Bunker Labs Seattle

Opinion: Yes vote on I-1000 will increase veteran entrepreneurship

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After World War II, 49.7 percent of returning veterans owned and operated a business. For Korean War veterans, that number was 40.1 percent. More than 60 years later, only 5.6 percent of post-9/11 veterans have started their own business.

The plunging rates are not due to lack of interest. Nearly one in four veterans surveyed in 2004 by the Small Business Administration said they were thinking of starting a business. Instead, I believe the decrease is due to obstacles such as barriers to financing and dwindling professional networks, both of which we can change.

Affirmative action has been banned in Washington since I-200 passed in 1998, and veterans and other minority groups are without protections common in other states. Studies show that veterans struggle in similar numbers to women and other minorities when it comes to things like negotiating salary, getting government jobs or contracts and transitioning into the corporate world after what are seen as ‘unexplainable’ gaps on their resume due to their military service. Veterans are also more likely to have lower credit scores and to be denied credit due to insufficient credit history and insufficient collateral. Read the full article here.