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By Benetrends • November 2, 2015

National Veterans Small Business Week: November 2-6, 2015

It is a week that celebrates the men and women who have served in the US military, and then continue to serve as a member of the small business community.

In 2007, the Census Bureau reported that US military veterans owned 9% of businesses nationwide, accounting for 2.4 million businesses and employing nearly 5.8 million people. And that was eight years ago. (New census data reports will be released in December 2015).

The demographic of veteran-owned businesses is overwhelmingly male, with more than 75% in the 50-88 age group.

One-third of all veteran owned businesses are in two industries – scientific and technical services (16.9%) and construction (15.5%).

Benetrends veteran business owners include IT and financial consulting groups, real estate, pallet recovery and recycling, assisted living, as well as franchise operations.

Other interesting facts:

  • An increase in younger entrepreneurs (under age 35) from 4.6% in 2008 to 7.1% in 2012
  • An increase in women veteran business owners – from 2.5% to 4.4%
  • An increase in Hispanic veteran business owners – from 4.2% to 6%

Another interesting statistic is that the percentage of Veteran business owners who have two or more businesses is 10.3%, compared to 7.4% of non-veteran owners.

So what makes a veteran a likely candidate to be a franchise or small business owner? It all comes down to their training. The men and women who serve in the military are provided with a blueprint of success. These qualities include discipline, risk tolerance and leadership/teamwork.

From their first days as recruits to their last day as an active duty member of the military, men and women adhere to discipline and routine. Failure to follow the chain of command can have disastrous results. As a franchise owner, there are certain procedures and routines that must be followed in order to maintain the integrity of the brand.

Every member of the military has already proven their ability to risk everything, up to and including their lives. And while statistically, nearly a third of businesses will fail within two years, the risk is outweighed by the possibilities of owning a successful business. Considering the ultimate risks they take in the military, a loss in funds seems rather small.

While every member of the military isn’t designated as a leader, leaders are found in all ranks and in all jobs in the military. They take pride in their job and strive to improve. And with leadership comes teamwork. Every man and woman who serves is willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to accomplish their mission.

Research by the National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) shows that 70% of Americans would prefer to do business with a veteran-owned business. Not only have our veterans risked their lives for our country, they also make a valuable contribution to our economy by positively impacting their communities and the lives of the people they employ.

SBA Office of Advocacy: Veteran-Owned Businesses and Their Owners – Data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, March 2012

SBA Office of Advocacy: Issue Brief Number 1, release date November 8, 2013