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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Are Military Veterans Natural Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners?



Military veterans have earned their place in society along with others who contributed to either developing or protecting American society. As it turns out Military veterans are also natural entrepreneurs that want to grow and develop opportunities. They have the right experiences and skills to manage a business. A study by Bressler, et. al. (2013) helps show which veterans hang out a shingle and why. 

Approximately 13% of all small business owners are veterans while 30.4 to 48% of veterans are unemployed based on age and race. Many of these veterans have a difficult time finding jobs and employment opportunities. Sometimes these difficulties are personal and other times they are society based. Yes…society still has a lot of work to do on multiple levels. 

As despicable and/or illegal as it sounds, some veterans who are in the reserve status, have lost their jobs for being recalled to duty. Some statistics have put this up to as much as ¼ of reserve veterans. Those losses account for lost seniority, replaced employment positions or even discharge. Others have found that the skills they learned were not directly transferrable to civilian work which made it difficult to find a job. 

Small business affords veterans an opportunity to develop long lasting income while still giving them the freedom they need to be successful. For some veteran’s, the small business is part of the American dream that they rightfully are claiming for themselves. To others, it is their only option in hoping to find secure employment that will support their families. 

As it turns out gender has some influence on the decision to open a small business. Males were more likely to take the jump into the entrepreneurial world. Those who are more educated had an easier time finding a job and didn’t go into business while those who were less educated needed to make their own opportunities. Age didn’t seem to have an influence on the decision. 

Encouraging veterans to either move into the employment field or start their own business can have implications for the nation. Veterans are naturally more adventurous than the rest of the population and this fits well with the entrepreneurial mindset. When veterans do succeed in small business they also improve upon their local economy and encourage the hiring of other veterans.

Bressler, M. (2013). A study of verteran-owned small business and the impact of military reserve call-ups since 9/11.  Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, 19 (2).

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