WASHINGTON — Credit unions looking to establish business service and loan relationships might want to consider reaching out to those who have had prior military service, according to new research.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy released a white paper today titled Educational Attainment and Other Characteristics of the Self-Employed: An Examination using Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The data tracks families over time beginning in 1968 and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 2003.

Among the findings were prior military experience is the strongest predictor of self-employment, increasing the likelihood by 9.4 to 11%. The second largest group is homeowners, who are 7% more likely to be self-employed, while every $100,000 increase in mortgage value increases the probability of self-employment by 2%, the data showed. Having some college education increases the chances of self-employment by 3.3%, a baccalaureate degree by 4.4% and graduate experience by 8.3%.

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