National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs - D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families

National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs

2022 National Survey of Military Affiliated Entrepreneurs is now closed

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About the Survey

Do you have a business? Do you freelance? Have you ever worked for yourself? Are you thinking about going into business for yourself? We are looking for feedback from the military-affiliated community on your experiences with entrepreneurship. We want to hear from you if you are a:

  • Veteran
  • Military or Veteran Spouse
  • Active Duty
  • Guard or Reservist
  • Other Family of a Servicemember

The National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs (NSMAE) is a confidential, multi-year study that seeks to better understand military-affiliated entrepreneurs. The goal is to identify opportunities and barriers that military-affiliated entrepreneurs face. This information will be used to create a public dataset that can inform practitioners, policy makers, and communities about these needs and advance opportunities. This research is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Share the Survey

Encourage your network to confidentially share their experience! We gain more insights with a greater response, and you can help. We have developed a toolkit full of social media posts and graphics to help you spread the word on your social media channels.

View The Toolkit

Survey Outreach Partners

Thank you to our 2022 outreach partners and collaborators. Visit the series page to learn more about our partners and collaborators.

If you are interested in becoming an outreach partner and collaborator please reach out to


Are you a member of the media or a nonprofit organization that supports military, veteran, and military family communities? And are you interested in partnering with IVMF to promote the 2022 survey? Please contact

For questions about our survey, contact

About the National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs (NSMAE)

Soldiers with American FlagWhat: With support from the Kauffman Foundation, the IVMF is conducting a multi-year study of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. This initiative is designed to address critical gaps in our understanding of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs and the supporting mechanisms needed to assist throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

Who: We are looking for military-affiliated individuals who have started a business, currently own/operate a business, or are interested in entrepreneurship. This audience includes those who work for themselves in any capacity, including part-time, full-time, as a freelancer, etc.

Who is military affiliated? We want to include various populations in this study:

  • veteran, transitioning servicemember, active duty servicemember, guard member, reservist
  • military spouse of veteran, transitioning servicemember, active duty servicemember, guard member, reservist

Why: We want to develop the largest national public dataset that includes insights into critical knowledge gaps regarding military-affiliated entrepreneurs to learn how best to assist them throughout their entrepreneurial journey. The goal of the survey is to informĀ public, private, and nonprofit practitioners (SBA, VOBS, Financial Institutions, PTACs, corporations interested in collaborating with veteran-owned businesses, etc.), policymakers, and the academic community about the unique characteristics and needs of military-affiliated entrepreneurs.

Key topics: individual and military characteristics; aspirational and business-related metrics; attitudes toward entrepreneurship; connectivity of resources, networks, mentorship, and information; local economic and policy factors; and family and wellness.

2021 NSMAE Results

This report shares findings from the 2021 National Survey of Military Affiliated (NSMAE) entrepreneurs about their experiences related to entrepreneurship, COVID-19 pandemic, military, and overall wellbeing. In the last decade, the rate of civilian and veteran entrepreneurship has shown signs of decline. However, there has been a surge in entrepreneurship in the U.S. since the pandemic. The pandemic has created conditions favorable for entrepreneurship; however, it has also affected the entrepreneurial activities and specific barriers for military-affiliated entrepreneurs that influence and shape their entrepreneurial activity, even though entrepreneurship is a viable career choice, given the transient nature of military life.

To learn more about the 2020 results and to read reports and briefs, please visit:

2020 NSMAE Results

Thank you to all who participated in the 2020 NSMAE. Thanks to more than 2,500 of you we were able to collect a dataset that has been great source of current insights for public and private sector leaders, policymakers, and community-based organization on systemic barriers to and drivers of entrepreneurial success among veterans and their family members. Additionally, your insights assisted in creating new programs and initiatives to better serve your fellow military-affiliated entrepreneurs.

To learn more about the 2020 results and to read reports and briefs, please visit: