The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and X-Forces have launched a new grant fund to help members of the Armed Forces community start up a business in the Solent.
Bridging the Gap – Armed Forces is a new, bespoke, fund for the Armed Forces community – service leavers, veterans, family members, spouses, reservists and cadets – and will support both new start-ups and established businesses with grants of between £5,000 – £75,000 to create jobs and secure investment.
X-Forces are well known in the business and military community for their work in supporting Service leavers, veterans, spouses, reservists and cadets through mentoring, training, access to finance and linking up with partners and charities providing welfare and support for military families. Access to business knowledge is essential for all entrepreneurs, and is available to the Armed Forces community through enterprise workshops and training programmes run with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), Help For Heroes and ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity. As part of the provision of the new CTP contract Right Management has appointed X-Forces as the Business Enterprise Trainer for the delivery of support and effective training to those accessing the CTP who may be interested in business ownership and self-employment.
Ren Kapur, CEO of X-Forces said:
X-Forces are delighted to be partnered with Solent LEP to help them support the local Armed Forces community. These individuals are ideally suited to enterprise, as they already have the strong principles, work ethic and adventurous spirit of the Armed Forces. Partnerships with Local Enterprise Partnerships, councils and regions are creating a strong support network stretching across the UK. It is very important to provide the right support and create the right environment to help the ex-military understand enterprise, which can lead to fulfilling self-employment.
James Whelan, Managing Director of WightStream, started his business after a career with the Corps of Royal Engineers. He completed two operational tours in close support of the infantry and one tour in a High Risk Search Team as the Search Team Commander looking for roadside bombs. Speaking of leaving the Army James said:
After three tours in Afghanistan, I felt I’d done my part and it was the right time for me to leave.
Originally from Cheltenham, James settled in the Isle of Wight and launched WightStream with David Tottman in May 2015. The company provides a high quality exterior cleaning and restoration service to the domestic, commercial, industrial and maritime sectors.
The Isle of Wight is a great place to live and run a business, the community is very supportive. David and I are really excited for the future.
For more information please click on this link: Bridging The Gap – Funding for former military