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20 April 2018

Why I’m encouraging more ex-forces personnel to consider starting up a business, by Mike Cherry

Blogs Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry 3 cropped

This evening, 20 April, the Soldiering On Awards take place in London. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country and people who work to support the Armed Forces community. This year, a new partnership between
X-Forces Enterprise and the Soldiering On Awards sees the inclusion of three new business award categories: Start Up Business; Scale Up Business; and Community Impact Business, which will be presented by radio and TV broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

As an ex-reservist myself – and a small business owner – I’ve always believed that many ex-forces personnel have skills and experience that are relevant to a small business or self-employment. Many have technical, logistical, leadership and management skills. Plus, tenacity and resilience.

The addition of three business categories in the Soldiering On Awards, for the first time, reflects the growth of enterprise in the Armed Forces community. I wish all the finalists the best of luck for this evening, and congratulate them all for reaching the final.

FSB is gifting a year’s FSB honorary membership to the winners of these three special business awards so that they can access the wide range of benefits FSB membership brings, whether that’s through our strong voice in Government - driving change and helping to shape a better environment in which small businesses can flourish; or whether its making use of the wide range of benefits we offer our members – from legal advice to insurance, and from business banking to debt recovery.

X-Forces is an award-winning social initiative that supports the military community - including service leavers, veterans, military spouses & partners, reservists, cadets and children - by acting as a handrail to establish start-ups and enable growth.

Support covers the planning, funding, launch and post-launch of a business. X-Forces has supported 1,200 entrepreneurs from the military community to start their businesses over the last four years.

FSB membership already supports a significant number of small business owners from the military community. With around 925,000 veterans of working age in the UK, we’d like to support many more to achieve their ambitions of starting-up and running a business.

We look forward to welcoming the X-Forces Soldiering On Award winners to FSB. Joining us, they’ll become part of a 165,000-strong community of individuals who have started out on their own but want to connect with their peers and learn from each other’s experiences.

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