More veterans are starting businesses

From: Star-Telegram

TARRANT COUNTY — Andrew Brady, armed with a Purple Heart and early Army retirement papers, launched a business in his hometown last year.

His objective was nothing less than audacious — to sell high-dollar, custom-made rifles in a battered and weak economy where even Walmart and Target have sometimes been hurting.

A college graduate and two-time combat veteran before his 30th birthday, Brady knows the odds. He’s doing it despite them.

“This is the worst time to own a business, much less start one,” he said one afternoon in the Lone Star Armory shop, near Rendon in southern Tarrant County. “But if you can make it in this economy, I’m convinced you can make it for good.”

By launching his small business last year, with no backing outside of family, friends and his own chutzpah, Brady is part of what seems to be a growing trend among veterans to become entrepreneurs.

About 9 percent of the businesses in the U.S. are veteran-owned, the vast majority of them small businesses with few to no employees, according to a Census Bureau survey taken in 2007, the most recent and comprehensive study of the subject.

But Brian Bascom, CEO of the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce in Plano, figures that the numbers might be edging higher since then, based on what he calls a “fairly significant entrepreneurial bent” among those in the military.

Combine that with close to 15 percent unemployment nationwide among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and one has a potential recipe for more entrepreneurship among 20- and 30-something veterans.

“These are not folks who are going to sit around on their thumbs, so if they can’t get a job, what are they going to do? They’ll make up their own job,” Bascom said. “It’s absolutely a kick in the pants for entrepreneurship.”

Read more:

, ,

Comments are closed.