Executive Director of the BDV Connecticut chapter.

“Those who serve our state and nation deserve the chance to create opportunity for themselves,” said Mr. Camillo, in a press release. “We want to demonstrate to those who defended our freedoms that we are ready to stand with them as they enter a new phase in their lives.”

BDV will be partnering with SCORE, a nonprofit association comprised of more than 13,000 volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.

These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. SCORE will assist with providing the mentoring and structure the veterans may need to assure success.

BDV is also affiliated with Wells Fargo and the First Bank of Greenwich, two financial institutions supportive of numerous charities, including those relating to veterans.

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