How Veterans Can Start and Grow Businesses 

A military career can be a challenging thing. These challenges take many forms, but one of the most significant comes at the very end, when you’re making the transition back into civilian life. 

Having served in the military, you’ll have skills and experiences that are rare amongst your civilian compatriots. In many cases, these skills and experiences will equip you for life as a small business owner. 

What sorts of businesses do veterans establish? 

In the UK, around 340,000 small businesses are run by former military personnel. They collectively represent around 6% of all small businesses in Britain. Certain sectors tend to be more popular amongst this demographic, these being: manufacturing, construction and repair. If you have a background in military engineering, then you might see a logical pathway, here! 

Veteran support for starting a business 

There are many organisations which aim to get former military personnel back into the world of work back home. The most notable of these is probably the Forces Employment Charity – but Help for Heroes also provides a useful source of training and instruction. You might also look to dedicated military solicitors, which can lend help with any insurance claims or other legal issues you may have outstanding from your time in the armed forces. 

Skill profiles 

If you’re stuck for inspiration, it might be a good idea to make a list of your skills and interests. A career in the military, as we’ve mentioned, might provide a solid base of the former. You might know how to manage and lead, and how to effectively communicate. You might also have developed strong social skills, and an understanding of how to drive up morale and motivate people. Technical skills might also be incredibly useful. If you know how to repair things, then a career as a mechanic might be a sensible option. 


Making the switch back to civilian life can be trying for many veterans. And that’s before we mention the people who might be investing in your business, or working within it. You’ll need to equip yourself with the skills and habits that will keep you in good shape, both physically and mentally. 

If you find that you’re still suffering, or have unresolved trauma to deal with, then it’s important that you get that sorted. On the other hand, having something to do with your time might be a valuable part of your adjustment – so don’t delay getting back into work unnecessarily.