Veteran-owned businesses (VOBs) in the United States represent a vital and growing sector of the economy. With approximately 2.5 million VOBs across the country, these businesses generate billions of dollars in revenue annually, and they employ millions of workers. This white paper provides an overview of VOBs in the United States, including their contribution to the economy, challenges they face, and resources available to help them succeed.
The United States has a long history of honoring and supporting its veterans, including those who choose to start and operate their own businesses. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the important role that veteran-owned businesses play in the country’s economy. VOBs not only contribute to economic growth and job creation but also provide a valuable service to their communities.
Contribution to the Economy
VOBs contribute significantly to the US economy. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are approximately 2.5 million VOBs in the United States, which represent nearly 10% of all businesses. These businesses generate more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and employ over 5 million workers. Furthermore, VOBs have been shown to outperform non-veteran-owned businesses in terms of revenue growth and job creation.
Challenges Faced by VOBs
Despite their important role in the economy, VOBs face a number of challenges. For instance, many veterans lack the necessary skills and experience to successfully start and run a business. Additionally, veterans often struggle to secure funding and access to resources that can help them succeed. Other challenges faced by VOBs include difficulties in finding qualified employees, navigating government contracting processes, and dealing with the effects of deployment and other military experiences on their mental health.
Resources Available to VOBs
Fortunately, there are a variety of resources available to help VOBs overcome these challenges. These resources include business development programs, training and mentoring opportunities, financing options, and access to government contracts. The SBA offers a number of programs specifically designed to assist VOBs, such as the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program, which provides training and support to veterans looking to start or grow a business. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a number of resources for veterans interested in entrepreneurship, including the Boots to Business program, which provides training and mentorship to veterans interested in starting their own businesses.
In conclusion, veteran-owned businesses play an important role in the US economy, generating billions of dollars in revenue and employing millions of workers. However, VOBs face a number of challenges, including difficulties in accessing funding and resources. Fortunately, there are a variety of programs and resources available to help VOBs succeed. By supporting veteran-owned businesses, we can not only honor our veterans but also help to grow the economy and create jobs.