It’s not a surprise that many veterans from the military who are trained to be organized, disciplined and team-oriented, as well as strategic and goal-oriented seek out entrepreneurship after they have served. These attributes are perfect for an entrepreneur, someone who won’t be gambling the future of their company as in pages like NetBet Casino. A new study has been initiated from the Veterans Future Lab (VFL) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Barclays as the primary patron of the VFL since its beginning at the end of 2017; it provides an insightful look at what drives veterans to step into the entrepreneurial world and also the most effective ways and resources available to veterans-led startups.
This study was carried out through Fors Marsh Group, and it will be published on December 9 to be viewed during an annually held Veterans Future Lab Summit at NYU Tandon on December 8, 2021. The event will be a virtual conference featuring entrepreneurs, top investors, experts from the industry, who conduct hands-on training sessions on the tangible, valuable techniques that are crucial to the success of early-stage ventures.
Through the analysis of survey results of more than 580 current or former personnel from the U.S. armed forces between February and May 2021, the study examines the educational, military and entrepreneurial backgrounds as well as the difficulties faced and the resources utilized during the beginning of an enterprise; and the impact of socio-emotional wellbeing. The researchers also spoke with 20 entrepreneurs who have been in business for a long time about their military service, transition experiences, their education background, as well as their experiences and lessons learned when they launched or expanded their businesses.
“Barclays is proud to support veteran entrepreneurship and the Veterans Future Lab,” said Travis Barnes, Global Head of Financial Sponsors Group & Sustainable and Impact Banking at Barclays. “We hope that this important research, which offers great insight into how veterans most effectively envision, develop and launch innovative businesses, will help drive additional support to the veteran entrepreneur community.”
One of the most important findings is that individuals from the military are drawn to explore the innovative and entrepreneurial economy due to:
- It allows freedom, flexibility and control over being the sole boss
- Depends on personal abilities as well as interests, education, and professional background
- This could lead to an independent financial life or additional income
The three most frequent challenges faced by experienced entrepreneurs when starting an enterprise are:
- Promotion and marketing
- Personal finances
- Initial capital
The path to entrepreneurship is not without potholes that could be a problem, proving that, once you are in the startup community, veteran entrepreneurs are faced with a much more difficult path to success than other entrepreneurs. An earlier study revealed that, for instance, 60% of veteran-owned companies had less funding than what was requested on applications as opposed to the 52% who were businesses owned by non-veterans. Businesses owned by veterans also had lower rates of loan approval than their non-veteran-owned counterparts.
The VFL is an incubator focused on ventures run by military spouses and veterans that was created to help make the obstacles less daunting for veterans to overcome. The nine-month free Apex program addresses the needs of veteran entrepreneurs by providing guidance as well as support and resources that are needed to establish and grow businesses with a high impact. This Veterans Entrepreneurship Training (VET) program is designed for NYC-based entrepreneurs, leaders in the industry, and VFL founders with a program that includes a capstone project that is based on hands-on learning as well as mentorship.
As part of the research, the participants each chose which of the three most useful resources to use when starting a business. Top of the list for the respondents included networking for professionals, casual connections, and professional training programs.
“The VFL encompasses all three, focusing on building a community and a network, and offering programming for developing entrepreneurial skills,” said Alexa Modero, director at the VFL. Since its inception at the end of 2017, the VFL has assisted 60 startups and has graduated more than 240 early-stage or future entrepreneurs from its programs for training.
The majority of veterans who took part in interviews were part of some form of formal professional networking organizations, which include incubator programs, veteran entrepreneurs programs, specifically designed for women and minorities, as well as programs specifically targeted to particular sectors.
Participants also stated that through group meetings, they were able to surround themselves with “like-minded” individuals. As they built their networks, they often found friends and mentors to help them build and enhance their skills, they described them as “important” and “useful” to provide guidance, provide suggestions for ideas, assist in solving issues, and identify new opportunities.
Participants also discussed the importance of being in a group of people who are like-minded, which often inspired and energized and encouraged accountability.