The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy says that veterans are nearly 50 percent more likely to start a small business than those with no military experience. That’s no surprise, since veterans learn and practice valuable skills during their military service that can easily translate to their civilian business life:
- Leadership and Organizational Skills. Of course, leadership is at the top of this list. Veterans have these qualities instilled in them upon their very first days of entering the service. The military depends on service members’ leadership skills to successfully complete every operation taken around the globe. They also have developed organizational skills that are used to keep such a massive investment operating properly and keeping the United States and its citizens safe. By the same token, business owners have to ensure that they can guide their employees through a business’ start-up days and continue to run the company as in becomes more successful.
- Confidence to Work in New Situations. Military members train repeatedly to learn and master new skills to be able to handle the times when they will be dropped into new situations—which is very often. It becomes a way of life, and service members become experienced at solving problems with little to no background. They learn to gauge the environment, take in the advantages and disadvantages of their situation, and they make decisions that will best meet their goals. Starting a small business often puts you in a similar situation. Business owners may not know exactly how they will reach their specific goals, like delivering a product to a new customer by a certain time. However, they will survey their business area and develop a plan to ensure that their customers have received their services or products as stated.
Start-up Advice and Training Available to Veterans
This is a great time for veterans to begin a small business, because there are many programs and companies who offer business, mentoring, and financial assistance to vets.
- Veteran Entrepreneurs Can Receive Help from Qualified Sources. Assistance is available for vets who would like to become entrepreneurs, including:
o InclineHQ, which teaches vets to code and become programmers for free
o Techstars, which offers tech incubator programs for those in the military community
o EBV (Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Vets with Disabilities), which teaches training and management courses to veterans who have become disabled since 9/11 as a result of their military service time.
- Post 9/11 Post GI Bill. This bill provides veterans with the funding to pay for college classes. Some colleges are also members of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps to make up for any tuition or fees that are not covered under the G.I. Bill.
If you’re a military veteran who is interested in taking online classes or earning an online degree as you start a small business, contact Lindenwood University Online today. We offer several undergraduate degrees that are especially designed for veterans, as well as an online MBA degree for those who are interested in earning an advanced business degree.