It’s time we empower veterans with entrepreneurial skills



By Steve Weiner

By the end of the year, over one million veterans will have transitioned from the military to civilian life since 2011, settling into communities across the country and charting new career paths for themselves. For some veterans, pursuing the educational opportunities covered by the GI Bill will be their logical next step.

One recent study found that the majority of veterans utilize GI benefits to pursue higher education and personally, that was the path that made the most sense for me. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left the military and a handful of my predecessors had been accepted to top business schools. Universally, they seemed to be landing jobs at impressive companies when they graduated, so I decided to attend Wharton to earn my MBA.

Yet for many veterans, despite the financial support provided by the GI bill, higher education may not be the optimal next step. Veterans deserve the choice to put those benefits to alternative, productive uses, such as towards starting their own business. The Small Business Administration has reported that veterans are 45 percent more likely to own their businesses than non-veterans.

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