Can someone who served our nation go from soldier to business owner? Stats are showing that veterans make great entrepreneurs
Veterans have learned many valuable skills, including self-discipline, which becomes useful after their military career.
Entrepreneurs and veterans have many of the same characteristics that make them successful at what they do.
- They are highly proficient in assessing risks.
- They have the drive to rise to a challenge.
- They possess exemplary leadership skills.
- They can rapidly adapt to situations at hand.
- They are quite adept at strategic thinking.
Veterans who choose to take on entrepreneurship have these advantages over others.
It also helps they are well-trusted individuals of, with the best leadership training in the world.
The corporate world continues to come up short on leadership, in spite of the plethora of leadership training “experts”, many of whom have little or no military background, and frankly, cannot hold a candle to military leadership prowess, even at the highest levels of corporate.
Veterans make great entrepreneurs according to Census as well. The most recent U.S. 2012 Census tells us that veterans owned 2,521,682 businesses. This equates to 9% of all companies in the U.S., employing 5 million people.
Veterans come from an integrity-focused background, mission-oriented and a huge drive to fulfil a higher purpose. These traits certainly help them to run a successful business.
There are many challenges when being an entrepreneur. The experience and training they have gained lay a good foundation of accountability and responsibility.
Veterans make great entrepreneurs because they have the ability to learn, with the discipline and tenacity to grow a business.
There are excellent resources out enabling veterans to tap into help with business startups, such as:
- Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) – Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, this programs helps post 9/11 veterans. Veterans with service-related disabilities get business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills.
- Veterans Fast Launch Initiative by Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) – This program provides free software and services along with a mentoring program to help veterans and their families to start and run a successful small business.
- Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) – This program offers veterans direct online access to resources to help guide them step-by-step to starting and running a business.
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) – This program is for women veteran and female military partners. It teaches them the skills needed to develop their ideas and start their own businesses. In the training program, there is an online course, a 3-day training event, ongoing mentoring and training.
- Boots 2 Business Reboot – This program offers entrepreneurship training through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It helps veterans and their spouses learn the ins and outs of starting a business either in class or online.
- Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) – The program facilitates the use of all SBA programs. Not only helping veterans but also active military personnel, their spouses and children. Funding for starting their small business is part of the program.
Veterans make great entrepreneurs in no smal part because they can work under conditions of adversity that there is simply no way to simulate in civilian life. They have a trained-in tenacity and team mentality.
Quite simply, they are more prepared to take on starting a business than those with an MBA. Knowledge is a transferable element, spirit and character and duress experience, not so much.
Sonia Rina Landry is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, and personal development coach. She is an outspoken advocate of the free market economy and has helped countless clients identify their core values, envision and realize goals that resonate with those values. She oversees several businesses online and offline.