Two million U.S. men and women have served in combat since 9/11. Twenty-five million U.S. combat veterans still survive present and past wars and live among us. Many of them are doing much more than just living. They are serving our country yet again, by helping fuel our economic engine as small business owners.

A word to them: thanks!

A few more words to the rest of us; let's honor and support them for both their duty served and their endeavors now. Today's is Veterans Day, the perfect day to start.

According to SCORE, a non-profit organization that counsels small businesses, 14 percent of all self-employed Americans are veterans (that's 1.6 million people).

Here are some more facts to think about from the Small Business Administration:

  • 22 percent of all veterans are either starting or buying a small business to run.
  • 72 percent of veteran small business owners plan to employ at least one additional employee from start-up.
  • 38 percent of all veteran-owned small businesses are home-based. Fifty-two percent of all disabled veterans that own a small business are home-based. Twenty-three percent of all these veteran-owned small businesses are more than 50 percent dependent on the Internet.

With all that in mind, here are five ways you can think about reaching out to support a veteran today.

1. Do business with a veteran-owned business.

2. Work for a veteran-owned business.

3. Mentor a veteran trying to start-up a business.

4. Donate your time to train a veteran starting up a business.

5. Donate equipment or invest in a veteran-owned start-up.

Where to begin? Contact your local SCORE office and tell them you would like to help.

Happy Veterans Day!

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