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:: The Royal British Legion Be The Boss Scheme ::

Armed Forces leavers given chance to start up own businesses

The Royal British Legion is helping ex-Service personnel to start up or grow their own businesses.

The 'Be The Boss' scheme, designed for those who have left the Armed Forces since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, has been funded by a £5m grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and will be delivered by the Legion and partner agencies across the UK from today.

Business start-up and growth support is available for those leaving the Armed Forces on or after 07 October 2001, as well as reservists who have been on active deployment since that date.

Be The Boss support includes grants and loans, information, advice and guidance to help applicants create a business plan, on-going business 'health checks' and mentoring.

Applicants may receive up to £30,000 in financial support over the course of the scheme depending upon the nature of their business, business plan and budget, and demonstrable needs.

The Be The Boss Scheme is part of the Legion's Poppy Funds service, which provides advice and funding to individuals leaving the Armed Forces. Those returning to 'Civvy Street' can log on to in order to obtain employment advice and guidance.

Heather Mannion, 27, who left the Army in 2007 after seven years' service in the Royal Logistic Corps sought help through the Civvy Street website, and was given a £700 grant for training purposes. The funding from the Legion means she is now working as a Beauty Therapist in her hometown of Bradford, West Yorkshire.

"Thanks to the Legion I've been lucky enough to carry out a dream of mine to work in the beauty industry. It's incredibly important that service leavers, like myself, know that there is help on hand after leaving the Armed Forces."

The Royal British Legion will be working closely with a number of other organisations to deliver the Be The Boss service, including enterprise and resettlement agencies linked with the Ministry of Defence, and partner charities.  |

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