[House Report 117-139]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


117th Congress    }                                  {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                  {       117-139

======================================================================



 
             VETERAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING ACT OF 2021

                                _______
                                

October 12, 2021.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Velazquez, from the Committee on Small Business, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3469]

    The Committee on Small Business, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3469) to amend the Small Business Act to codify the 
Boots to Business Program, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Purpose and Bill Summary........................................1
  II. Background and Need for Legislation.............................2
 III. Hearings........................................................2
  IV. Committee Consideration.........................................3
   V. Committee Votes.................................................3
  VI. Section-by-Section Analysis for H.R. 3469.......................3
 VII. Congressional Budget Cost Estimate..............................4
VIII. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditure4
  IX. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations................4
   X. Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives...........4
  XI. Duplication of Federal Programs.................................5
 XII. Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
      Benefits........................................................5
XIII. Federal Mandates Statement......................................5
 XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement............................5
  XV. Applicability to Legislative Branch.............................5
 XVI. Constitutional Authority Statement..............................5
XVII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........5

                      I. Purpose and Bill Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 3469, the ``Veteran Entrepreneurship 
Training Act of 2021'', is to amend the Small Business Act to 
authorize the Boots to Business program for five years.

                II. Background and Need for Legislation

    The Boots to Business program is a two day, in person 
entrepreneurship program offered by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense's 
Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Initially launched in 
2012, the Boots to Business program offers transitioning 
service members and military spouses' information about self-
employment and business ownership. The Veterans Business 
Outreach Centers (VBOCs) deliver these services to 
approximately 180 military installations.
    The Boots to Business curriculum focuses on the key steps 
for evaluating business concepts and developing business plans. 
In addition, participants are connected with SBA resources, 
including access to capital, counseling and training, and 
contracting opportunities. In FY 2020, more than 21,799 
veterans, service-members, and military spouses stationed at 
military installations nationwide participated in the two-day 
course.
    The Boots to Business program is specifically designed to 
instill the knowledge necessary to take a business from concept 
to execution and facilitate the road to entrepreneurship for 
our nation's veterans. Research has shown that servicemembers 
are especially qualified to start and run their own businesses. 
While serving in the military, they learn how to make good 
decisions in chaotic environments and are natural leaders, 
confident, and driven.
    Every year, more than 200,000 servicemembers make the 
transition from military to civilian life.\1\ Transition 
assistance is critical to ensure that those who serve in the 
military have opportunities for meaningful employment. The 
National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2019 required 
servicemembers participating in TAP to enroll in one of three 
capstone classes, which include: Accessing Higher Education, 
Career and Technical Training, and Entrepreneurship (Boots to 
Business). It is expected that this new requirement will 
significantly increase the number of servicemembers who 
participate in the Boots to Business program. H.R. 3469 was 
introduced by Reps. Bradley Schneider (D-IL) and Roger Williams 
(R-TX). Cosponsors include: Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and 
Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Transition and Economic 
Development, Your VA Transition Assistance Program (TAP), https://
www.benefits.va.gov/transition/
tap.asp#::text=About%20200%2C000%20service%20members%20transition%20to%
20civilian% 20life%20each%20year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             III. Hearings

    In the 116th Congress, the Committee held two hearings 
exploring the Boots to Business program. On February 27, 2019, 
the Committee held a hearing titled ``Supporting America's 
Startups: Review of the Small Business Administration's 
Entrepreneurial Development Programs.''\2\ The hearing 
considered each of the SBA's entrepreneurial development 
programs, including the Boots to Business program and how it 
impacts entrepreneurship. On July 10, 2019, the Committee held 
a hearing titled, ``Continuing to Serve: From Military to 
Entrepreneur.''\3\ The hearing examined the role of veteran 
entrepreneurs in growing the economy and efforts to foster 
veteran entrepreneurship. At both hearings, witnesses testified 
in support of codifying the Boots to Business program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Supporting America's Startups: Review of the Small Business 
Administration's Entrepreneurial Development Programs, Hearing Before 
the H. Comm. On Small Bus., 116th Cong. (2019).
    \3\Continuing to Serve: From Military to Entrepreneur, Hearing 
Before the H. Comm. On Small Bus., 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 117th Congress, on May 19, 2021, the Committee held 
a hearing entitled, ``The Small Business Administration's 
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: An Update and Next Steps with SBA's 
Resource Partners.''\4\ The hearing included testimony from a 
veteran small business owner, Mr. Patrick Montgomery, who 
testified about the importance of government assistance to 
support small businesses. In addition, Mr. Montgomery testified 
that government assistance for small businesses is not easy to 
find or access and that more should be done to make government 
assistance more readily available for entrepreneurs and small 
business owners.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\The Small Business Administration's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: 
An Update and Next Steps with SBA's Resource Partners, Hearing Before 
the H. Comm. On Small Bus., 117th Cong. (2021).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      IV. Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Small Business met in open session, with a 
quorum being present, on July 29, 2021 and ordered H.R. 3469 
reported to the House of Representatives. During the markup, no 
amendments were offered.

                           V. Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto. The Committee voted by voice vote to favorably report 
H.R. 3469 to the House of Representatives at 10:38 AM.

             VI. Section-by-Section Analysis for H.R. 3469


Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Veteran Entrepreneurship 
Training Act of 2021''.

Section 2. Boots to Business Program

    Amends section 32 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
Sec. 657b) by inserting a new subsection (h):
     Updates the definitions of Members of the Armed 
Forces, including National Guard and Reserves; individuals 
participating in the Transition Assistance Program; individuals 
discharged or released from service under non-dishonorable 
conditions; and spouse or dependent of any of the above.
     Authorizes the Boots to Business program for five 
years.
     Sets the goals of the program, which include in-
depth training for servicemembers interested in owning a 
business; and development of tools to identify opportunities, 
draft business plans, identify sources of capital, connect with 
local resources for small business, and launch a small 
business.
     Delineates the program components, which include a 
two-day, in-person entrepreneurship program. It also gives SBA 
the authority to collaborate with public and private entities 
to develop the curricula; and it ensures VBOCs regularly 
participate in the program, and to the reasonable maximum 
extent, allows the participation of other resource partners as 
well. The new subsection also facilitates the sharing of course 
and outreach materials with the Secretary of Defense for 
inclusion in DOD websites, manuals, and other materials related 
to TAP and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) for 
distribution and display at local VA facilities.
     Requires a report to be submitted to the Committee 
on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate and the 
Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives 
within 180 days after enactment of the legislation and annually 
thereafter. The report will evaluate the performance and 
effectiveness of the Boots to Business program.

                VII. Congressional Budget Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its as its own the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974. The Committee has requested but not 
received from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office a 
cost estimate for the Committee's provisions.

VIII. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and section 308(a) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following opinion and estimate with respect to new budget 
authority, entitlement authority, and tax expenditures. While 
the Committee has not received an estimate of new budget 
authority contained in the cost estimate prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to Sec. 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee does 
not believe that there will be any additional costs 
attributable to this legislation. H.R. 3469 does not direct new 
spending, but instead reallocates funding independently 
authorized and appropriated.

          IX. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the oversight findings and recommendations of the Committee on 
Small Business with respect to the subject matter contained in 
the H.R. 3469 are incorporated into the descriptive portions of 
this report.

        X. Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of H.R. 3469 is to provide 
small business and entrepreneurship counseling and training to 
America's veterans and their families by reauthorizing the 
Small Business Administration's Boots to Business program for 
five years.

                  XI. Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, no provision of H.R. 3469 is known to 
be duplicative of another Federal program, including any 
program that was included in a report to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

 XII. Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    With respect to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the bill 
does not contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 
9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                    XIII. Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

               XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                XV. Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                XVI. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 7 of rule XII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for this 
legislation in Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1 of the Constitution of the 
United States.

      XVII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, as shown as follows: existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman:

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italics and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                           SMALL BUSINESS ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
SEC. 32. VETERANS PROGRAMS.

  (a) Office of Veterans Business Development.--There is 
established in the Administration an Office of Veterans 
Business Development, which shall be administered by the 
Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development (in 
this section referred to as the ``Associate Administrator'') 
appointed under section 4(b)(1).
  (b) Associate Administrator for Veterans Business 
Development.--The Associate Administrator--
          (1) shall be an appointee in the Senior Executive 
        Service;
          (2) shall be responsible for the formulation, 
        execution, and promotion of policies and programs of 
        the Administration that provide assistance to small 
        business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and 
        small business concerns owned and controlled by 
        service-disabled veterans. The Associate Administrator 
        shall act as an ombudsman for full consideration of 
        veterans in all programs of the Administration; and
          (3) shall report to and be responsible directly to 
        the Administrator.
  (c) Interagency Task Force.--
          (1) Establishment.--Not later than 90 days after the 
        date of enactment of this subsection, the President 
        shall establish an interagency task force to coordinate 
        the efforts of Federal agencies necessary to improve 
        capital and business development opportunities for, and 
        ensure achievement of the pre-established Federal 
        contracting goals for, small business concerns owned 
        and controlled by service-disabled veterans and small 
        business concerns owned and controlled by veterans (in 
        this section referred to as the ``task force'').
          (2) Membership.--The members of the task force shall 
        include--
                  (A) the Administrator, who shall serve as 
                chairperson of the task force; and
                  (B) a senior level representative from--
                          (i) the Department of Veterans 
                        Affairs;
                          (ii) the Department of Defense;
                          (iii) the Administration (in addition 
                        to the Administrator);
                          (iv) the Department of Labor;
                          (v) the Department of the Treasury;
                          (vi) the General Services 
                        Administration;
                          (vii) the Office of Management and 
                        Budget; and
                          (viii) 4 representatives from a 
                        veterans service organization or 
                        military organization or association, 
                        selected by the President.
          (3) Duties.--The task force shall--
                  (A) consult regularly with veterans service 
                organizations and military organizations in 
                performing the duties of the task force; and
                  (B) coordinate administrative and regulatory 
                activities and develop proposals relating to--
                          (i) improving capital access and 
                        capacity of small business concerns 
                        owned and controlled by service-
                        disabled veterans and small business 
                        concerns owned and controlled by 
                        veterans through loans, surety bonding, 
                        and franchising;
                          (ii) ensuring achievement of the pre-
                        established Federal contracting goals 
                        for small business concerns owned and 
                        controlled by service-disabled veterans 
                        and small business concerns owned and 
                        controlled by veterans through expanded 
                        mentor-protege assistance and matching 
                        such small business concerns with 
                        contracting opportunities;
                          (iii) increasing the integrity of 
                        certifications of status as a small 
                        business concern owned and controlled 
                        by service-disabled veterans or a small 
                        business concern owned and controlled 
                        by veterans;
                          (iv) reducing paperwork and 
                        administrative burdens on veterans in 
                        accessing business development and 
                        entrepreneurship opportunities;
                          (v) increasing and improving training 
                        and counseling services provided to 
                        small business concerns owned and 
                        controlled by veterans; and
                          (vi) making other improvements 
                        relating to the support for veterans 
                        business development by the Federal 
                        Government.
  (d) Participation in TAP Workshops.--
          (1) In general.--The Associate Administrator shall 
        increase veteran outreach by ensuring that Veteran 
        Business Outreach Centers regularly participate, on a 
        nationwide basis, in the workshops of the Transition 
        Assistance Program of the Department of Labor.
          (2) Presentations.--In carrying out paragraph (1), a 
        Veteran Business Outreach Center may provide grants to 
        entities located in Transition Assistance Program 
        locations to make presentations on the opportunities 
        available from the Administration for recently 
        separating or separated veterans. Each presentation 
        under this paragraph shall include, at a minimum, a 
        description of the entrepreneurial and business 
        training resources available from the Administration.
          (3) Written materials.--The Associate Administrator 
        shall--
                  (A) create written materials that provide 
                comprehensive information on self-employment 
                and veterans entrepreneurship, including 
                information on resources available from the 
                Administration on such topics; and
                  (B) make the materials created under 
                subparagraph (A) available to the Secretary of 
                Labor for inclusion in the Transition 
                Assistance Program manual.
          (4) Reports.--The Associate Administrator shall 
        submit to Congress progress reports on the 
        implementation of this subsection.
  (e) Women Veterans Business Training.--The Associate 
Administrator shall--
          (1) compile information on existing resources 
        available to women veterans for business training, 
        including resources for--
                  (A) vocational and technical education;
                  (B) general business skills, such as 
                marketing and accounting; and
                  (C) business assistance programs targeted to 
                women veterans; and
          (2) disseminate the information compiled under 
        paragraph (1) through Veteran Business Outreach Centers 
        and women's business centers.
  (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out this section--
          (1) $1,500,000 for fiscal year 2005; and
          (2) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2006.
  (g) Access to Surplus Property for Veteran-owned Small 
Businesses.--
          (1) Definitions.--In this subsection--
                  (A) the term ``foreign excess property'' has 
                the meaning given the term in section 102 of 
                title 40, United States Code; and
                  (B) the term ``state agency'' has the meaning 
                given the term, including the roles and 
                responsibilities assigned, in section 549 of 
                title 40, United States Code.
          (2) Requirement.--The Administrator, in coordination 
        with the Administrator of General Services, shall 
        provide access to and manage the distribution of 
        surplus property, and foreign excess property returned 
        to a State for handling as surplus property, owned by 
        the United States under chapter 7 of title 40, United 
        States Code, to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans (as verified by the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs under section 8127 of title 38, United 
        States Code) pursuant to a memorandum of agreement 
        between the Administrator, the Administrator of General 
        Services, and the head of the applicable state agency 
        for surplus properties and in accordance with section 
        549 of title 40, United States Code.
  (h) Boots to Business Program.--
          (1) Covered individual defined.--In this subsection, 
        the term ``covered individual'' means--
                  (A) a member of the Armed Forces, including 
                the National Guard or Reserves;
                  (B) an individual who is participating in the 
                Transition Assistance Program established under 
                section 1144 of title 10, United States Code;
                  (C) an individual who--
                          (i) served on active duty in any 
                        branch of the Armed Forces, including 
                        the National Guard or Reserves; and
                          (ii) was discharged or released from 
                        such service under conditions other 
                        than dishonorable; and
                  (D) a spouse or dependent of an individual 
                described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).
          (2) Establishment.--Beginning on the first October 1 
        after the enactment of this subsection and for the 
        subsequent 4 fiscal years, the Administrator shall 
        carry out a program to be known as the ``Boots to 
        Business Program'' to provide entrepreneurship training 
        to covered individuals.
          (3) Goals.--The goals of the Boots to Business 
        Program are to--
                  (A) provide assistance and in-depth training 
                to covered individuals interested in business 
                ownership; and
                  (B) provide covered individuals with the 
                tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to 
                identify a business opportunity, draft a 
                business plan, identify sources of capital, 
                connect with local resources for small business 
                concerns, and start up a small business 
                concern.
          (4) Program components.--
                  (A) In general.--The Boots to Business 
                Program may include--
                          (i) a presentation providing exposure 
                        to the considerations involved in self-
                        employment and ownership of a small 
                        business concern;
                          (ii) an online, self-study course 
                        focused on the basic skills of 
                        entrepreneurship, the language of 
                        business, and the considerations 
                        involved in self-employment and 
                        ownership of a small business concern;
                          (iii) an in-person classroom 
                        instruction component providing an 
                        introduction to the foundations of self 
                        employment and ownership of a small 
                        business concern; and
                          (iv) in-depth training delivered 
                        through online instruction, including 
                        an online course that leads to the 
                        creation of a business plan.
                  (B) Collaboration.--The Administrator may--
                          (i) collaborate with public and 
                        private entities to develop course 
                        curricula for the Boots to Business 
                        Program; and
                          (ii) modify program components in 
                        coordination with entities 
                        participating in a Warriors in 
                        Transition program, as defined in 
                        section 738(e) of the National Defense 
                        Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 
                        (10 U.S.C. 1071 note).
                  (C) Use of resource partners.--
                          (i) In general.--The Administrator 
                        shall--
                                  (I) ensure that Veteran 
                                Business Outreach Centers 
                                regularly participate, on a 
                                nationwide basis, in the Boots 
                                to Business Program; and
                                  (II) to the maximum extent 
                                practicable, use a variety of 
                                other resource partners and 
                                entities in administering the 
                                Boots to Business Program.
                          (ii) Grant authority.--In carrying 
                        out clause (i), the Administrator may 
                        make grants to Veteran Business 
                        Outreach Centers, other resource 
                        partners, or other entities to carry 
                        out components of the Boots to Business 
                        Program.
                  (D) Availability to department of defense.--
                The Administrator shall make available to the 
                Secretary of Defense information regarding the 
                Boots to Business Program, including all course 
                materials and outreach materials related to the 
                Boots to Business Program, for inclusion on the 
                website of the Department of Defense relating 
                to the Transition Assistance Program, in the 
                Transition Assistance Program manual, and in 
                other relevant materials available for 
                distribution from the Secretary of Defense.
                  (E) Availability to veterans affairs.--In 
                consultation with the Secretary of Veterans 
                Affairs, the Administrator shall make available 
                for distribution and display at local 
                facilities of the Department of Veterans 
                Affairs outreach materials regarding the Boots 
                to Business Program which shall, at a minimum--
                          (i) describe the Boots to Business 
                        Program and the services provided; and
                          (ii) include eligibility requirements 
                        for participating in the Boots to 
                        Business Program.
          (5) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
        of the enactment of this subsection and every year 
        thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the 
        Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the 
        Senate and the Committee on Small Business of the House 
        of Representatives a report on the performance and 
        effectiveness of the Boots to Business Program, which 
        may be included as part of another report submitted to 
        such Committees by the Administrator, and which shall 
        include--
                  (A) information regarding grants awarded 
                under paragraph (4)(C);
                  (B) the total cost of the Boots to Business 
                Program;
                  (C) the number of program participants using 
                each component of the Boots to Business 
                Program;
                  (D) the completion rates for each component 
                of the Boots to Business Program;
                  (E) to the extent possible--
                          (i) the demographics of program 
                        participants, to include gender, age, 
                        race, relationship to military, 
                        military occupational specialty, and 
                        years of service of program 
                        participants;
                          (ii) the number of small business 
                        concerns formed or expanded with 
                        assistance under the Boots to Business 
                        Program;
                          (iii) the gross receipts of small 
                        business concerns receiving assistance 
                        under the Boots to Business Program;
                          (iv) the number of jobs created with 
                        assistance under the Boots to Business 
                        Program;
                          (v) the number of referrals to other 
                        resources and programs of the 
                        Administration;
                          (vi) the number of program 
                        participants receiving financial 
                        assistance under loan programs of the 
                        Administration;
                          (vii) the type and dollar amount of 
                        financial assistance received by 
                        program participants under any loan 
                        program of the Administration; and
                          (viii) results of participant 
                        satisfaction surveys, including a 
                        summary of any comments received from 
                        program participants;
                  (F) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the 
                Boots to Business Program in each region of the 
                Administration during the most recent fiscal 
                year;
                  (G) an assessment of additional performance 
                outcome measures for the Boots to Business 
                Program, as identified by the Administrator;
                  (H) any recommendations of the Administrator 
                for improvement of the Boots to Business 
                Program, which may include expansion of the 
                types of individuals who are covered 
                individuals;
                  (I) an explanation of how the Boots to 
                Business Program has been integrated with other 
                transition programs and related resources of 
                the Administration and other Federal agencies; 
                and
                  (J) any additional information the 
                Administrator determines necessary.

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