Military Spouse Entrepreneurs – 2024

The 2022 National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs provides detailed insights into the experiences and challenges of military spouse entrepreneurs. This term encompasses spouses and partners of active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members, as well as veterans and retirees. Based on data from 243 current business owners who self-identify as military spouses, 80% of whom are female, the findings reveal robust entrepreneurial activity alongside critical support needs to ensure their success in the business landscape.

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Key Insights From Military Spouse Entrepreneurs

Career Impact

The data shows significant challenges in the traditional job market, driving many military spouses toward entrepreneurship as a flexible and accommodating career path.

feel that being a military spouse had a negative effect on their ability to pursue a career.
0 %
feel they were treated differently or did not get a job because they are a military spouse.
0 %
reported that SOFA impacted their work or entrepreneur endeavor when stationed overseas.
0 %

Positive Role of Entrepreneurship

Many military spouses find entrepreneurship a rewarding alternative, contributing positively to their professional lives.

agree that entrepreneurship has positively contributed to their professional life.
0 %

High Entrepreneurial Spirit

Military spouse business owners exhibit a strong entrepreneurial drive, with many seeking to create positive social impact through their ventures.

consider themselves entrepreneurs.
0 %
view themselves as social entrepreneurs focused on solving social, cultural, or environmental issues.
0 %

Starting the Business

A significant number of military spouse entrepreneurs are first-time business owners, often entering the field out of necessity rather than opportunity.

reported that this business is their first business.
0 %
entered entrepreneurship more out of necessity than opportunity.
0 %
spend more than 35 hours per week on the business.
0 %

Top Operating Challenges

Military spouse entrepreneurs face substantial barriers in several key areas:

Financial Barriers

Find applying for loans difficult
Find applying for grants from nonprofits difficult

Marketing & Sales Barriers

Find social media management difficult
Find exporting to a national market difficult.

Regulation, Business Climate & Policy Barriers

Find paying business taxes difficult
Find setting up taxes and withholdings difficult

Social and Human Capital Barriers

Find finding qualified salespeople difficult
Find accessing distribution channels difficult
Find finding time to network difficult

Financial Needs

Financial constraints are a significant hurdle, with many military spouse entrepreneurs needing modest amounts of capital and facing high-interest debt.

of military spouse entrepreneurs can fully support themselves or their families through their businesses.
0 %
needed $25k or less to grow their business in 2021.
0 %
of these businesses carry debt, with 40% paying interest rates higher than 10%.
0 %
were turned down for credit or were not given as much as they applied for.
0 %

Business Challenges

Top Business Challenges

Lack of access to capital
Lack of financing
Irregular income

Other Notable Challenges

Lack of mentors for my business
Relocation to another city, state, or country
Childcare struggles

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