The accomplishments of veterans deserve recognition and appreciation year-round. Some national holidays, such as Veterans Day, are well-known times to demonstrate such feelings. But there are many other holidays that serve special purposes.

For example, National Invest in Veterans Week takes place every year in the first week of March. This period is a time to bring interest to businesses owned by veterans and the contributions they make to their communities.

The history of National Invest in Veterans Week

Drayton Florence, a former National Football League cornerback and veteran, and Jeff Shuford, an Iraq war veteran, founded National Invest in Veterans Week in 2019. The week was meant to bring special attention to veteran-owned businesses by buying from them, calling them out on social media, nurturing startups and supporting them in a range of other ways.

There are 2.4 million firms owned by veterans in America, and these businesses employ 5.8 million individuals, according to the official website for National Invest in Veterans Week. Military experience is strongly correlated with entrepreneurship, likely because the armed forces teach values such as responsibility and self-discipline.

"The appearance of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement."“The appearance of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.”

The importance of small businesses in America

Small businesses are broadly defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as being independently owned and with 500 or fewer employees. Because they make up a large portion of new jobs, provide opportunities for success and spark innovation, this type of business is vital to the overall health of the American economy.

There are 61.7 million employees working for small businesses, making up 46.4% of the workforce, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Many small businesses are locally owned, so they’re often highly beneficial for smaller communities. They’re also frequently involved in improving their communities as part of their business model, helping local causes.

How entrepreneurship helps veterans transition to civilian life

Veterans often struggle to find employment after leaving the armed forces. However, these individuals make excellent entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship can be perfect for some veterans as they transition back into civilian life.

Consider the skills learned in the military — problem-solving, leadership and teamwork come to mind. These are the key qualities of any successful entrepreneur. When you’re running a business, you need to be able to adapt to constantly-shifting market conditions and quickly think of answers to problems. This makes problem-solving skills vital. A healthy company environment is just as important, with employees feeling they can trust and rely on you to have their best interests in mind. A business leader already experienced in leading and effectively managing a team for a common goal is almost invariably going to be more successful than one without these aptitudes.

Any veteran-owned company is going to be highly respected by its community. This means the entrepreneur may find fulfilling involvement when giving back to the locals. The locals, in response, then help out the business. It’s a perfect recipe for a successful return back to civilian life.

Celebrate National Invest in Veterans Week by showing your support for veteran-owned businesses

Small businesses are crucial in the U.S. economy, and small businesses owned by veterans are even more important because they offer veterans a way to make a living and become deeply involved in their communities.

National Invest in Veterans Week is a perfect time to demonstrate your appreciation for your local veteran-owned businesses. The easiest way to show your support is to buy from them, but that’s not all you can do. They’ll appreciate any help you can offer, even if it’s just to advertise by word of mouth. Simply ask how you can volunteer to help out, and they’ll likely be happy to have you.