Start-up Funding Extended to All Ex-military Personnel

Be the Boss If you’ve left the Armed Forces and recently set up a small business or are thinking of doing so, the Be the Boss scheme can help ex-servicepeople to make a success of your new business venture.

ALL ex-service personnel of HM Armed Forces (including Reserve Forces) can apply for start-up training, grants and loans following the extension of the Government scheme.

The Be the Boss scheme allows all ex-military personnel, regardless of their discharge date, to apply for either start-up funding of up to £7,500, or business growth funding of up to £30,000. Previously, only those who had been discharged since October 2001 were eligible.

The scheme has been extended following a Treasury grant £5 million allocation from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Royal British Legion.

Ex-servicepeople will have to follow four simple steps:

  1. Step One – Business Start-up Training and Planning You will be asked to complete an initial training programme to help us evaluate your specific needs and to assist you in developing a robust business start-up or business growth plan.

  2. Step Two – Application for Funding After you have successfully completed your training, you will be asked to submit your business plan and financial forecast. Your business advisor or enterprise agency will confirm that the information submitted is accurate We will then invite you to submit a funding application.

  3. Step Three – Financial Assessment Your funding application will be assessed by our professional financial partners GLE (or, in Scotland, DSL).

  4. Step Four – Mentoring and Business Support After receiving funding you will benefit from the mentoring programme along with periodic business health checks. The advice will be based upon the specific nature and scale of your business.

Small Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said of the scheme:

“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 network after a mobile career, and this is reflected in the low rate of self-employment in this group ― just 6 per cent.”

The initiative has attracted interest from more than 1,000 armed forces leavers since it was established in June 2010.

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