Last week we renewed our pledges to support the Armed Forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. Since our launch in 2013 X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) the support we offer to the community has grown exponentially. Our team go above and beyond their day-to-day roles to support Veterans, Service Leavers, Spouses, Reservists and Cadets across the board.
The organisations and individuals that joined us last week are an important illustration of the power of the Armed Forces community. This demonstrates why working together is the reason XFE is yielding such positive results. We have collective ambition for the ‘armed forces to lead the way on Enterprise, whether that is through self-employment or employment’.
Thank you to Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People for supporting the occasion alongside our team, X-Forces Enterprise businesses, charity partners and corporate supporters.
I would like to draw attention to the importance of support from all of our stakeholders, but especially those that joined us at the House of Lords; Our beneficiaries, Help for Heroes, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal British Legion, the Career Transition Partnership, CISCO, DELL EMC, Balfour Beatty and our Board.
Our XFE Beneficiaries journeys’ demonstrate without a doubt that our support goes above and beyond what we do as ‘business as usual’. However, we don’t want to limit to just what we can do, but encourage them to lead from the front and many have also signed the Covenant promoting a virtuous circle of success.
Therefore, they too can grow to be the champions of the future, helping others above and beyond their own businesses, exchanging knowledge so that this community can continue to flourish and grow. So, thank you so much Donna (HarPur Creations), Alex (Concept Building Solutions) , Neel (Dorking Brewery), Sophie (Bard’s Theatre) and Kevin (Jim Jams) for joining us on Friday.
Have worked with us for over 2 years supporting the Wounded, Injured and Sick, not only providing extensive courses but also follow-on support. This provision goes further than just Help for Heroes beneficiaries and supports the wider community. We are successfully seeing other charities signposting into the Business Experience programme such as WWTW, Combat Stress, Poppy Factory and SSAFA.
Support us to deliver one day programmes across the country for those in the Armed Forces community including Spouses and the wider family members. Additionally, post-start-up training as it is invaluable for entrepreneurs to be able to access on-going support. The value of bringing together like-minded individuals from different industries cannot be dismissed as we see businesses interact and gain customers, clients and suppliers from within their ranks.
The charity have provided us with resources that have given XFE a new depth of support. Without the Legion we would not have the level of expertise and specific focus on Events, Mentor and Knowledge Exchange. We now have full-time provision to connect our beneficiaries with a query or need with the right contact from our other networks. Our Mentoring Manager can now successfully match and pair the relevant people together to get this ‘mentoring and coaching’ underway.
Has been another game changer, since 2015 XFE have delivered many CTP training events and receiving some incredible feedback from the Service Leavers. We thank their team for supporting us doing what we do and we are glad we have been able to live up to expectations. As many of you know, we position Enterprise Skills as Life Skills and absolutely go through the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ of being self-employed. We reiterate that success is to make the informed decision to NOT be self-employed as much as it is to be employed. We know that if Employment is the proper course, then the Service Leaver we help make this decision is still within the circle of CTP.
Have supported our thinking and came on board as our first Corporate Member. CISCO has always been there to help in any way, from using their facilities, mentoring, enabling us to communicate with our beneficiaries across the UK by giving us access to their webinars and their recording studios.
The XFE team and DELL EMC are creating a Roundtable of Industry leaders to generate greater traction with initiatives across the spectrum that the Corporates can be involved in, including Supply Chain Diversity. Let’s get Big Business buying from our XFE businesses in a structured, measurable way and promoting economic stimuli through Armed Forces business owners. On this note, we have started wider government engagement to see what the current landscape is for SME’s and Supply Chain Diversity.
Which neatly brings me on to Balfour Beatty who are new to the XFE Family but have said they would be very interested to work with us on this agenda, indeed they are already spending £1.6 billion with SMEs. As well as this we are very excited about the work placements that we are now discussing, both with Balfour and our big businesses but more importantly with the XFE Scale-ups.