Since the 2022 Russian invasion, Ukraine’s veteran population has increased from roughly 500,000 to over 1.2 million and counting, yet the country’s ability to support its servicemembers has declined due to the war’s impact on the economy and infrastructure. Two…
Institute for Veterans and Military Families Receives Largest Single Research Grant to Date
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University has received a $400,000 research grant from the Kauffman Foundation to study veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs as part of the foundation’s inaugural “Knowledge Challenge.” The award marks the largest research grant received by the institute since its founding in 2011.
Knowledge Challenge grants will fund research on problems facing entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders in four categories: New Nature of Entrepreneurship, Barriers to Entrepreneurship Program Design and Policy, Intervention and Implementation Ecosystem, and External Environment for Entrepreneurship. Along with the IVMF research team at SU, Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California-Berkley and Boston University are among the other 31 institutions selected in the inaugural pool of recipients. IVMF is the only recipient that will survey business ownership among the specific audience of veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs, which includes military spouses.
“It is an honor to receive this award from the Kauffman Foundation and to be selected among this prominent group of researchers,” says Nick Armstrong, senior director for research and policy at the IVMF. “Military-connected entrepreneurship has declined in recent decades, but there are signs of resurgence, especially among women and minority veteran business-owners. Less is known about military spouse entrepreneurship. This grant allows us to investigate a significant knowledge gap on the underlying drivers of entrepreneurship across this diverse group.”
The study will follow veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs at different stages in their business ventures over three years. The IVMF research team, led by Armstrong and Rosalinda Maury, will also analyze, monitor and review national trends, attitudes and key indicators among veterans and military-connected business owners.
“Veterans and their families have long been the backbone of our country,” says Misty Stutsman, director of small business and entrepreneurship at IVMF. “Studies like this allow us to look at national trends and inform the more than 44,000 veteran-service organizations, including ourselves, to better collectively serve veterans and their spouses as they pursue the very dream they fought to protect.”
“The Knowledge Challenge allows us to prioritize our grant making to answer specific problems for entrepreneurs and the organizations or institutions supporting them,” says Sameeksha Desai, director of knowledge creation and research in entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, noting that some of the grants include partnerships between researchers and practitioners.