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September 24, 2014

Why Entrepreneurship for Veterans?

Why Entrepreneurship for Veterans?

Written by Ryan Rabac

Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management emphasizes three priorities in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) for Veterans program: leadership, entrepreneurship, and service. While one would expect leadership and service to be natural skills for veterans, many ask the question, why entrepreneurship?

Military training develops many of the skills that parallel with successful entrepreneurs. These include comfort with autonomy and uncertainty, self-efficiency, ambition, a high need for achievement, and the ability to make effective decisions. Veterans own 9% of all businesses nationwide and employ 5.8 million people.

In a 2013 Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) study of veterans and military families, 58% of respondents demonstrated interest in a business degree focused on Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. These results demonstrate a strong desire to take risks and create success independently.

We also know from research by the Small Business Administration that veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to pursue business ownership. Even better, the 5-year success rate of businesses owned by veterans significantly beats the national average.

Entrepreneurship is a top priority for the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, answering the call that many veterans have made clear. The school’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship offers business plan competitions, internships, an entrepreneurship club, a business incubator to Whitman students, mentoring, and other entrepreneurial real life experiences. The 14-month accelerated MBA for Veterans curriculum was designed specifically to focus on entrepreneurship.

There are many other reasons for veterans to join the Syracuse community. The University has a robust Veterans Resource Center and a student veterans club. Veterans earning their MBAs will be paired with corporate, peer, and alumni mentors to support their growth. Most importantly, they will be welcomed to an institution that has proudly championed educating our nation’s veterans for over 70 years.

The MBA for Veterans at SU has been created by same team that created the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, which in 2011, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the “10-Best” entrepreneurship programs in the United States, whose emphasis is on ‘entrepreneurship’, not on veteran entrepreneurship. The same team is behind the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program, serving woman veterans nationwide, and the creation and implementation of the DOD’s Transition Assistance Program entrepreneurship track called Boots to Business. All these entrepreneurship programs have provided intensive training to hundreds of veterans across the country to help bring great business ideas to fruition. The commitment to student veterans and the long history of institutional support at Syracuse University are unparalleled.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks Syracuse as one of the best colleges for veterans in the country. Additionally, Syracuse University’s graduate level entrepreneurship program is ranked number 17 by Princeton Review.

Follow MBA for Veterans on Facebook for exciting updates on student veterans, entrepreneurship, and more. To find out more about the MBA for Veterans and apply online by December 31st, visit

Ryan Rabac is a Graduate Assistant at IVMF currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Social Science (May 2014) from Florida State University 


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