Every day, hundreds of military personnel transition from the military in search of launching a new business. Whether starting a digital marketing company, a fitness company, or a construction company, there is one veteran-owned company for every ten veterans. With this statistic in mind, there is a growing need for services in the veteran community focused on helping veterans start and run successful businesses. From developing a business plan, securing funding, or filing a trademark or patent, veterans are well equipped to manage the obstacles facing new business owners. This is the reason that a group of veterans from both the military and the National Football League banded together to launch National Invest In Veterans Week.
For veterans of the National Football League, the need to reinvent oneself is similar to the issues facing transitioning military service members. Furthermore, with a lack of educational resources primarily focused on business development, transitioning NFL players face the same daunting task our transitioning military service members face. In the military, the transition is often focused on finding employment, preparing resumes, and learning skills necessary in reintegrating back into society. However, there are limited resources for transitioning service members who aim to start or grow their existing businesses. This is not to say that transitioning service members would be better served without vocational education; however, we can discover ways to better equip entrepreneurial-minded veterans with the tools they need to succeed. The skills acquired by service members in the military give them a unique perspective regarding business development, and we as Americans should nurture their aspirations.
Erik Pelton, Founder and Managing Attorney at Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC, has a unique viewpoint concerning the value that entrepreneurial-minded veterans bring to the business community. Pelton stated, “Working with veteran entrepreneurs over the last five years has shown me how diverse their talents are across a wide variety of business sectors. Since moving to Northern Virginia, my family and I have benefited tremendously from the relationships we have been fortunate to develop with veterans from all the branches of service, whether as neighbors or as clients of our businesses.” As a trademark attorney who has donated pro-bono services to entrepreneurial-minded veterans, Pelton offers insight into the benefits of empowering and nurturing veterans who intend to create a positive impact in the business community.
This is why the award-winning staff at Tech From Vets launched National Invest In Veterans Week. National Invest In Veterans Week is observed each year from March 1st through March 7th. During the week, we honor aspiring and established veteran business owners and their contributions to the economy. But why focus on veteran business owners, you might ask. Put simply, the statistics are unquestionably fascinating. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of small business owners, there are more than 2.52 million veteran majority-owned businesses in the United States. Veterans-owned companies generated revenue of $1.14 trillion and an annual payroll of $195 billion. Simply put, entrepreneurial-minded veterans are hyper-focused on positively contributing to America’s economy and have been for decades.
There are multiple ways that you, too, can show your support for military veteran business owners. Here are a few examples:
- Promote Veteran-Owned Businesses on Social Media.
- Buy from Veteran-Owned Businesses.
- Host a workshop for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs.
- Nurture Veteran Startups (Grants, Fundraisers, Complimentary B2B Services, Award-Ceremonies).
- Partner with a veteran-owned business.
- Host a gathering of Veteran-Owned Businesses.
- Mentor a veteran entrepreneur.
- Promote National Invest In Veterans Week via social media.
- Petition local legislators to honor veterans during National Invest In Veterans Week.
- Visit www.investinveteransweek.com to see how you can get involved and learn more about National Invest In Veterans Week’s mission.
Regarding legislation, we commend Senator Katrina Frye Shealy and Senator Ronnie W. Cromer from the South Carolina Senate for proposing and supporting Concurrent Resolution (H3825) to commemorate National Invest In Veterans Week. Furthermore, the Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center’s efforts are helping raise awareness for veteran business owners throughout South Carolina and will set the bar for other cities interested in stimulating veteran business development. Without legislators like Senator Shealy and Senator Cromer, our efforts would perish in vain. Put simply, National Invest In Veterans Week is a time to not only thank veteran business owners for their service but also to show your support by investing in their future, their dream, and their businesses.