Hearing to Highlight Initiatives Helping Veterans Become Entrepreneurs


American veteran shaking handsWASHINGTON, DC – The House Small Business Committee, under the chairmanship of Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), will hold a hearing Wednesday titled, Military to Entrepreneurship: Private Sector Initiatives to Help Veterans Pursue Business Opportunities.

The hearing will highlight veteran-owned small businesses, as well as private sector efforts that have helped them succeed. Veterans that have served since 2001 face higher unemployment rates than the rest of the population, and by 2040, they will make up more than 50 percent of the total veteran population. While facing challenges in transitioning to new civilian jobs after time in the military, returning service members possess leadership skills that naturally translate to entrepreneurship. In response, several private initiatives have been launched to assist our nation’s heroes to transfer unique skills gained during military service to the world of business.

“The skill set that veterans acquire through military service often translates to the business world. Even so, transition for returning veterans can be difficult, and the unemployment rate for veterans is a problem,” said Chairman Graves. “Fortunately, there are some great initiatives to help these veterans envision successful careers as their own bosses and provide support in getting started. This time of transition can become a launching point for successful small businesses.”

Testifying will be Wade Franklin, Owner, The UPS Store Clarendon, Arlington, VA, on behalf of the International Franchise Association; Dawn Smith, Founder and CEO, Mystic Reme Teas, Greenville, SC, on behalf of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation; Charleston Malkemus, Founder and CEO, Gozump, Inc., Miami, FL, on behalf of The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; and Davy Leghorn, Assistant Director, National Employment and Education Division, The American Legion, Washington, DC.

Watch the hearing live HERE.

WHAT: The House Small Business Committee hearing titled, Military to Entrepreneurship: Private Sector Initiatives to Help Veterans Pursue Business Opportunities

WHEN: ​Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 1:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE: 2360 Rayburn House Office Building