- Associated Press - Sunday, October 22, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana has created a program for veterans, aimed at helping them start their own businesses.

The Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program opened its inaugural boot camp Tuesday with 19 people in Baton Rouge. An estimated 108 veterans are expected to participate in the first year.

The program involves the in-person training at boot camp, an online course and long-term small business counseling. Veterans learn about fundraising, banking, available loans, accounting systems, tax matters and business management skills.

The goal, according to Louisiana Economic Development, is to have at least 30 percent of participants launch their own businesses. The agency partnered with the state’s veterans affairs department, the Louisiana National Guard and LSU. Initial financing comes from the economic development department.

More classes are planned for veterans in other parts of Louisiana.

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