Are you a U.S. military veteran? An ever-growing number of U-S military veterans are returning home and joining the ranks of entrepreneurship.
In fact, veterans account for 14 percent of small businesses nationally, according to recent research from the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee. More than five million veteran entrepreneurs continue to serve the nation, their community and neighbors as job creators and innovators. Military service helps prepare these business owners for owning their own firms by providing them valuable training and experience.
Military vets are traditionally a good fit in small business because:
- Vets are often self-starters with a demonstrated solid work ethic
- Vets are leaders with experience in managing others
- Vets military experience has trained them to be results-oriented and operate within a set of rules that translates well to a business model
Now the Army is helping with the start-up funds to buy a small business or franchise too with an innovative benefit for many veterans. The Army Advantage Fund will provide up to $40,000 after completing military service to start a business. The amount a veteran receives depends on length of service. To learn more about buying a business with the Army Advantage Fund click here.
Many military veterans choose to invest in a franchise to become a business owner. The International Franchise Association or IFA has a program to help military veterans; “The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative” or “VetFran” program. Due to the wide variety and size of franchised-small businesses, the financial incentives offered are determined by the companies to allow maximum flexibility. Most offer reduced initial franchise fees. The IFA does not receive government funding for the initiative. More than 1,200 vets have become business owners through the program.
A current list of participating companies and the discounts is available at the IFA website, http://www.franchise.org, under “VetFran Directory. The IFA also offers a veterans’ scholarship program to encourage a qualified veteran to pursue his or her education focused on entrepreneurial studies. To learn more about the IFA Educational Foundation offerings for veterans click here.
The U.S. Military and the IFA both participate in a variety of outreach and support events around the United States every year to help military veterans become small business owners. Click here to see a short video from SBTV.com on what services are available.