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Veterans Entrepreneurship—Reaching Across Generations

Veterans Entrepreneurship—Reaching Across Generations

By Barbara Carson, SBA Official
Published: October 31, 2016

Across the generations, military, veteran, and military spouse entrepreneurs have pursued their version of the American dream—owning and operating a business.  One of our first military veterans, George Washington, was an agricultural entrepreneur.       

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development is proud to celebrate generations of successful veteran, service member and military spouse entrepreneurs during National Veterans Small Business Week, Oct. 31-Nov. 4.  It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the success of current entrepreneurs while ensuring the success of future generations of business owners in the military community.

This year’s theme is “Veteran Entrepreneurs: Success Across Generations.”   Local events—which include “Boots to Business: Reboot” entrepreneurship training and access to capital workshops—will be held nationwide to connect service members, veterans, Reserve and National Guard members and military spouses with entrepreneurship resources to start and grow their businesses. 

This week is also a time to look back and remember the overwhelming contributions of the greatest generation of veteran entrepreneurs. Jack Nadel served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross upon his discharge in 1946.  He founded Jack Nadel International, a Los Angeles-based promotional merchandise distribution company in 1953.

His company went global, with 25 offices around the world.  Nadel won many marketing and advertising industry awards.  A true champion of veteran entrepreneurship who paved the way for new generations of business owners to find success through his advocacy and guidance, Nadel passed  away Sept. 24, 2016.  This quote from Nadel epitomizes his forward- thinking vision:

 “Veteran entrepreneurs are America’s most untapped and highly skilled economic development resource that we should immediately start empowering.”

We salute Jack Nadel and the generations of veterans that have met the challenge to become business owners. We also invite current and prospective business owners in the military community to take the first step to join the next great generation.  Many have answered the call and found success.  Veterans like Michael Stacks and Torrance Hart are a few outstanding examples.

During National Veterans Small Business Week, and going forward, share your veteran small business success story or show your appreciation for veteran entrepreneurs by joining the conversation online using #MyVetBiz.

Celebrate this National Veterans Small Business Week by visiting www.sba.gov/myvetbiz to learn more about events, courses and resources built to support your entrepreneurship success.  Click on the links below to connect to the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development program offerings directly:

About the Author:

Barbara Carson
Barbara Carson

SBA Official

Barbara Carson is the Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Veterans Business Development.