Starting a small company is one of the signature elements of today's economy. It's a way to be independent and bold, and bring a new idea into the world. Veterans who are responsible for their own businesses are transferring the discipline, composure and sometimes the skills they acquired in the military to making their customers happy, and it's always heartening to see them successfully set down roots in the small business world. Highlighting and supporting these companies is a great way to get the word out and encourage more service members to follow in entrepreneurial footsteps when they return to civilian life.
National Veterans Small Business Week approaches
While there's never a wrong time to support a local veteran, it's also great to set aside a week to focus on former military personnel who started their own companies. That's what the U.S. Small Business Administration does every year for National Veterans Small Business Week. This year, the event stretches from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, and will celebrate the significant contributions vets have made to the local business world as a whole.
Barbara Carson of the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development explained veterans own nearly 1 in every 10 small companies in the country. Entrepreneurs who have served in the military have made significant contributions to the national economy. The SBA puts the number at $1.2 trillion in sales annually.
National Veterans Small Business Week is not just an awareness initiative. There are many related programs across the country during the five-day period. Webinars will be accessible by current and prospective company owners nationwide, and further get-togethers will take place regionally. These will instruct participants in everything from capital access to business development. Entrepreneurs will also learn how to procure assistance from federal programs, ensuring that potential advantages don't fall by the wayside.
Stories of the business owners
Inc. recently gathered some specific anecdotes about the struggle and triumph that come with starting a company after returning from the military. The news provider focused on veterans who served in post-9/11 conflicts. There are plenty of these individuals in the entrepreneurial world, totaling approximately 162,000.
Some of the interview subjects described challenges in getting started. However, the toughness that comes with military service helps these founders succeed. Software company leader Blake Hall told the news provider that as a combat veteran, he knows the value of life and what it takes to be happy. That clarity has helped him get through the lonely early days of launching a new concept.
Sometimes, being a veteran leads an individual down a particular path in the business world. Accounting firm founder Tabatha Turman focuses on federal contracts, hiring employees who have security clearances and employing either vets or military spouses as nearly half of her workforce. She told the news provider that being the boss of a company gives her the freedom to take the time to recover from the tension that can linger years after military service, and she extends this understanding to the members of her team who have had similar experiences.