Inc.

Where Are All the Missing Veteran-Owned Businesses?

HISTORY BOYS In June 1944, members of the U.S. Ninth Air Force return from supporting the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France. Half of all American World War II veterans eventually became entrepreneurs.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP is not an easy path for anyone, but for veterans, it appears to be getting harder. That’s troubling for military-veteran business owners, of course, and for the fellow service members they would hire. But it’s also a big problem for the entire U.S. economy.

Last century, a stunning 49.7 percent of World War II vets went on to own or operate a business, according to Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Some 40 percent of Korean War veterans did the same—creating millions of jobs along the way. But this century, while the time span has been shorter, the rate of veteran entrepreneurship

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