Giving Compass’ Take:
• PenFed Foundation, the philanthropic arm of America’s largest credit unions, is dedicated to helping veteran entrepreneurs find them viable employment opportunities.
• How can your charitable giving support the future careers of veterans?
• Here are six ways to help military entrepreneurs.
The future of startups is in America, and our veterans are well poised to lead the way in entrepreneurship. But they’ll need the support of nonprofit leaders across the country in order to succeed.
America’s military forces are creating, operating, improving on and training others in the world’s most innovative and transformative technologies, including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, avionics, nuclear technology, cyber, satellites, urban air mobility and even gaming technology.
If technology is the backbone of tomorrow’s businesses, there is no one more capable of leading the entrepreneurial revolution than our former service members.
America has a long-standing tradition of veteran entrepreneurship. In fact, it’s said that half of our country’s World War II veterans became entrepreneurs. Today, self-employed veterans are likely to have served in Vietnam, some of them having served alongside my father.
Post-service entrepreneurship among newer veterans is seeing a resurgence. Nearly 10% of all U.S. businesses are majority-owned by veterans, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. The same survey found that veteran-owned businesses employ over 5 million people and bring in over $1 trillion in revenue.
In many ways, America’s military is a school in entrepreneurship. We teach service members leadership, drive, grit, creativity, stamina and perseverance in the face of high complexity and risk. When many people think of military service, they imagine people firing weapons, driving tanks and flying jets. But these tasks represent a fraction of what service members are doing.
Here’s what many veterans don’t have: formal business training, financial acumen and capital.
This is why, after 36 years of military service, I have decided to transition to a new role of service as president of the PenFed Foundation, dedicating my efforts to helping expand the financial opportunities for America’s veteran entrepreneurs. As the philanthropic arm of one of our nation’s largest credit unions, the PenFed Foundation is well equipped to use its resources, networks and experiences to give back to the veteran community.
Read the full article about veteran entrepreneurs by John Nicholson at Forbes.
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