Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Veterans are encouraged to head over to the Leinie Lodge on Thursday night to talk about starting their own small businesses.
The goal of the “Muster Across Wisconsin” campaign is to connect military vets who have an interest in starting or growing their own business with leaders and resources from across the state.
Officials said about 11 percent of all businesses in Wisconsin are veteran-owned, which account for nearly $20 billion in sales every year. They stress that veteran-owned businesses aren't just good for the state financially. They're also good for other Wisconsin vets.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said after WWII, nearly 50 percent of vets came home to become entrepreneurs. After the Korean War, she said about 40 percent of returning service members started their own business. Kleefisch said nowadays, that number is closer to 6 percent, and that's why she hopes events, like the one on Thursday, can bring that percentage up.
“Imagine taking that elite group of potential employees and allowing that elite group to live their American dream by being the bosses, being the entrepreneurs themselves,” Kleefisch said.
The “Muster Across Wisconsin” event runs until 7:30 p.m. Thursday.