Veteran Entrepreneurs & Creative Employment

by Edward Henkler on July 28, 2015

Veteran Entrepreneurs + The Bunker = Creative Employment

What is the current state of veteran entrepreneurship and how does it relate to my creative employment concept? After WWII, 49% of veterans started businesses. It is currently estimated that 25% of veterans want to start a business but only 6% have. Transitioning from the military to the civilian world can be quite challenging. The environment, leadership styles, and even the language are all significantly different than in most industries.

In today’s world, many veterans are returning from combat and other settings where they quite literally laid their lives on the line. Aside from law enforcement, very few civilian jobs incorporate a similar level of risk and danger. Many young veterans have also developed leadership skills in a crucible which cannot be replicated in a civilian setting. This is not to suggest that they will outperform their peers, only that many aspects of a civilian job may be frustrating. They may also have to start at a junior level which will feel like regressing from levels of responsibility they’ve already successfully managed.

Perhaps it goes without saying but we still live in a world of un- and under-employment. That reality may also impact a veteran’s chances of meaningful employment. So what’s the alternative? This is where creative employment becomes a guiding principle and you can see some of my thinking here. Entrepreneurship is a key element of creative employment. It doesn’t preclude working in a traditional setting but practically mandates that you develop a personally meaningful side business which can grow with time.

Creative employment and veteran entrepreneurs

Veteran Entrepreneurs and The Bunker

And that’s where The Bunker, led by Todd Connor, comes in. Quoting directly from their website, “We are a program built by Veteran Entrepreneurs – For Veteran Entrepreneurs. The Bunker targets existing veteran-owned tech startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to come, create, and conquer the business world through their ideas, hard work, and strategy.”

Moving a bit closer to my home, I was proud to be invited to the launch of The Bunker Incubator Philadelphia. This branch is led by Mike Maher, a Navy veteran who has accomplished much since graduating from the Naval Academy in 2005. His upside is unlimited and is bound to contribute to the success of many area veterans.

Creative employment and Veteran Entrepreneurs – perfect together @ The Bunker!

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