February 2022 Data Brief: Black and African American Veteran Entrepreneurs

AuthorsRosalinda Maury, M.S. | Mirza Tihic, Ph.D. | Ruohan Feng

This brief provides highlights from the 2021 National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs (NSMAE) focusing on Black and African American veteran entrepreneurs. These findings are based on data collected from 327 Black and African American veteran entrepreneurs, which represents 21% of the respondents that answered the race/ethnicity question of the 2021 survey. This annual survey monitors trends in the activity, needs, as well as the economic, social, and policy barrier of military affiliated entrepreneurs in the United States. These findings will be an enduring source of current insights for public and private sector leaders, policymakers, and community-based organizations on systemic barriers to and drivers of entrepreneurial success among Black and African American veterans and their family members.

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To learn more about this study and other briefs, publications, and presentations view the NSMAE Series.

A Few Key Takeaways

Entrepreneurship Characteristics

Top Motivations to Entrepreneurship are:

  • The opportunity to be financially independent
  • Maintain personal freedom
  • Personal belief / faith
0 %
consider themselves social entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurship helped them find a purpose after military
Entrepreneurship made their transition into civilian life easier

Business Characteristics

Sole owners of their business
Financially sustain themselves/family with income from their business

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Difficulty navigating the resources in their local community
The capital they need is not readily available
Applied for funding (compared to 52% White/Anglo/Caucasian counterparts)

*57% of those that applied for funding were turned down (compared to 29% White/Anglo/Caucasian counterparts)


Believe the certification process is difficult
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