Veterans face unique barriers to establishing and supporting small businesses. It’s important for the federal government to understand these challenges so it can address them properly. While there are numerous programs to support veterans looking to open, or who already own, small businesses, the reason(s) behind the recent decline in new veteran-owned small businesses and the role that access (or lack thereof) to credit plays in veterans’ small business ownership aren’t well understood.
While the number of new veteran-owned small businesses is lower in the post-9/11 era than the post-World War II era, this is due to new veterans’ youth and excellent employment prospects for veterans, not necessarily to barriers to veterans’ entrepreneurship. With this in mind, it would be a waste of federal money and resources to study barriers to veterans’ small business ownership in the absence of strong evidence that veterans are actually facing increased barriers to entrepreneurship.