by Todd Connor and Rosalinda V. Maury
Every day we are forced to tolerate the conflicting fact that while veterans are the most successful group of small business owners in America, the number of veteran entrepreneurs is drastically on the decline.
In 1945, 49% of all returning World War II veterans went on to own or operate a business. This period of prosperity is often called the Golden Age in America.
Today, we find our nation again emerging from a prolonged period of conflict and at a key juncture to work for the future. Currently, 25% of all veterans want to start a business but only 5.6% of them will do so. This number is down from 12.3% of veterans in 1996.
A new, first-of-its-kind study aims to gain insight into the newest generation of veteran entrepreneurs. The data collected will foster policies and programs that better support their success, enable more veterans to follow their entrepreneurial goals and fuel the country’s prosperity.
The study is a unique collaboration between the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), the leading national research center for military veterans, and Bunker Labs, the leading incubator for veteran-owned businesses in America. This joint research effort by a leading research institute and a leading-veteran entrepreneurship support organization provides unique insights that bridge from research to practice in support of increasing rates of entrepreneurship and success of existing entrepreneurs from the military-veteran community.