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Thinking of setting up YOUROWNBUSINESS?

By Ren Kapur,CEO of X-Forces

X-Forces has helped to launch over 580 businesses across the UK since we were founded in 2013. We support service leavers, reservists, veterans, their partners and families gain enterprise skills, and if they are ready, help them to launch their own business.

We see enterprise skills as key life skills for all whether you are an entrepreneur striving to bring new ideas to reality, or an intrapreneur within organisations that can bring innovation and growth to business.

The Journey of Support We are there from the very beginning, if you are just weighing up whether self-employment is right for you or you have abusiness idea but no idea where to start, our workshops are agreat introduction to enterprise.

Our business advice team can then guide you through your business planning stages and funding applications, offering their experience, knowledge and expertise.

Starting abusiness is along journey that doesn’t stop on the day it launches, in fact this is the start of the journey and we encourage all of our businesses to have anetwork of support around them, some of which we can enable or suggestions that we can make. For example, some of our highly successful start-ups will have more than one

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mentor; will make time to learn from local support groups; attend webinars on business models; peer to peer networking and do practical market research on aregular basis. All of these things we cover in events and online information however it needs application and we can support this know-how and its effectiveness through our support sessions and case- studies.

Where We Operate In the last 3years we have supported start-ups from Penzance to the Orkneys and continue to grow year on year,weare now seeing these start- ups scaling and hiring their teams from within the Military Community.

X-Forces is the official delivery partner for self-employment training through the Career Transition Partnership, this means our training reaches service leavers in every corner of the UK.

Our Start Up Skills Workshops and Business Growth Seminars are open to all and take place around the country on aregular basis. These are supported by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity,large corporate organisations such as NatWest and businesses who have signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant and want to help small businesses through our Big Business supporting Small Business campaign.

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RAF Case Study Doddl –Ex-RAF and sister

Ex-servicewoman, Rosie Phelps, and her sister,Catherine Dodd, have received support from X-Forces for their innovative range of children’s cutlery.Doddl combines Rosie’s business acumen with Cat’s creativity and, after atwo-year journey through research, design, manufacturing and crowdfunding, the strikingly different products will go on sale inamatter of weeks.

Rosie began her working life in the Royal Air Force, as an Intelligence Officer,and was the first female in an intelligence post on the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW), providing air intelligence support to Special Forces. Rosie said “The Armed Forces appealed to me as it offered adventure with combined physical and mental challenges, but overcoming the gender barrier was the greatest challenge, as females were not always welcomed by the frontline troops.”

Rosie served six years in the RAF,straight after graduating from University,and spent half of this on overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the end of her short-

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