Barb Carson is the associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business Development, which aims to empower veteran entrepreneurship. She oversees policies and programs that equip veteran, service member (active duty, National Guard, Reserve), and military spouse-owned small businesses with counseling and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities. Carson is currently a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, with more than 20 years military experience. During a family military assignment to Japan in 2006, Carson embarked on her first entrepreneurial adventure, co-developing an outdoor personal training business with another military veteran.
It's not hard to understand why veterans make good entrepreneurs, or why they are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. During their service, they are required — at times while under fire — to show leadership, make tough decisions, allocate resources, and adapt quickly. Whether on land, at sea or high in the sky, they learn how to be responsible, and how to lead up and down the chain of command.