While the national unemployment rate (population 18 and over) hovers at 7.5 percent, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans (Gulf War Era II or Post-9/11 veterans) face a higher rate of unemployment at 10.8 percent. Overall, more than three quarters of a million veterans are currently unemployed, with an additional one million anticipated to leave service this year through 2017.
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Entrepreneurship, or self-employment, is a solution for the unemployment situation of veterans that comes quite naturally given skillsets gained through military service. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) military veterans owned 2.4 million businesses in 2007, which accounted for 9 percent of all businesses nationwide. Furthermore, the SBA estimates that currently 20 percent of veterans are looking to start, purchase or partner in a small business start-up.