National Veteran’s Small Business Week, celebrated the first week of November, honors veteran entrepreneurs who continue to serve our country by creating jobs and fueling economic growth. As part of the celebration, the National Women’s Business Council will recognize veteran women business owners, highlighting their great economic impact and community contributions.

For example, Phyllis Newhouse, a service-disabled veteran, launched one of the fastest growing women-owned businesses – Xtreme Solutions, an Atlanta-based IT company; Dawn Halfaker, a former military police officer, founded Halfaker and Associates, which provides professional services and technical solutions to the U.S. Government; and Lani Hay, a former naval intelligence officer, owns defense contracting company, LMT based in Vienna, Virgina. These are just a few of the many veteran women entrepreneurs that are launching and growing innovative new businesses.

According to the 2012 Survey of Business Owners preliminary data released this past August, there are 384,548 veteran women-owned businesses in the United States. This reflects a 296 percent increase from 2007 in the number of veteran women-owned. In comparison, the number of veteran men-owned businesses decreased by 7 percent from 2007 to 2012.

“The growth of veteran women entrepreneurship has been higher than any other segment of the entrepreneurship economy. This is a testament to not just the courage and resilience of these veteran women – but the availability of resources that enable their innovative ideas and business dreams. These women, including women military spouses, are launching businesses and continuing to have meaningful impact,” said Carla Harris, Presidentially-appointed Chair of the National Women’s Business Council.

Overall, veteran women-owned businesses generated a total of $19.97 billion in receipts, an increase of 26 percent since 2007. Ninety-six percent of these firms are non-employer firms, with average receipts of $19,121. The remaining 3.3% of the firms have paid employees, employing 107,542 people in addition to the owners, with an annual payroll of $3.71 billion. These employer firms have average receipts of $1,001,950.

“Entrepreneurship amongst veteran women and women military spouses is exciting. They are having significant economic impact, a steep growth trajectory, and making important contributions to their communities. What is most compelling though are the stories: these sheros persevere despite the great adversity and barriers, like access to capital, advise or networks. We are honored to stand with these women during National Veteran’s Small Business Week, and every other day. To the women veteran business owners our message is simple: thank you for your courage, commitment and innovation to our country,” said Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the NWBC.

For National Veteran’s Small Business Week, the NWBC will be sharing helpful resources for women veteran entrepreneurs, sharing the latest statistics on veteran women business owners, and highlighting successful women veteran business owners and leaders.