According to the latest US Census Bureau survey of small business owners, there are 2.52 million businesses majority-owned by veterans in the United States.
The data comes from a report by the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (PDF) which shows that 99.9% of these businesses are classified as small businesses. That’s not to say that these companies don’t contribute a lot to the economy.
In the same report, the SBA reveals that veteran-owned small businesses employ more than 5 million people in the United States. Additionally, they generated $1.14 trillion in revenue, an annual payroll of $195 billion, and they represent 9.15% of all American businesses.
Veteran-Owned Business Statistics
Looking at individual states, the top states by number of businesses and sales are:
- California (252,377) ($135.1 billion),
- Texas (213,590) ($109.9 billion),
- Florida (185,756) ($57.7 billion),
- New York (137,532) ($55.8 billion) and
- Pennsylvania (97,969) ($50.3 billion).
Even though the numbers are impressive, there are a few industries that dominate the companies owned by veterans. Nearly 30% of all these businesses belong to two industry groups: construction and the professional, scientific and technical services group.
The largest share goes to finance and insurance at 13.2%, followed by transportation and warehousing at 12.1% and construction at 11.4%. The remaining segments are wholesale at 22.9%, retail at 19.5% and manufacturing at 12.3%.
As for how veterans start their business, they start their business on their own. And most often when they do, 57% of them are home-based businesses, about 5% more than the rest of the population.
In terms of employment, the majority of veteran-owned businesses are small, with 54.5% having one to four employees. Only 9% have 20 or more employees and 3.2% have more than fifty employees in their company.
Support veteran entrepreneurs
The good news is that veterans receive support from public and private organizations when it comes to encouraging their entrepreneurial journey. That’s not to say they can’t use more resources, because they can.
If you’re a veteran looking to start or grow your business, there are plenty of resources available to you. The SBA’s Boots to Business program is one such resource.
The program is offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with introductory courses and follow-up support. It is particularly useful as it provides the necessary resources when veterans transition to civilian life.
SCORE is another great resource for veterinary entrepreneurs. On their site, you’ll find everything from mentors, what the organization is known for, to funding options, entrepreneurship resources and more.
As a veterinarian, you should start with a mentor on SCORE. They are volunteers who want nothing but the best for you as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. Even if your business has been operational for a while, you can find mentors to help you.
Veterans Affairs Outreach Centers (VBOCs)
The VBOC is a comprehensive resource center for veterinarians and their spouses looking to start a business. He offers training, consulting and mentoring services to veterinarians who want to start, buy or grow their business.
You can find the nearest VBOC to you here.
The good news is that you have plenty of resources as a veterinarian. Before jumping straight into opening a business, find out what is available to you through your country’s service.
Take your time, learn about the benefits you are entitled to, and then use these resources to better ensure the success of your small business.
If you are a veterinarian, thank you for serving and good luck in all your future entrepreneurial endeavors.