Veterans Thrive as Entrepreneurs

November 8, 2023
Posted by
Mark Shaaber

Veterans often make exceptional entrepreneurs, leveraging the unique skills and experiences gained during their military service to achieve remarkable success in the world of business. With a spirit of determination, leadership, and adaptability, veterans are statistically more likely to venture into entrepreneurship and thrive. In this article, we will explore compelling statistics that underscore veterans' propensity to be entrepreneurial and their impressive track record in business success.

A High Likelihood of Entrepreneurship

Veterans consistently demonstrate a strong inclination toward entrepreneurship. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), veterans are 45% more likely to become entrepreneurs than their civilian counterparts. This is a remarkable testament to their desire to continue serving their communities and country through business endeavors.

Business Ownership and Veterans

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2019 that veterans own around 7.5% of all U.S. businesses. This equates to nearly 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses, contributing significantly to the country's economic landscape. The entrepreneurial spirit of veterans plays a vital role in fostering economic growth and job creation.

High Business Success Rates

One of the most remarkable statistics highlighting veterans' success in business is their high survival and success rates. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) reported that 79.7% of veteran-owned businesses survive their first year, surpassing the national average of 69.4%. This trend continues in the subsequent years, as 71.3% of veteran-owned businesses reach their fifth year of operation compared to 50.3% of non-veteran-owned businesses.

Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: A Growing Force

The number of veteran-owned businesses in the United States is on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of veteran-owned firms increased by 1.3 million between 2007 and 2017, reflecting a 12% growth. This demonstrates that more and more veterans are recognizing the potential for entrepreneurship as a viable and fulfilling career path.

Financial Success and Revenue

Veteran-owned businesses often achieve substantial financial success. The Small Business Administration (SBA) notes that veteran-owned firms generate more than $1.14 trillion in annual sales, making a significant impact on the national economy. Moreover, many veterans successfully secure government contracts, given their familiarity with military protocols and the government's commitment to supporting veteran-owned businesses.

Veterans in Tech Entrepreneurship

Veterans also are making their mark in the technology sector. A study by Bunker Labs, a nonprofit organization supporting veteran entrepreneurs, found veteran-led tech companies are growing at an average annual rate of 18.1%, surpassing the national average of 1.6%. This statistic underscores the adaptability and innovation that veterans bring to the entrepreneurial world.


The statistics are clear: veterans have a unique propensity for entrepreneurship and a track record of success in business. Their unwavering commitment, leadership skills, adaptability and determination acquired during their military service make them ideal candidates for entrepreneurship. Moreover, these businesses not only contribute to the national economy but also provide jobs and growth opportunities for local communities. It is essential to recognize and support the entrepreneurial endeavors of veterans, not only to honor their service but to foster economic prosperity and innovation in the business world. With the entrepreneurial spirit of veterans, the future of American business looks brighter than ever.

About Partnership Grand Strand
Partnership Grand Strand is a 501c3 foundation launched in 2022 by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to fund a five-year economic and community development initiative. Through investments from local businesses and partnerships with community organizations, the foundation leads and supports efforts related to four pillars of success: prosperity, talent, place and infrastructure. Through their focused endeavors, Partnership Grand Strand works to accelerate economic prosperity and enhance quality of life across Horry and Georgetown counties. 
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