There are absolutely no words that can express CCEDC’s gratitude which we have for our veterans. Currently, there are over 21 million veterans that have sacrificed for our freedom, but on Veterans Day, November 11, it is a special day to particularly stay focused and be remined of their continued positive impact that veterans have on our American economy. A recent SBA study also found that military service exhibits one of the largest marginal effects on self-employment, and veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. According to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), 25 percent of veterans say they want to start or own a business.

There is no doubt that skills learned through military service can directly translate to business, and IVMF research confirms it. IVMF studies show that creativity, leadership, and willingness to take risks are all traits that translate from military service to entrepreneurship. All entrepreneurs face challenges, but CCEDC realizes veterans face unique obstacles after separating from active duty. Charlie Walker, President/CEO of the CCEDC, noted the difficulty his dad had transitioning from active military to civilian life. “It was even more difficult for him as he pursued starting his own business; back in the late 1980’s there wasn’t much of a veterans entrepreneurial support network available then.”

“My mom became an entrepreneur after she retired from the navy, and did everything from flipping houses to English teaching,” said Danielle Bauer, Storyteller/Graphic Designer of the CCEDC. “Luckily, the veteran entrepreneurial network has strengthened significantly since Charlie’s dad was entering the civilian world. She and my stepdad, John, now own C&J’s Candy Store in Menomonie!”

Since 2006, CCEDC has been working with veteran entrepreneurs (like Charlie’s dad and Danielle’s mom) to connect them with funding opportunities, training programs, networking events, and services they need to grow and succeed. Many veterans are not aware of just how useful their military training can be to their entrepreneurial pursuits and today there many more organizations working together to help our veterans. From a CCEDC perspective, it’s the least we can do for those who have selflessly sacrificed; Thank You!