Since taking office, President Obama has been committed to upholding our sacred trust with America’s veterans and wounded warriors. As the President stated in his last State of the Union address, “We’ll keep working to help all our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs here at home. And we all continue to join forces to honor and support our remarkable military families.” Entrepreneurs and small businesses are a big driver of our national economy, and veterans offer our country a set of skills that make them uniquely well suited for success as entrepreneurs. Research demonstrates that veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed and are twice as likely to succeed. According to the most recent U.S. census data, nearly one in 10 small businesses are veteran-owned. These businesses generate over $1.2 trillion in receipts annually and employ nearly 5.8 million Americans. It is in the best interest of our country to tap into this incredible resource of veterans and find ways to help them succeed as entrepreneurs who fuel job growth and expand opportunity for all Americans.
Recognizing the need to fuel this entrepreneurial spirit in our service members, the President launched Boots to Business – an intensive entrepreneurship education program for transitioning service members to learn how to start a small business. To date, Boots to Business, delivered by the Small Business Administration, has trained more than 6,000 transitioning service members on how to start a business, while also informing them of the network of resources available to them, such as access to capital.
However, this is only one step along the path to providing opportunities for veterans to become successful entrepreneurs. Therefore, the administration would like to honor those who have supported this effort by serving as examples and demonstrating their desire to help other veteran entrepreneurs.
Today, we’re asking you to help us identify and honor veteran entrepreneurs and veteran spouses who are entrepreneurs or organizations that support veteran entrepreneurs by nominating a Champion of Change for Veteran Entrepreneurship by midnight on June 24th. Nominees may include:
Click on the link below to submit your nomination (be sure to choose Veteran Entrepreneurship in the "Theme of Service" field of the nomination form).
We are looking forward to hosting this event and to highlighting the achievements of the veteran entrepreneurship community.
Robert McFarlin is a White House Fellow at the National Economic Council.