Over the last decade, women-owned businesses and entrepreneurship have, not only increased but are rapidly growing in volume. Today, more fearless women who served in the United States Military are taking leaps into entrepreneurship and starting businesses of their own to close the business opportunity gap.
As of 2012, veteran women-owned businesses accounted for 383,302, or 3.9% of the ten million women-owned firms in the United States. Veteran women-owned firms increased by 294.7% from 2007 to 2012. Although these numbers are exciting to report, there are a few catalytic factors that contribute to the spike in veteran women-owned businesses.
Increased Military Enrollment
Since the unfortunate events of September 11, 2001, more women have enrolled in the military, thus creating more veteran women. These women are choosing to use their military experience and energy to start new business ventures and not fall back into ordinary civilian life at home. As of 2016, there were approximately 2.1 million women veterans, comprising 9.6% of the veteran population. This number is only expected to increase.
Military life is known to be extremely structured and organized for success. Veteran women are using their leadership experience, most of all, to lead their team of employees to propel their businesses forward. Regardless of military rank, the exposure to high ranking military leadership, alone, is an essential skill that women acquire during the tenure of their service.
Increased Access to Resources
Within this decade, resources that support veteran entrepreneurs have increased. Organizations like the Small Business Association’s Office of Veteran Business Development, Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps, Veteran Women Business Centers, and the Syracuse’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship are all providing resources to support veteran women entrepreneurs making it easier for this group to enhance their enterprises. Support includes the hardships and hurdles such as homelessness, PTSD and mental illness, and the difficulty transitioning to civilian lifestyles.
Veteran women are respected for their commitment to serving their country, and now are earning more respect for their commitment to prosper on their own by becoming their own bosses.
To learn more about veteran women entrepreneurs, please see our Walker’s Legacy Veteran Woman Entrepreneur Fast Fact Sheet.