From Iraq to B-school: Retraining disabled vets

Mentoring, class time and online study sessions are helping equip a new wave of entrepreneurs.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

rico_edillor.03.jpg
Disabled veteran Rico Edillor presents his business plan to the class.

(Fortune Small Business) -- For disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it was a very different kind of boot camp.

In August, UCLA's prestigious Anderson School of Management opened its doors to 15 disabled veterans with new businesses after putting them through three weeks of online training. Though conceived as a way of thanking the troops, the free classes on business plans, funding, and operations did not pull any punches. At the final pitch meeting the entrepreneurs' fear was palpable.

"We're not here to clap and send them on their way," says associate dean Al Osbourne. His colleagues are following up with online mentoring and Web-based study sessions.

That works for Allen McAfee, 26, a Navy corpsman who sustained shrapnel injuries in Iraq and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He and a fellow disabled vet launched a startup that will clean toxic sites. Business courses at their community college had been unhelpful, McAfee says, "but I'm really digging this." To top of page

Share your thoughts on the disabilities boom in our discussion forum.

Opening New Worlds gallery: Check out these gadgets developed for the disabled that have gone mainstream.

A buzz about honey: A disabled son's obsession spawns a thriving family business.

Vision quest: How an entrepreneur turned a potentially crippling disability to his advantage.

A disabled CEO's $2 million innovation empire
To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.




QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.

Sponsors
More Galleries
What being middle class means to me For some Americans, middle class means feeling secure. For others, it's just the opposite. More
The 10 most valuable global brands Apple has the most valuable brand in the world, up 67% over the last year, according to a BrandZ ranking. More
A life's work: Photos by Mary Ellen Mark The subjects of Mary Ellen Mark's photography ranged from celebrities to world leaders to those at the fringe of society, including prostitutes and the homeless. More