Community Navigator

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What is the Community Navigator Program?

An initiative of the American Rescue Plan, the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program is designed to reduce barriers for underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs and improve access to programs and resources they need to recover, grow, or start businesses. The program includes a “hub” organization at the center of a network of “spoke” organizations that engage trusted community advocates to support small businesses.

How Hillsborough Community College Supports Veterans

Hillsborough Community College serves over 48,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Hillsborough County Florida. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

HCC was ranked #118 on the 2022 College Factual Best Schools to Veterans list. This places HCC among the top 5% of the 2,459 colleges and universities in this ranking for offering vets an exceptional educational experience. HCC also ranked #6 in College Factual Best for Vets in Florida ranking. This is a list of universities and colleges that do great work supporting veterans as they continue their studies.

How InLab@HCC Supports Veterans

Hillsborough Community College’s commitment to Veteran Entrepreneurship Education continues to grow. From the first Veterans Entrepreneurship Training symposium in 2010, through the National rollout of Startup Training Resources to Inspire Veteran Entrepreneurs (STRIVE) program in 2021, HCC remains a leader in delivering high quality education and resources to veterans in the Tampa Bay area, the state, and the nation.

Hillsborough Community College (HCC) was selected by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to support their Community Navigator Pilot Program, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The competitive grant program, established as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will assist small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. HCC received $275,000 in funding and will specifically work with the IVMF in support of the veteran community both locally and nationally. 

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Meet a STRIVE Alumni

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Jason Hendricks
CEO, Forgot or Not; U.S. Army Veteran; HCC Alumni; STRIVE Alumni
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HCC’s commitment to veterans is outstanding.  Their entrepreneurship programs helped me overcome barriers, transition from the military & develop a business model into a successful business.


Want to get involved? Need Support?

Schedule an Intake Meeting so we can discuss how the SBA Community Navigator Program can meet your needs.

Connect with any of our entrepreneurship resource offerings through the InLab@HCC and our Community Navigator partners.

Resources include

  • entrepreneurship education
  • professional services (legal, accounting, insurance etc.)
  • financing
  • loan assistance
  • business mentorship
  • government contracting and much more!

The InLab@HCC also offers a train the trainer program for organizations to implement a “Mentoring By the Numbers” program to help support Veteran- owned businesses.

National and Regional Programs & Services

In addition to our resource offerings, we can also provide you with access to additional national and regional programs and services that include:

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    Connection to a national network of community colleges and universities offering the STRIVE veteran's entrepreneurship training.

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    Referral to other Veterans career training, and industry certifications through the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

  • 2019 Susie Steiner Award Photo

    Veteran Entrepreneurship Training

    Referral to other Veterans entrepreneurship training through the IVMF EBV, EBF-Families, EBV-Spark, VWISE and EBV-Accelerate programs.
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    VETS Symposium

    The Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Symposium and financial pitch competition.

  • 2020 Susie Steiner Award Photo


    Connectivity to our network of national, and regional program & services partners like the Florida SBDC, SCORE, Veterans Florida, The Centre for Woman, Synapse, Bunker Labs, FAVOB, and many more.