Operation Employment—Veterans as Entrepreneurs

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

The United States is experiencing an enormous influx of veterans. The reintroduction of veterans into the workforce poses many questions and issues, as a significant portion of them are expected to shift from military service to the civilian workforce. In a recent survey, roughly 22 percent of veterans were found to be interested in purchasing or starting a new business, but far fewer actually do—leading to hundreds of thousands of unemployed veterans. Pinpointing why this disparity exists will both help our veterans and create new jobs.

Project Description 

Unemployment rates are high for veterans: 11.1 percent for returning men and 14.7 percent for returning women. We aim to better understand the entrepreneurial nuances of active duty, reserves, returning, and retired service members through one-on-one interviews and surveys. Our research will primarily examine:

  • whether military veterans consider entrepreneurship as a strategic career choice after ending military service when compared to standard employment;
  • what factors trigger entrepreneurship in these populations; and
  • whether military experience makes them more or less likely to engage in entrepreneurial behaviors than those who haven't served.

Once we are able to analyze empirical data from our study, we can begin to better serve our veterans. Understanding the entrepreneurial behaviors of veterans will help streamline and optimize training resources that are currently disbursed to those interested in starting their own business. Factors that enable and constrain entrepreneurial behaviors will likely surface from this research, prompting relevant policy changes that will encourage job growth—benefitting not only veterans, but the entire nation.

Meet the Researcher

Saurav Pathak

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What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Travel to military bases to conduct interviews
  • Hold a twice-annual veteran-entrepreneurship workshop
  • Network with various Veteran Affairs' offices nationwide

$1+ 0 Funders

Receipt acknowledging tax-deductible status of your donation.

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The above, plus regular email updates on the progress of the project.

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All of the above, plus a coffee mug from Michigan Tech.

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All of the above, plus a T-shirt from Michigan Tech.

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All of the above, plus acknowledgement in publications from the project and signed copies of all journal articles.

$500+ 0 Funders

All of the above, plus an interview with the research team by phone, Skype, or in person at the University (travel not included).

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All of the above, plus a copy of the report of the research project.

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