Above: On October 6, 2016, representatives of the Walmart Foundation, presented a check for $48,000 to support Fairleigh Dickinson University’s entrepreneurship program for veterans: Veterans Launching Ventures. From left to right: Brenda Marquez, Walmart; Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College, Kelly Jensen, Walmart field administrative assistant; Mahmoud El Hamamsy, VLV faculty member; Timur Pakay, executive director of FDU’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Alan Levitan, VLV mentor.
Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship received a check from the Walmart Foundation for $48,000 to support the 2016-2017 Veterans Launching Ventures (VLV) program. This donation is the largest in the VLV’s history.
In its sixth year, the VLV program is designed to provide the skills and support veterans need to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and launch small businesses. The VLV program is offered as part of FDU’s commitment to improving the lives of veterans.
“If not for Walmart’s support, the Veterans Launching Veterans program would not be as successful as it is today. We are grateful to Walmart for providing the educational resources to support veterans at FDU,” said Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College of Business.
This gift is far from the only support that Walmart has given to FDU and its veterans programs. Since 2009, Walmart has donated $270,000 to FDU and since 2009, Walmart has donated $163,000 to support the VLV program.
“Walmart strives to make a positive impact to the communities it serves and we’re grateful for the sacrifices veterans have made,” said Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs at Walmart. “This is why Walmart is committed to support FDU in assisting vets with employment, job training and education. Investment in our nation’s veterans is imperative in making our country better.”
The VLV program offers a combination of online education and in-person instruction to teach students the fundamental entrepreneurial skills required in today’s business environment, as well as the competencies needed to launch a new business. Particular emphasis is placed on developing a robust marketing plan as well as a realistic business plan to help veterans make informed decisions to start a business or assist and prepare the student for the general business environment.
A team of experienced faculty and successful entrepreneurs work with the veterans, providing an interactive and informative experience. Over a 10-week period, VLV introduces entrepreneurship ideas and concepts, and demonstrations on how to apply those concepts to potential business opportunities. The VLV students are each matched with a mentor who will assist and guide them for 10 months following the completion of the course.