Veterans Are Natural Born Entrepreneurs

Jesse Torres – http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238079

Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than nonveterans, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

And the agency estimates that about 2.4 million or 9 percent of all U.S. small businesses are veteran-owned, representing about $1 trillion in annual sales.

The SBA announced last month that it would extend fee relief on its popular 7(a) loan for amounts of $150,000 or less. The fee-relief program, originally slated to expire on Sept. 30, was extended one year.

“We owe a debt of gratitude and so much more to our service men and women, and veterans who are the cornerstone of small business ownership,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a prepared statement. “This fee relief will continue to help veteran business owners who grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, and put their training and passion for our country to work in their neighborhoods.”

Many consider a veteran to be the perfect entrepreneur. The Fire and Adjust website noted 10 reasons why veterans make good entrepreneurs: confidence, self motivation, discipline, listening skills, determination, leadership, risk management, stress management, teamwork and focus.

Eddie Sell, an active fire captain in Long Beach, Calif., and the owner of Bellflower, Calif.-based Firehouse Chefs Food + Drink, represents one of the nearly 10 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs who went from servicemember to entrepreneur.

“I was very fortunate when I was in the Navy,” Sell tells me during a recent interview. “I was trained in the culinary arts and I was assigned to a high-profile position serving an admiral and other VIPs.”

“I loved what I did and always knew that I would one day own my own restaurant,” Sell adds. “I started with a catering business that eventually turned into Firehouse Chefs Food + Drink. It took a while but I was able to make my dream come true by staying focused on my goal and taking advantage of a special loan program.”

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