£5m start-up fund for armed forces veterans

Government announces package of loans and grants

The government has created a £5m fund to help armed forces veterans start their own business ventures or become self-employed.

The Be the Boss campaign was announced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and has been developed in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

Ex-service personnel, who have been discharged since October 2001, will be able to apply for a loan of up to £30,000 and grants of up to £7,500. In addition, business advice and mentoring will be provided through the Royal British Legion.

Veterans Minister Kevan Jones said: “So many members of the armed forces have the skills and discipline to make a success of their own business.

“This scheme will provide them with the tools – and confidence – to develop sound business plans, as well as funding start-up costs. It is another example of our commitment to the men and women who have served our country.”

Paul Kyriakides, who left the Army in 1999, started a business last year after being made redundant in 2008. He set up his own plant-growing business and now sells at farmers’ markets in London and the South East.

He said: “These are difficult times and it would be wrong for me to suggest that starting your own business is easy. However, it is an incredibly rewarding experience and has allowed me to use the discipline and hard work that I learned in the Army.”

For further information on the scheme, or to apply for financial support, visit www.civvystreet.org or call 0800 678 5787.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010

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