Just one week after celebrating National Veterans Small Business Week, Americans of all backgrounds united Wednesday to again recognize the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military veterans.
Since serving in the armed forces, many have continued to support their communities by launching and growing new business ventures. But much like other groups underrepresented in entrepreneurship, trends are pointing in the wrong direction.
As noted by the Kauffman Foundation in a recent tweet, “after WWII, 49% of veterans founded businesses. (Ewing Kauffman, the Kauffman Foundation’s founder, being one of them.) Today, 25% of active duty want to yet only 4.5% of post-9/11 veterans do.”
We, as Americans, have a responsibility to fight for our veterans, so they have the opportunity to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Start Us Up is proud of the many efforts across the coalition dedicated to doing just that.
Coming Together with Bunker Labs to Support Veterans
Inuit joined coalition member Bunker Labs Tuesday to announce a partnership to “offer veterans and military families unique opportunities to develop small business and entrepreneurship skills.” Recognizing the unique skills and challenges of veterans and military families, the organizations are working to engage them through virtual education, and are connecting veteran entrepreneurs with members of Congress to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and livelihoods.
This Veterans Day, Let’s Thank Military Service Members by Better Assisting Military Spouse Entrepreneurs
John Dearie, founder and President of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, authored a blog post on Veterans Day, sharing his own experience in a military family and detailing the oft-overlooked challenges faced by military spouses. As he notes, recent research has revealed that 44 percent of military spouses living on or near the largest bases live in areas with depressed labor markets — creating a need for new pathways. Interviewing several military spouse entrepreneurs, Dearie discusses the role entrepreneurship can play in maximizing their potential.
9.1% of U.S. businesses are majority-owned by veterans
Raymond Keating, chief economist for the SBE Council recognized Veterans Day by sharing key SBA statistics around veteran entrepreneurship, including that “military service exhibits one of the largest marginal effects on self-employment, and veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans.” He also noted that the largest percentage of veteran-owned firms (13%) are based in South Carolina.