4 Insights About Military-connected Businesses in 2022Impact Reports•Nov 8, 2022• 2 min read
In honor of Veterans Day and Military Family Month, Hello Alice conducted a survey to understand the challenges and needs of military-connected small business owners.
Among the 1,000,000+ small businesses spanning all industries, demographics, and locations in the Hello Alice community, more than 90,000 military-connected owners come to Hello Alice for support, funding opportunities, and resources.
This temperature check captures their unique challenges including accessing and building credit, securing financing, and dealing with the rising costs of marketing. These responses highlight our need to offer more opportunities, solutions, and educational resources to better help serve the entrepreneurs who’ve proudly served our country. Hello Alice is committed to getting these vital resources into the hands of our military-connected communities.
Here are some key takeaways about military-connected small business owners in 2022:
1) Military-connected Business Owners Struggle With Raising Capital
Raising capital ranks as the number one challenge for military-connected small business owners for the third year running.
More than two-thirds of military-connected owners have applied for a traditional bank loan in the last 5 years, and 43% have been denied — significantly higher than the 34% denial rate for non-military owners.
2) Optimism Is Greater Than Among Non-military Owners
An overwhelming 87% of military-connected owners currently express confidence that their business will stay afloat (compared to 84% of non-military owners).
The overall outlook has improved significantly over the last year. In fact, the portion of military-connected owners who say their business is steady has increased more than 10% QoQ and increased 24% from 2021.
3) Difficulties With Marketing Are Ballooning
The portion of military owners ranking marketing as their top challenge has nearly doubled since 2020, and nearly 60% of owners struggling with marketing cite expanding search presence and paid advertising as obstacles.
Military-connected owners were also more likely to cite difficulties with social media and remarketing. The portion of military-connected businesses ranking social media as an obstacle is 38% higher than the portion of non-military businesses.
4) Building Credit Remains an Obstacle
When it comes to raising capital, 63% of military-connected owners said building credit is an obstacle — nearly 22 percentage points higher than non-military owners! Almost half (48%) of military-connected owners claimed to have a personal credit card application denied in the last five years, and 33% have had a business credit card application denied.
Increasing access to credit would have profound benefits for the military-connected community. According to survey data, 90% of military owners without business credit believe a business credit card would impact their business in a positive way.
- 54% said they would use the card to cover unexpected expenses
- 53% said they would use it to pursue new opportunities
- 51% said it would allow their business to grow more quickly.
Bunker Labs provides community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses.
Signature programs include:
- Veterans in Residence — An early-stage business incubator
- CEOcircle — A year-long program that builds a brain-trust of peers
- Ambassador Program — A dynamic program connecting military community business owners in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem
Interested in learning more about military-connected business owners? Download the full Hello Alice report here.
Is your company or organization interested in supporting this important work? Or gaining insights about your community of business owners? If so, please reach out to [email protected].
Finally, for media inquiries or interview requests, please contact [email protected].