Veterans, active-duty military members and their families can learn about starting or growing a business during an Entrepreneurship Boot Camp scheduled Saturday at the Waco-McLennan County Public Library conference room, 1717 Austin Ave.

The free program is sponsored by Momentum Texas Inc., a statewide nonprofit based in Dallas, and is being held in collaboration with the McLennan Small Business Development Center.

During a seven-year period ending in 2017, Momentum Texas will have trained 3,150 veterans throughout the state, according to a press release from the organization.

Speakers Saturday will include Randy Price, a U.S. Navy veteran who owns a digital marketing company; and Jim Reid, a U.S. Army veteran who will discuss resources available to veteran-owned businesses.

The boot camp lasts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and attendees need to register by Thursday at WacoVeteransBootCamp.

“I’ve been doing this for seven years, but this is our first trip to Waco,” Reid said.

He said he has raised about $1.3 million, including $863,000 from the Texas Workforce Commission, to hold sessions around the state for veterans wanting to go into business for themselves.

“I think those attending will find it very substantive, and I will provide a free lunch,” Reid said.

Wide reach

He has a database containing the names of about 3,000 veterans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 4,000 statewide.

He said he has specifically invited veterans from Greater Waco and from Killeen because of its proximity to Waco and to Fort Hood.

“I know how to start a business,” Reid said. “Four times I have won a national award from the Small Business Administration for minority business recruiting.”

He said he and others he recruits to take part in the boot camps typically discuss management, marketing and money: the three “M’s.”

“Those are keys to success,” Reid said.

He also helps sponsor an 18-hour course for entrepreneurs spread over five Saturdays.

“You can listen and learn from successful veteran entrepreneurs and small business experts,” the press release on the boot camp states. “Learn how to network and give a great elevator pitch to grow your business.”

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