Article Summary – Veterans Use Battlefield Experiences to Build Businesses

Source: Veterans Use Battlefield Experiences to Build Businesses
Author: Aili McConnon


Veterans have unique skills which make them excellent candidates for entrepreneurship. According to the article Veterans Adapting Experience into Entrepreneurship by Aili McConnon in the New York Times, veterans have skills which are difficult to find anywhere else.  The ability to perform in high-pressure environments as well as execute decisions even with insufficient data makes them ideal entrepreneurs. These skills of expertise and proficiency which were sharpened in the military are converting to new business start-up endeavors.

Veterans have long been entrepreneurs since the end of World War II when almost half who returned from service began, owned and operated businesses.  Since that time there has been drastic decline in veteran entrepreneurs starting businesses, which was nearly 50 percent after WWII to 5.6 percent in 2014. Why the decline? The author attributes federal placement programs and private headhunting firms designed to assist the veteran in the transition from the military to the corporate and manufacturing world. The article suggests that placement by these federal programs helped military members find employment either in or out of their field and whether they liked the job or not.  Therefore, not as many veterans began their own businesses.

The article continues on to cite real life experiences of former military members who have used the skills learned in the military to apply to the needs found in the corporate world.  Other veterans used their military training to establish new business ideas that lends aid back to the military by helping it be more efficient and safe through new business models.

And lastly, the federal Small Business Administration recently has also taken steps to help veteran entrepreneurs make the transition from the military world to the corporate world by offering resources such as a national program entitled “Boots to Business”. It is a collaborative effort to introduce veterans to entrepreneurship and giving them instruction and support for success through a two-day course and eight week online instruction.

With the skills already honed in the military world, veterans make excellent candidates for entrepreneurship in new and emerging businesses.