You gotta start somewhere. Last week we launched our “Start Up” page, a new section of VetLikeMe that concentrates exclusively on veteran owned businesses that are getting off the ground. Veterans who are considering starting a business but are weighing the options after active duty may find the material useful as well.
We’ve been around for seven years and don’t think our long-time subscribers necessarily need the information they did when they were younger entrepreneurs. Topics like obtaining start up capital, avoiding debt, using targeted market research, statistics on successful start ups, building and maintaining a customer base, government contracting and a host of other core business essentials that new business owners need to understand.
Soldiers who are transitioning out of the military face many decisions. For many veterans, the next career choice is entrepreneurship.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, there are 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in America. That means that nearly one in 10 U.S. small businesses are veteran-owned. These businesses generate about $1 trillion in receipts and employ nearly 6 million Americans. Interestingly enough, these numbers have risen in recent years despite an overall decline in the veteran population. A report by the SBA, Office of Advocacy states that veterans are at least 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. And why not? Think about the qualities that make a successful business owner, aren’t they similar to that same qualities that make a good soldier, sailor, airman, or marine? That being said, the decision to become an entrepreneur shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here are five resources specifically available to transitioning veterans and their families to assist them in the decision to start, purchase, or grow a business.
U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA aids, counsels, and assists Americans as they start, operate and expand their businesses by providing counseling/training, increasing federal procurement/contracting opportunities and facilitating access to capital.
Their Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) is devoted exclusively to providing these services to veterans, reservists, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, and their dependents or survivors.