Paul A. Dillon is president and CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC. He fought in Vietnam as a U.S. Army Reserve first lieutenant and was awarded two Bronze Star medals.
July 24, 2013
Chicago is rapidly becoming one of the principal destinations in the nation for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. The “startup city by the lake” boasts a steady stream of shiny, new businesses that have been created here, most of which have been extremely successful. Daily press reports in Crain's and other media outlets point to an increasing flow of people, money and resources coming to our city to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
Bravo to all those who have made that happen! You have my sincere congratulations.
But there is one important segment of our population that Chicago has left far behind in its rush to foster new entrepreneurial enterprises: our veterans.
The veteran population that could benefit from Chicago's burgeoning startup scene is huge. Estimates place Illinois as the home of more than 764,000 veterans, including 53,100 post-9/11 veterans. More than 35,000 new veterans will be coming or returning to Illinois by 2016 — a large number of whom will live in or near Chicago.