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Veteran entrepreneurship, a public good

Bill Bill, Bill

The original World War 2 and then Korean War GI Bills for American GIs after their service is acknowledged as perhaps the greatest investment into American Citizens in the 20th Century.  More than 280,000 small business and farm loans were guaranteed by government in the first 10 years (1944-1954).  However, in the last 2 years of these GI Bills (1973-1974), only 3 small business loans were guaranteed by government for veterans.  This snapshot demonstrates a significant and still continuing to be missed opportunity recognizing that military service and entrepreneurial activity and success go hand in hand.  America's citizen-soldiers have maintained the highest rate of self employment of any discernable group of Citizens for a minimum of 25 years running, but they still lack a comprehensive and focused entrepreneurial enabling system from a grateful nation, this despite Office of Advocacy research that found veteran small business development programs to be "economically rational".  I believe it is time for the American academic community to realize that by ignoring veterans of military service in your entrepreneurial development programs and curriculums, you continue to neglect investing into some of America's best, brightest and most experienced young Citizens.

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