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Veteran Small Business Owners Face Declining Startup Rates and Service-Related Disabilities

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2020 – While veteran-owned small business startups continue to outpace those by non-veterans, startup rates are declining as older veteran entrepreneurs age out, according to new survey data from 3,000 business owners published by SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors.

The Megaphone of Main Street: Unsung Entrepreneurs survey of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs nationwide reports that veteran-owned small businesses currently represent 9.1% of U.S. small businesses, generating $1 trillion in annual receipts and employing nearly six million Americans. However, since 2008, the startup growth rate for veterans has declined, falling from 12.5% of new entrepreneurs in 1996 to just 4.2% of new entrepreneurs in 2016.

One particularly striking research finding was that 42% of veteran small business owners surveyed have a service-related disability. 

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

A veteran entrepreneur who responded to the survey commented: “Everyone tells me that as a female, disabled veteran/single mom, I should be able to find some sort of a grant. But for all the research I’ve done, I can’t find anything.”

Key research findings include:

• Many veterans feel the military prepared them well for small business leadership. They report their greatest strengths are their hard work (75.6%) and leadership skills (57.7%).

• During the COVID-19 pandemic, veteran entrepreneurs reported feeling a lack of support from every level of government (federal, state, local) at a rate that is 10-21% higher than non-veterans.

• Veteran business owners sought SBA, federal and state COVID-relief funding at about the same rate as other groups. These funding requests were denied 20-100% more frequently than they were for non-veteran business owners.


Click here to access the full Megaphone of Main Street data report: Unsung Entrepreneurs, which spotlights immigrant-owned, veteran-owned and encore-owned (age 55+) businesses, which drive the small business economy by starting businesses at higher rates and overcoming steeper challenges to achieve their goals.

Since 1964, SCORE has helped 17 million entrepreneurs to start, grow or troubleshoot a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 45,027 new businesses and 74,535 non-owner jobs in 2020 alone. Visit SCORE at Follow @SCOREMentors on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn

Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.








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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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