Veterans are already regarded as industrious go-getters, but it may surprise some just how motivated they are to open their own business.
According to the Miami Herald, veterans – who, at about 21 million, account for 8 percent of the U.S. population – are twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as the average civilian. One in every 10 small businesses started in this country is started by a veteran, and by the SBA's measure, 20 percent of all those employed by a small business work for a veteran.
While veteran-owned breweries and clothing shops make the news more often, most veterans actually open businesses in the finance and insurance industries. Transportation and warehousing; mining, oil and gas; and construction are all also popular. Cornell Crews, an Army veteran and current provider of small business training, told the Herald that in South Florida, lawn care maintenance, personal training and tech repair were other ventures pursed by veterans in their life after service.
"We have veterans who come to us who want to open a restaurant, or a store with a line of clothing, or online stores," said Crews. "We don't turn anyone away as long as it's legal. And if one day marijuana becomes legal in Florida, we'll help those folks as well."
In Florida and just about every other state, veterans have taken advantage of the SBA's Boots to Business initiative. An entrepreneurial training program, Boots to Business is a simple and effective two-step process that has seen real success in helping veterans get their foot into the business world.
The results have been remarkable. The (Minnesota) Star Tribune reported that veterans are now 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veteran civilians, and that from 2007 to 2012, the number of female-owned small businesses has skyrocketed by nearly 300 percent.