Date of Award

Summer 6-9-2018

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Carlos Rodriguez, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Walter Hightower, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Gonzalez, D.P.A.


Purpose: Entrepreneurship is essential to the sustainability of our nation provided in part by individuals who seek opportunities for developing profitable businesses that generate jobs and cash flow. Despite these benefits, there is limited research about Hispanic veteran entrepreneurship. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe and explore the lived experiences of Hispanic veteran’s transition from military service to entrepreneurship positions in business. A secondary purpose to the study was to describe what factors aided or detracted from the transition as perceived by the Hispanic veteran.

Methodology: The data collection process of this phenomenological qualitative study was achieved through in-depth interviews with Hispanic vetaran entrepreneurs from San Diego, California. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using an interview protocol designed using Schlossberg’s Transition Theory. Participants were audio recorded to help create transcriptions and for further analysis.

Findings: Five common themes emerged from the data collected from 12 participants: (a) factors that detract from entrepreneurship, (b) effective entrepreneurship strategies, (c) entrepreneur leadership characteristics, (d) prior experiences that lead to entrepreneurship, and (e) support network resources. All of these common themes explain how Hispanic veterans describe their transition from military service to entrepreneurship and the factors aided or detracted from their transition.

Conclusions: Based on the literature review and the research findings, the following was concluded: (a) Hispanic veterans overcome barriers in their journey to entrepreneurship, (b) Hispanic veteran entrepreneurs experience both positive and negative factors when starting a business, (c) Hispanic veteran entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon, and (d) Hispanic veteran entrepreneurs use a supportive network of resources.

Recommendations: Additional research is recommended that includes the transitional experiences of veterans from other locations in the country, entrepreneurs outside of the military, those from other cultures, and entrepreneurs who live abroad. A quantitative method replicated from this study should be conducted. Studies should also focus on the individual variables of Schlossberg’s 4 S System. Finally, researchers should replicate this study from participants within the same industry.