On November 7, as part of the first National Veterans Small Business Week, First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on an episode of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “Shark Tank,” featuring veteran entrepreneurs and their business ideas. National Veterans Small Business Week honors those veteran entrepreneurs who continue to serve our country by creating jobs and fueling economic growth.
This week, the Administration will be hosting events all across the country that celebrate and support current and future veteran business owners. From Boots to Business entrepreneurship training at U.S. European Command headquarters in Stuggart, Germany, to a seminar on veterans’ access to capital held at Microsoft Corporation in Washington, D.C., National Veterans Small Business Week is connecting veteran entrepreneurs with workshops, resources, and training programs to launch and grow their businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) district offices, in conjunction with its resource partners, will hold more than 100 events nationwide. These events include veteran training seminars, contract roundtables, and job fairs. For more information, please visit http://www.sba.gov/VetBizWeek.
Small businesses are critical to our nation’s economy. There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer firms and over half of the country’s private-sector workforce. With the drive and leadership skills necessary to start and grow a business, it is not surprising that veterans are an integral part of America’s small business landscape. Nearly one out of every 10 U.S. small businesses are owned and operated by veterans, generating more than $1.1 trillion in receipts each year and employing nearly 6 million workers in the process.
As more than 1 million active service men and women transition back into civilian life in the coming months and years, veteran business owners will continue to serve our nation by playing a critical role in creating and sustaining economic opportunities for the entire nation.
Robert McFarlin is a White House Fellow at the National Economic Council.