Across America, veterans and servicemembers are discovering passion projects and second careers as entrepreneurs. A 2015 survey from the Small Business Administration (SBA) proves this: America’s 21.4 million veterans own almost 10 percent of small businesses across the country! Plus, former servicemembers are twice as likely to own a business as civilians.
Skills from a military career – integrity, discipline, and the ability to prepare for the unexpected – translate well into business ownership. After all, the world of business requires tenacity, hard work and the ability to weather any storm.
Veterans and servicemembers who turn to entrepreneurship are generally able to secure more funding than their non-military counterparts. More than 80 percent finance their ventures with personal and/or family . Servicemembers certainly put their money where their mouth is! The rest typically get financing through their financial institutions, or through government loans for servicemembers starting businesses.
So what can you do if you’re interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, self-employment or small business ownership as your next career? Rally your troops!
The first step is to find your passion, and then build your strategy. Servicemembers are at a unique advantage because there are so many resources available to help. So get educated!
Military skills are well-suited for business success, but sometimes it takes a little translation for the civilian world. Vetrepreneurs have many tools and experiences at their disposal, but navigating a new and unknown landscape can be difficult. Whether it be learning to find a feasible business opportunity, or even how to write a business plan to secure financing, there are tailored (and free!) resources available to veterans and servicemembers to help your business thrive.
Here are some resources to help you along the way:
is a program sponsored by the SBA. It’s a multi-part entrepreneurial training program to help you succeed as a vetrepreneur. The program will walk you through the steps to find your passion, build a business plan and get your business off the ground. Workshops are available around the country – events like these are great opportunities to network and meet fellow future entrepreneurs.
For continued support, check with your state to see if there is a or with your local SBA. The federal government also has educational resources for those interested in government contracts, called the The OSBDU’s goal is to assist servicemembers’ businesses in the federal procurement system.
Navy Federal is a proud supporter of a number of veteran-owned small businesses. Check out these spotlights on a few of our small business owners:
Robert Durant: Inland Wharf Brewing Company