Crowdfunding helps veterans into business ownership



Veterans continue to struggle to find jobs as they return to an economy that is slow to recover. The nation’s veteran unemployment rate is 11 percent compared to the national average of 7.8 percent. That’s why franchise companies are doing all they can to assist veterans in getting back to work.

Larry Colley, who served 6 years in the 82nd Airborne Division and 15 years with U.S. Army Special Forces, came home to odds that were not in his favor when trying to find work in the civilian economy, despite his impressive military experience.  But Colley was able to start his own air conditioning business (Aire Serv, part of The Dwyer Group system of service franchises) with the help of Florida-based crowdfunding company Sprigster.

“Sprigster uses crowdfunding to help finance veterans who are coming home and starting their own businesses,” explains Mark Mohler, founder of the company.  Colley received $4,000 to start his business and since then has hired six people who were also looking for work, which Mohler believes is the key to his company — “getting veterans to start their own businesses so they can hire other veterans.”

The International Franchise Association continues to lead the industry through its landmark Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign in collaboration with the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014. The IFA will release a one-year anniversary report outlining the progress of the industry on November 12, 2012.

Sprigster and Operation Enduring Opportunity continue to help those who have served and sacrificed by enabling them to become leaders in the civilian economy. For more information about crowdfunding and the IFA’s Veterans Day events please visit To view the  interview with Sprigster founder Mark Mohler please click here.