Why Americaâ€™s Veterans Make the Best Entrepreneurs
The men and women who serve our country are some of the most trusted individuals in American society. Notably, 73% of citizens have confidence in the military, the highest rated institution in the U.S., according to this Gallup poll.
The military serves our country with honor and distinction. More notably, they have already proven theyâ€™ll serve at a level in which other Americans arenâ€™t willing.
Itâ€™s no stretch to say that military service members are Americaâ€™s best leaders, and this is especially true when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Veterans have traditionally been successful at starting businesses; in fact, almost 50% of veterans owned a business after WWII. But now, weâ€™re starting to see a worrying trend. Veteran entrepreneurship is on the decline, and just 5.6 % own new companies today.
We need to be doing more to empower our veterans to succeed â€“ especially, since 25% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans want to start their own companies. So what do investors need to focus on when it comes to funding veteran-led startups? And what would more veteran entrepreneurship mean for America?
For starters, U.S. veterans have the best leadership training in the world.
They come from an integrity-focused background. Additionally, theyâ€™re mission-oriented and they have a call to fulfill a higher purpose â€“ all traits needed to run a successful business.
Some giant American companies were founded by veterans, too. Esurance co-founder Chuck Wallace served in the U.S. Air Force.Â NikeÂ co-founder Phil Knight served in the Army. GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons is a veteran of the Vietnam War. And so is Frederick Smith, the CEO ofÂ FedEx. He launched the delivery service just two years after service, and lends his experience in the military to his success.
â€œWhen people ask what principles have guided me since I started the FedEx Corporation 35 years ago, my answer often startles them: Itâ€™s the leadership tenets that I learned in the U.S. Marine Corps during my service in Vietnam,â€ Smith said to Military.com.
However, veterans arenâ€™t starting businesses like they used to. Currently, some 2.45 million firms in the U.S. are veteran owned. But according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the number of veteran-owned small businesses dropped by about 25% between 2007 and 2013. Although this was during the economic recession, the drop still accounted for 73% of all business decline.
Originally posted by Chris Gosselin 11/11/2016 inÂ fortune.com