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By Military Connection Staff Writer Carol Miraula.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And no one is tougher than our nation’s Veterans. Many have found when they transition back to civilian life, it’s a tough economy,  and job openings are scarce. So they create their own jobs and jobs for others.

A study done by the Small Business Administration (SBA) found that veterans with 20-plus years of service had higher rates of self-employment. Veteran business owners possess military training that develops organizational skills and risk-tolerance. Veterans are at least 45 percent more likely to take the plunge into entrepreneurship than people with no active-duty military experience. Another added benefit, Veteran business owners tend to hire veterans.

Veteran Todd Fisher, the founder of two successful Yardley, PA based technology companies, agrees. In addition to the electronics and communication technology training he received as a signals officer in the Army, he learned other lessons that helped him run his two businesses. Fisher gives credit for the success of his companies, MobileMD and Intraprise Solutions, to his military training. His company employs 66 people, and of his first  11 employees, nine were veterans.

Several significant financial, mentoring and resources are available for veteran business owners. Service-disabled veteran-owned business owners have access to federal contract set-asides, a reserve of public contracts awarded to a minority or small business enterprise.

Among the additional resources for veteran business owners and service disabled veteran business owners are:

  • The SBA’s Veteran-Owned Business Programs , which include the Patriot Express Loan initiative for  veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses, and the Operation Boots to Business initiative.
  • The VA Accelerator,  an online learning environment of eight curricula and five programs that focus on entrepreneurship, franchise ownership and employment.
  • The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal, which provides links to resources for financing and instructions on winning VA contracts.
  • VAMBOA – Veteran and Military Business Owners Association,  a non-profit veteran business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business  Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses and Military Business Owners. Membership in  VAMBOA is free and provides a multitude of resources