More Women Vets Are Opting for Entrepreneurship

081108-N-5549O-035 MILWAUKEE (Nov. 8, 2008) Ship's Navigator Lt. j.g. Shaina Hayden renders honors to the national anthem during the commissioning ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) at Veterans Park in Milwaukee, Wis. Freedom is the first of two littoral combat ships designed to operate in shallow water environments to counter threats in coastal regions. (U. S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)Happy Veterans Day, readers! If you’re an American, today you’re probably thinking about the men and women who have served our country—but we bet you didn’t know how many of those women have gone on to start their own businesses.It turns out women veterans make up one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the US. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of businesses owned by female veterans grew by 296 percent (and the number of businesses owned by male veterans decreased in the same time period). Women vets now own 384,548 businesses across the country.While we wish we could say this trend is purely a byproduct of all the leadership skills women gain while they’re in the armed forces, it appears many female vets are striking out on their own out of necessity. According to Syracuse University researchers, the unemployment rate for women veterans between 2008 and 2012 was 11.1 percent (significantly higher than the female civilian unemployment rate of 7.1 percent).Thus, if you’re looking for a tangible way to honor the service of female vets today, we humbly suggest you lend your support to organizations that are helping them get their businesses off the ground, like Syracuse’s V-WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship), WAVE (Women As Veteran Entrepreneurs), and Count Me In’s Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps.