Tom Keighley

Member Article

Business start-up help for ex-service men and women

An initiative providing business start-up training and loans for ex-service personnel has been expanded following £5m of investment.

The ‘Be the Boss’ scheme is delivered by the Royal British Legion and offers training, and loans and grants up to £30,000 for ex-service men and women who want to start their own business.

Since starting in April 2010, the initiative has attracted over 1,000 registrations, and aims to address the low rate of employment with service leavers.

Business Minister Mark Prisk, said: “This scheme provides a means for many ex-Service personnel, whose employment options are limited by injury, to become entrepreneurs.

“Service people face distinctive difficulties in starting businesses such as a lack of a network after a mobile career, and this is reflected in the low rate of self-employment in this group – which is just 6 per cent.

“We are very grateful for the sterling work done by RBL. They had not previously been involved with enterprise, being a charity principally concerned with providing welfare services. They are now very switched onto encouraging enterprise amongst their members.”

The new £5 investment has been structured to encourage additional private sector investment, with a view to sustainability.

RBL were chosen to administer the scheme because of their tri-service involvement, and respect amongst service personnel.

The Be the Boss network encompasses four governments, six subcontracters, 58 independent partners and over 200 delivery organisations.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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