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Ex-service personnel to be given business help
A CHARITY helping ex-service personnel and military spouses to set up their own businesses is expanding into Wiltshire.
Heropreneurs, founded in 2010 by former newspaper war correspondent Richard Morris, has so far helped 58 entrepreneurs into business, mostly through a mentoring programme and by offering pro bono legal, financial and marketing expertise.
This year the London-based organisation is rolling out its offering into Wiltshire and working with Brigadier Piers Hankinson and his team at 43 (Wessex) Brigade, based at Tidworth.
Mr Morris said Wiltshire had been chosen because there is a high population of people with a military background, and the charity, together with Devizes MP Claire Perry, were planning a seminar at Wellington Academy, Tidworth, on April 10, where people can find out more.
He said: “We started the charity in 2010 and launched it in 2011. We were doing a pilot to see if it would work. Now we’ve got momentum behind us, we’re starting to roll out the service across Wiltshire as a test bed.”
Mr Morris, who wrote for The Times, The Independent and The New Yorker, said historically ex-service personnel had gone into the fitness or financial services industries, but there was a growing trend towards technology start-ups.
He said the charity’s offering was especially appropriate for Swindon as it was adding technology skills workshops, working with Google, and would like to encourage more technology partners so they can help to expand the services.
He said: “We would like other people to come forward and say we can do this with you, or we would like to monitor somebody, and I think the mentoring is very important.
“If you get the mentoring right and you get the business plan right and you get people talking about you in a good way, that usually leads to investment which can only be good.
“The reason for looking at people that are coming out of the services is because I think out of any other community in this country, they’re perhaps the best skilled, the best experienced, and the best trained to move to business”
For more information, visit www.heropreneurs.