Veterans Have Entrepreneurial Spirit, Study Shows

American veterans have a strong entrepreneurial sprit, according to a study released by the SBA Office of Advocacy. The study, Entrepreneurship and Business Ownership In the Veteran Population, shows that 22 percent of veterans are either purchasing or starting a new business, or considering purchasing or starting one.

“Veterans are playing a significant role in our economy,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “This study presents a wealth of new data that will help policy makers to understand that role and develop polices that continue to encourage veterans’ entrepreneurship.”

The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 called for this study. It required the SBA’s Office of Advocacy to develop information on programs designed to assist small businesses owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans.

The study’s findings include:

– More than one-third of both “new veteran-entrepreneurs” and current veteran business-owners had gained skills from their active duty service that were directly relevant to business ownership.
– Prior business ownership and employment experience had a positive impact on an even higher percentage of both “new veteran-entrepreneurs” and current veteran business-owners than did military experience.
– A focus on addressing the challenges of home-based business ownership and Internet use in veteran-owned businesses would be useful.

The Office of Advocacy, the “small business watchdog” of the government, examines the role and status of small business in the economy and independently represents the views of small business to federal agencies, Congress, and the President. It is the source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly formats and it funds research into small business issues.

For the complete report and data tables, visit

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